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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, begun in 1857, 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.


The Professor and the Madman
Average rating
4.5 / 5
Professor and the Madman
June 18th, 2015
I so enjoyed this book. I love words and strongly recommend that all word lovers read this book. I was unaware of importance of Dr. Minor. As an aside, surely some organization can tidy up his grave. We never know what the tipping point of an event can do to change one's life. In Dr. Minors case it was the murder he committed in one of his paranoid states. This event certainly changed the world of words.
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