The Professor and the Madman

by Simon Winchester

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Book Reviews

  • @JoshDance @morganhousel Yea, I learned from this book!! People keep finding it interesting, maybe I should do a little book report on itLink to Tweet
  • @ianus @kottke Thanks for pointer. Enjoyed the book. See also Winchester's, Professor and the Madman, an early example of crowd sourcing.Link to Tweet

About Book

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.

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