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Alexander the Corrector: The Tormented Genius Whose Cruden's Concordance Unwrote the Bible

3.72  ·  Rating Details  ·  32 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
Cruden's Concordance to the Bible--a combination index, dictionary, and analysis of the Bible--was a monumental achievement; at 2.5 million words, it is four times the length of the Bible itself, and in nearly 300 years it has never been superseded. Yet Alexander Cruden is remembered today not so much for this monumental work as for the widespread belief that he was mad.

Hardcover, 288 pages
Published June 16th 2005 by Overlook Books (first published 2004)
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Apr 03, 2013 Ed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Alexander Cruden (1699-1770) was the author of a concordance to the bible that is still in use. I heard about him as an eighteenth century person who loudly protested being wrongfully incarcerated in a lunatic asylum. Most references suggest that there was some reason to doubt his sanity. Roy Porter, for example, notes that one of Cruden's published protests 'did not,perhaps convince anyone of his normality, so obsessed was he with his won Job-like misfortunes." Until Julia keay's book no one ha ...more
Apr 02, 2012 Joyce rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, there wasn't nearly enough detail on his actual assemblage of the concordance. What, exactly, was his system? How did he decide entry words? Did he use paper slips and work sequentially through the Bible? I was expecting a little more technical treatment of the a reference work.

But the story of Alexander's life was remarkable. The poor guy, he was SUCH a nerd that people felt free to use him as a scapegoat and deny him fundamental rights. He had to fight off involuntary commitment to the m
If you liked The Professor and the Madman, you'll like this book. Ron Courter gave it to Alan and me, and I've already passed it on to Grandad, who ordered a copy for his friend Jack Jones. It's an amazing, well-written story. I'd never even considered the difficulty of creating a concordance of every word in the Bible back in the 1700's! I still can't figure out how he did it, or how he had the patience. You can't help but like the man, and leave the book absolutely appalled (once again) by the ...more
Pat Gibson
This might have been an outgrowth of her dissertation in history and from the viewpoint of history, she did an excellent job of researching her topic. The writing is uninspired and frequently poor even for academic writing. If you have an interest in the author or the massive book he created, by all means read this book. Or, if you have an interest in the historical period, 1700s in England or the treatment of those with mental illneses, it will be enlightening. It is not a book I would recommen ...more
Jul 21, 2009 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a gem of a biography. Cruden's story is engagingly presented by Keay, who keeps the narrative flowing and gives you the flavour of life in 18th century London, warts (or madhouses and prisons) and all. It's hard to believe that a book about someone who wrote a massive concordance to the Bible could be a page-turner, but it is. Cruden is an appealing character, who constantly falls into troubles of one sort or another, but never seems to lose his optimism and faith.
William Tefteller
Mar 31, 2013 William Tefteller rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After I got started I couldn't put it down. It was emotional while reading of his struggles and his tribulations and hoping that justice will prevail at the injustices that he went through. The way he carried himself through all this is inspiring. I am thankful to have got to know him through the words of this book and am thankful for all that Alexander has done for us in the Cruden's Concordance.
Steve Harris
Jul 12, 2016 Steve Harris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good lesson reminding us that we have a treasure in jars of clay (2 Cor. 4). Cruden was such a jar. If he were alive today, he would almost certainly be diagnosed with at least one mental illness. Nevertheless he was used to complete a task of Herculean proportions. Note: If you're gonna read this, make sure you know what a concordance is before you start.
Jan 14, 2009 Gloss rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfic, read_2009
Review forthcoming, so this is just a placeholder: a *fantastic* book, absorbing and tender-hearted, lucidly written and intriguingly structured, including, among other delights, C18 London, strict Presbyterianism, perfect indexical geekery, secret incestuous liaisons and madhouse reform.

Recently picked this up in my favorite used bookstore, and it looks v. promising.
Jun 13, 2012 John rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating story of a man devoted to the Lord and the study of Scripture who was incarcerated falsley on numerous occasions, but rallied to challenge the nation to return to godly standards and adopted the title "Alexander the Corrector."
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