The Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester

The Professor and the Madman

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, discover...


Details The Professor and the Madman

TitleThe Professor and the Madman
ISBN9780060839789
Author
Release DateJan 4th, 2018
PublisherHarper Perennial
LanguageEnglish
GenreHistory, Nonfiction, Biography, Humanities, Language, Writing, Books About Books
Rating

Reviews The Professor and the Madman

  • Jeffrey Keeten
    2015-11-22
    ...for each word, there should be sentences that show the twists and turns of meanings—the way almost every word slips in its silvery, fishlike way, weaving this way and that, adding subtleties of nuance to itself, and then perhaps shedding them as public mood dictates.” Herbert Coleridge whose brilliant life was too short.I was driving into work the other day thinking about Herbert Coleridge and realized that I might possibly be the only pe...
  • Stephen
    2011-05-15
    As a completely fledged bibliopsychotic and an ever-striving-to-be cunning-linguist , I was all aquiver with anticipation to bury my face in this purported history of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED). Alas, despite being well-written and thoroughly researched, I’m having to fake it a bit to give this a full 3 stars. My primary joy-dampening problem with the book’s arrangement was the dearth of page time given to what I see as the most fasc...
  • Sean Gibson
    2015-04-13
    People tend to juxtapose the idea of reading the dictionary with other activities as a means of underscoring how incredibly uninteresting and undesirable those other activities are. For example: “I have to interact with Sean today…UGH. I’d much rather read the dictionary.”This is an effective comparison for good reason. Look, I love words as much as the next guy, but even I find reading the dictionary only slightly more fun than reading t...
  • Will Byrnes
    2011-02-18
    Professor James Murray was one of the primary editors of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED). Dr Chester Minor, was one of the primary contributors to the massive project. But Murray did not know that Minor was an inmate in an insane asylum. Simon Winchester - image from Andersons Bookshop The book tells their separate stories, how Murray rose to the prominence necessary to land this major position, how Minor emerged from a troubled, if well-to-d...
  • Jason Koivu
    2008-11-22
    A man goes insane, shoots another man to death and then helps write one of the first complete dictionaries. What an odd way to enter the academic world!And believe it or not, those aren't even spoilers! Simon Winchester gives us all that right in the title of his surprisingly riveting read The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary.The idea of reading a book on the creation of a dictio...
  • Saleh MoonWalker
    2017-09-25
    Onvan : The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary - Nevisande : Simon Winchester - ISBN : 60839783 - ISBN13 : 9780060839789 - Dar 242 Safhe - Saal e Chap : 1998
  • Kinga
    2011-01-20
    If you know me personally or almost personally, then you should be aware that I am quite mad. I have a heavy obsession with the alphabet, with inventing bizarre systems that rule just about anything in my life and catalouging things. It is quite obvious that a book about a lunatic and creating Oxford English Dictionary would be a winner with me. And it was.However, it wasn't perfect. Winchester performed some weird narrative experiments. For exam...
  • Danae
    2008-09-09
    This is a perfect example of a book that I wish had been written by David McCullough. I gave it three stars based primarily on potential--the story itself was very interesting; the writing was more like 2 stars. I cannot believe this man has been able to make his living as a writer on two continents. His main problem was being redundant, giving the general impression that his target audience was not-too-bright fifth graders (I don't need every li...
  • Trevor
    2008-09-04
    I have been meaning to read this book for years – I couldn’t even tell you when I first saw it or heard about it and thought it would be a good idea to read. Then I saw a copy in a bookshop that was going cheap and bought it on my way to my mother’s place. I showed it to her and then lent it to her. She told me she enjoyed it – so that made me keen to read it too. That was a couple of years ago – as you see, I was in no rush. I think mu...
  • Diane
    2007-08-14
    Calling all bibliophiles! Have you ever wondered how that magnificent beast, the 20-volume Oxford English Dictionary (OED), came into being? Well, this is the book for you.Simon Winchester weaves together the story of two men in Victorian England: one was Professor James Murray, who was editing what was to become the definitive work on the English language; the other was William Chester Minor, who had committed murder and was living in a lunatic ...