The Keys of the Kingdom is a 1941 novel by A. J. Cronin. Spanning six decades, it tells the story of Father Francis Chisholm, an unconventional Scottish Catholic priest who struggles to establish a mission in China. Beset by tragedy in his youth, as a missionary Chisholm endures many years of hardship, punctuated by famine, plague and war in the Chinese province to which he is assigned. Through a life guided by compassion and tolerance, Chisholm earns the respect of the Chinese—and of fellow clergy who would mistrust him—with his kindly, high-minded and courageous ways. The book was made into a 1944 film starring Gregory Peck as Father Francis Chisholm, a role which earned him his first Oscar nomination.