Hidden within the rituals of the creation of the Oxford English Dictionary is a fascinating mystery. Professor James Murray was the distinguished editor of the OED project. Dr. William Chester Minor, an American surgeon who had served in the Civil War, was one of the most prolific contributors to the dictionary, sending thousands of neat, hand-written quotations from his home. After numerous refusals from Minor to visit his home in Oxford, Murray set out to find him. It was then that Murray would finally learn the truth about Minor - that, in addition to being a masterly wordsmith, he was also an insane murderer locked up in Broadmoor, England's harshest asylum for criminal lunatics. The Professor and the Madman is the unforgettable story of the madness and genius that contributed to one of the greatest literary achievements in the history of English letters.weiterlesen
I couldn't imagine discovering that our best contractor was a criminally insane lunatic plugging away from the confines of his or her cell! That's precisely what happened to Professor James Murray, distinguished editor of the
Oxford English Dictionary. Winchester's work is part psychological thriller, part "how to make a dictionary," and entirely entertaining. As the narrator, Simon Jones adds the right amount of intrigue and neo-Gothic feel to this extraordinary tale. (Teresa C.)
"...the linguistic detective story of the decade." (
New York Times Magazine)"Winchester...tells how a murderer made a huge contribution to what became a major reference source in the Western world." (
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