skip to content
The professor and the madman : a tale of murder, insanity, and the making of the Oxford English dictionary Preview this item
ClosePreview this item
Checking...

The professor and the madman : a tale of murder, insanity, and the making of the Oxford English dictionary

Author: Simon Winchester
Publisher: New York : HarperCollins Publishers, ©1998.
Edition/Format:   Print book : Biography : English : 1st edView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
The creation of the Oxford English Dictionary began in 1857, took seventy years to complete, drew from tens of thousands of brilliant minds, and organized the sprawling language into 414,825 precise definitions. But hidden within the rituals of its creation is a fascinating and mysterious story - a story of two remarkable men whose strange twenty-year relationship lies at the core of this historic undertaking.  Read more...
Rating:

based on 2 rating(s) 2 with reviews

Subjects
More like this

 

Find a copy in the library

&AllPage.SpinnerRetrieving; Finding libraries that hold this item...

Details

Genre/Form: Biography
History
Biographies
English
Named Person: James A H Murray; William Chester Minor; James Augustus Henry Murray, Sir; William Chester Minor; William Chester Minor; James A H Murray; James Augustus Henry Murray; James Augustus Henry Murray; William Chester Minor
Material Type: Biography
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Simon Winchester
ISBN: 0060175966 9780060175962
OCLC Number: 38425992
Description: xi, 242 p. : ill. ; 22 cm.
Contents: 1. The dead of night in Lambeth Marsh --
2. The man who taught Latin to cattle --
3. The madness of war --
4. Gathering Earth's daughters --
5. The big dictionary conceived --
6. The scholar in cell block two --
7. Entering the lists --
8. Annulated, art, brick-tea, buckwheat --
9. The meeting of minds --
10. The unkindest cut --
11. Then only the monuments.
Responsibility: Simon Winchester.
More information:

Abstract:

The creation of the Oxford English Dictionary began in 1857, took seventy years to complete, drew from tens of thousands of brilliant minds, and organized the sprawling language into 414,825 precise definitions. But hidden within the rituals of its creation is a fascinating and mysterious story - a story of two remarkable men whose strange twenty-year relationship lies at the core of this historic undertaking. Professor James Murray, an astonishingly learned former schoolmaster and bank clerk, was the distinguished editor of the OED project. Dr. William Chester Minor, an American surgeon from New Haven, Connecticut, who had served in the Civil War, was one of thousands of contributors who submitted illustrative quotations of words to be used in the dictionary. But Minor was no ordinary contributor. He was remarkably prolific, sending thousands of neat, handwritten quotations from his home in the small village of Crowthorne, fifty miles from Oxford. On numerous occasions Murray invited Minor to visit Oxford and celebrate his work, but Murray's offer was regularly - and mysteriously - refused. Thus the two men, for two decades, maintained a close relationship only through correspondence. Finally, in 1896, after Minor had sent nearly ten thousand definitions to the dictionary but had still never traveled from his home, a puzzled Murray set out to visit him. It was then that Murray finally learned the truth about Minor - that, in addition to being a masterful wordsmith, Minor was also a murderer, clinically insane - and locked up in Broadmoor, England's harshest asylum for criminal lunatics.

Reviews

User-contributed reviews

WorldCat User Reviews (2)

Not Urban Legend

by IcyWiz (WorldCat user published 2014-02-11) Very Good Permalink

The premise of this book may seem like fiction, and it's written better than most mainstream fiction is today. Yet it's a true accounting, and it's painstakingly researched. Even if you have no interest in practical lexicography, this book is incredibly interesting. 

  • 1 of 1 people found this review helpful. Did it help you? 
  •   

Lexicology and Insanity

by hanahjain (WorldCat user published 2007-09-29) Very Good Permalink
In Simon Winchester’s thoroughly researched book, 'The Professor and the Madman' is the history of the Oxford English Dictionary, and follows the lives of two men who were essential to its creation. Professor James Murray was the first editor of the OED, and Dr. W.C. Minor was an American Civil War veteran...
Read more...  Read more...
  • 1 of 1 people found this review helpful. Did it help you? 
  •   
Retrieving GoodReads reviews...
Retrieving DOGObooks reviews...

