Lindsay'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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Apr 02, 15

really liked it
bookshelves: language, biographymemoir, non-fiction, not-the-lower-48, adult
Recommended to Lindsay by: Meghan
Recommended for: philologists, historians, nerds
Read in December, 2007

This is a fascinating look into the life of the OED, dictionary-making in general, and Victorian-era England and America, and was the nerdiest "reading for fun" book I've indulged in lately. It's overflowing with interesting tidbits about the OED, weaving in with the saga of Dr. W.C. Minor's life and madness. There were times that Winchester seemed to stray a little far off topic, but his discussions were thoughtful and intriguing. I'm positive this is one of the more accessible books about dictionaries, so if you've got an itch for a more scholarly "beach read," this book's for you.
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