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The Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester

The Professor and the Madman. “A tale of murder, insanity, and the making of the Oxford English Dictionary” by Simon Winchester. Fascinating story of the making of the “O.E.D.”. The dedicated work of many famous scholars of the time was inspiring. I was amazed to learn that there was no previous standard of English language. Professor James Murray, who oversaw it from 1878 was almost impoverished by the project and was not able to see the end, due to his untimely death in 1915. The dictionary was finally finished in 1927, many years after originally promised.

The story of the mad Dr. W.C. Minor, who was in an asylum for the criminally insane, was repeated too many times in my opinion. The real story of this undertaking need not have taken back seat to the sensational account of having a murderer as one of their main contributors. Would make an excellent book club choice in non-fiction.

Submitted by Sharron D., posted on Sunday October 03, @04:51PM

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