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Professor And The Madman
Professor And The Madman
Author: Simon Winchester
Mysterious (mistîe · ries), a. [f. L. mystérium Mysteryi + ous. Cf. F. mystérieux.] — 1. Full of or fraught with mystery; wrapt in mystery; hidden from human knowledge or understanding; impossible or difficult to explain, solve, or discover; of obscure origin, nature, or purpose. It is known as one of the greatest literary achievements in the his...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780606306973
ISBN-10: 0606306978
Publication Date: 8/30/2004
Pages: 242
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Publisher: Turtleback Books Distributed by Demco Media
Book Type: Hardcover
Other Versions: Paperback, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Members Wishing: 1
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reviewed Professor And The Madman on + 774 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 16
The pretext for this book is rather slight one of the significant volunteer contributors to the Oxford English Dictionary was, although an intelligent and educated man, also an inmate of an insane asylum, confined for a murder committed while in the throes of a schizophrenic paranoid delusion.
While, as a revelation, this fact may be less than earth-shattering, Winchester uses this story of the inmate, Dr. W.C. Minor, the man he killed, George Merrett, and the main editor of the OED, Dr. James Murray, as a vehicle for all kinds of interesting details he goes on quite a number of tangents, but theyre always immensely well-written and fascinating! Winchester isnt afraid to stray from dry, historical writing he definitely makes guesses, fleshes things out for colorful effect but his research is also obviously thoroughly done, and he also stops short of fictifying (ok, thats not a word, but I think it should be) his topic its always made clear when his scenarios are theoretical.
Id highly recommend this book not only for those interested in dictionaries and lexicography, but for anyone interested in Victorian England, the Civil War, treatment of the mentally ill, or any of a number of other topics...
reviewed Professor And The Madman on + 20 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 11
Really engaging - you'd never think that the creation of the Oxford English dictionary would have such crazy history, but reads like a really great detective novel, even though it's completely factual. Couldn't put it down, amazed by what I learned from reading it.
reviewed Professor And The Madman on + 40 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 8
An absolutely fascinating history mingling two stories: the making of the Oxford English Dictionary and one of its leading contributors, a brilliant, but insane American confined in a British asylum. Full of fascinating facts and quirky personalities, it reads more like a novel.
reviewed Professor And The Madman on
Helpful Score: 6
This is a great story if you like murder books that incorporate a lot of history of the peoriod and also combines two very diffrent stories into one. I loved that this book teaches you such interesting history and teaches you about the great undertaking of the compiling of the first edition of the Oxford dictionary. If you love language you will love the passion it shows towards it and the part a man in the hospital for the criminally insane played a large roll in the compiling of quotes.Not a breezy read but a good one.
reviewed Professor And The Madman on + 11 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
This is a wonderful, and slightly twisted, book on the making of the Oxford English Dictionary. It's full of history and all sorts of interesting linguistic tidbits for other geeks like me.
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