The professor and the madman book

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the professor and the madman book

Thank you! Remarkably readable, this chronicle of lexicography roams from the great dictionary itself to hidden nooks in the human psyche that sometimes house the motives for murder, the sources for sanity, and the blueprint for creativity. His account is studded with odd persons and unexpected drama. To wit: When O. William Chester Minor, was incarcerated for life in an asylum for the criminally insane. Minor, apparently a paranoiac killer, had committed murder in ; to his lasting travail, he—d witnessed atrocities in the American Civil War. Latterly ailing and sexually repressed , he clung to his lexicographic efforts for dear life and the sake of his sanity—or what remained of it.
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Published 08.01.2019

Book Review - The Professor and the Madman


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Start by marking “The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary” as Want to Read: See all 8 questions about The Professor and the Madman. Play Book Tag: The Professor and the Madman / Simon Winchester - 4****.
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Minor , a retired United States Army surgeon. Murray was a talented linguist and had other scholarly interests, and he had taught in schools and worked in banking. Faced with the enormous task of producing a comprehensive dictionary, with a quotation illustrating the uses of each meaning of each word, and with evidence for the earliest use of each, Murray had turned to an early form of crowdsourcing a word not coined until the 21st century —enlisting the help of dozens of amateur philologists as volunteer researchers. A journalist with three decades of experience, and the author of a dozen travel-inspired books, Winchester's initial proposal to write a book about an obscure lexicographer met with rejection. Only when Harper Collins editor Larry Ashmead read the proposal and championed the book did Winchester pursue the necessary research in earnest. The book was a major success. The movie rights for the book were bought by Gibson's Icon Productions in


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  1. Editorial Reviews. Review. When the editors of the Oxford English Dictionary put A New York Times Notable Book • Now a Major Motion Picture. The Professor and the Madman is an extraordinary tale of madness, genius, and .

  2. The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of " A dead bang BEAST of a book that expertly combines Cavanagh's authority on.

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