The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary
The Professor and the Madman, masterfully researched and eloquently written, is an extraordinary tale of madness, genius, and the incredible obsessions of two remarkable men that led to the making of the Oxford English Dictionary -- and literary history. The compilation of the OED began in 1857,... show more
The Professor and the Madman, masterfully researched and eloquently written, is an extraordinary tale of madness, genius, and the incredible obsessions of two remarkable men that led to the making of the Oxford English Dictionary -- and literary history. The compilation of the OED began in 1857, it was one of the most ambitious projects ever undertaken. As definitions were collected, the overseeing committee, led by Professor James Murray, discovered that one man, Dr. W. C. Minor, had submitted more than ten thousand. When the committee insisted on honoring him, a shocking truth came to light: Dr. Minor, an American Civil War veteran, was also an inmate at an asylum for the criminally insane. This P.S. edition features an extra 16 pages of insights into the book, including author interviews, recommended reading, and more.
Publish date: July 1st 2005
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Pages no: 288
Edition language: English
, European Literature
, British Literature
, Book Club
, Books About Books
, Biography Memoir
, True Crime
...for each word, there should be sentences that show the twists and turns of meanings—the way almost every word slips in its silvery, fishlike way, weaving this way and that, adding subtleties of nuance to itself, and then perhaps shedding them as public mood dictates.” Herbert Coleridge whose bril...
14/7 - Despite the title this book didn't have that much to do with The Surgeon of Crowthorne or the murder of an innocent man which he committed whilst in a psychotic state. That was just a platform for Winchester to give the history of the Oxford English Dictionary - actually a more interesting to...
The making of the Oxford dictionary. This person was creative and just asked a lot of persons to help out in the project. Sending him scripts and making up sentences while he edit and picked the usable entry. Very entertaining read.
While it's written more as an almost disassociated series of articles about the Oxford English Dictionary and a mad man who was pivotal in helping create it. At first the dictionary's editor, James Murray, didn't know that the man who did so much work on the dictionary was in fact incarcerated in B...
What Goodreader wouldn't like a story about words? Easily 3 Stars for this tale of how an American doctor played a central role in the writing of the Oxford English Dictionary. I was amazed and humbled by the story of James Murray, who only had formal schooling to age 14, yet rose to lead the OED ef...