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Print Biography December 24, 1999
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Simon Winchester
The Professor and the Madman
1998

Subtitled "A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary," Winchester's book follows the story of two very different men, yet each with a passion for order and an obsessive love of words. Scotsman James Murray, a self-taught professor, was the OED's editor for more than forty years. W.C. Minor was an American Civil War veteran serving a life sentence for murder at the Broadmoor Criminal Lunatic Asylum, as well as one of the OED's most brilliant off-site contributors. A fascinating read for one and all, even if you've never been part of a collaborative effort to catalog a vast, evolving web of knowledge.


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