Jill's Reviews > The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary

The Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester
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Jan 22, 09

Read in January, 2009

The idea of taking a word, tracing its roots, finding its first origins in print, and writing multiple definitions that perfectly capture its meaning--sound like a daunting task? Now imagine doing this with EVERY word in the English language. That was the task taken up by the men and women who compiled the Oxford English Dictionary. There were many fascinating characters in this real-life drama, but Simon Winchester focuses his lens on perhaps the most compelling of all--Dr. William Minor. This tale of madness and genius has all the elements of a juicy Victorian novel: the debauchery of a well-born gentleman, the fortitude of a self-made scholar, and the struggles of a penniless widow. It all makes for a juicy, compelling book whose characters will haunt you long after the last page is turned.
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01/22/2009 page 170

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Charles (new)

Charles I read this bad boy a few years ago, and was into it for the totality of the three days it took to read it. Dictionary diving is my jam - if only it paid more.

Jill You can still be an OED contributor for the glory if not financial gain.

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