As adapted by BBC RADIO 4 EXTRA
When newly qualified doctor Andrew Manson takes up his first post in a Welsh mining community, the young Scot brings with him a bagful of idealism and enthusiasm. Both are soon strained to the limit as Andrew discovers the reality of performing operations on a kitchen table and washing in a scullery, of unspeakable sanitation, of common infantile cholera and enteritis. There are no X-rays, no ambulances – nothing to combat the disease and poverty.
It isn’t long before Andrew’s outspokenness and determination make him enemies – as well as winning him friends, and the love of an idealistic schoolteacher. Riches that he risks losing when the fashionable, greedy world of London medicine claims him, with its private clinics, wealthy, spoilt patients and huge rewards.
A classic saga by one of the great masters of the genre, A J Cronin, author of The Stars Look Down and Hatter's Castle, The Citadel is a moving story of tragedy, triumph and redemption, and was influential in the creation of the NHS.