Tags

All user tags (7)

View most popular tags as: tag list | tag cloud

Similar Items

Related Subjects:(32)

User lists with this item (26)

Confirm this request

You may have already requested this item. Please select Ok if you would like to proceed with this request anyway.

Linked Data


Primary Entity

<http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/38425992> # The professor and the madman : a tale of murder, insanity, and the making of the Oxford English dictionary
    a schema:Book, schema:CreativeWork ;
    library:oclcnum "38425992" ;
    library:placeOfPublication <http://id.loc.gov/vocabulary/countries/nyu> ;
    library:placeOfPublication <http://dbpedia.org/resource/New_York_City> ; # New York
    schema:about <http://experiment.worldcat.org/entity/work/data/14567636#Place/united_states> ; # United States
    schema:about <http://experiment.worldcat.org/entity/work/data/14567636#Topic/lexicographes_grande_bretagne> ; # Lexicographes--Grande-Bretagne
    schema:about <http://id.worldcat.org/fast/1204623> ; # Great Britain.
    schema:about <http://id.worldcat.org/fast/1204155> ; # United States.
    schema:about <http://experiment.worldcat.org/entity/work/data/14567636#Topic/psychiatry_great_britain> ; # Psychiatry--Great Britain
    schema:about <http://experiment.worldcat.org/entity/work/data/14567636#Topic/lexicographers_great_britain> ; # Lexicographers--Great Britain
    schema:about <http://id.worldcat.org/fast/911326> ; # English language--Lexicography
    schema:about <http://experiment.worldcat.org/entity/work/data/14567636#Topic/anglais_langue_lexicographie> ; # Anglais (langue)--Lexicographie
    schema:about <http://id.worldcat.org/fast/1081030> ; # Psychiatric hospital patients
    schema:about <http://experiment.worldcat.org/entity/work/data/14567636#Topic/language> ; # Language
    schema:about <http://id.worldcat.org/fast/911149> ; # English language--Etymology
    schema:about <http://experiment.worldcat.org/entity/work/data/14567636#Topic/patients_dans_les_hopitaux_psychiatriques_angleterre> ; # Patients dans les hôpitaux psychiatriques--Angleterre
    schema:about <http://id.worldcat.org/fast/1363319> ; # Oxford English dictionary.
    schema:about <http://experiment.worldcat.org/entity/work/data/14567636#Topic/english_language_etymology> ; # English language--Etymology
    schema:about <http://experiment.worldcat.org/entity/work/data/14567636#Topic/encyclopedies_et_dictionnaires_anglais_histoire_et_critique> ; # Encyclopédies et dictionnaires anglais--Histoire et critique
    schema:about <http://viaf.org/viaf/64157675> ; # Sir James Augustus Henry Murray
    schema:about <http://experiment.worldcat.org/entity/work/data/14567636#Topic/anglais_langue_etymologie> ; # Anglais (Langue)--Étymologie
    schema:about <http://experiment.worldcat.org/entity/work/data/14567636#Event/1800_1899> ; # 1800 - 1899
    schema:about <http://experiment.worldcat.org/entity/work/data/14567636#Topic/patients_dans_les_hopitaux_psychiatriques_grande_bretagne_biographies> ; # Patients dans les hôpitaux psychiatriques--Grande-Bretagne--Biographies
    schema:about <http://id.worldcat.org/fast/997019> ; # Lexicographers
    schema:about <http://experiment.worldcat.org/entity/work/data/14567636#Place/etats_unis> ; # États-Unis
    schema:about <http://experiment.worldcat.org/entity/work/data/14567636#Topic/english_language_lexicography_history_19th_century> ; # English language--Lexicography--History--19th century
    schema:about <http://experiment.worldcat.org/entity/work/data/14567636#Topic/lexicographes_grande_bretagne_biographies> ; # Lexicographes--Grande-Bretagne--Biographies
    schema:about <http://id.worldcat.org/fast/1165710> ; # Veterans
    schema:about <http://experiment.worldcat.org/entity/work/data/14567636#Topic/entstehung> ; # Entstehung
    schema:about <http://experiment.worldcat.org/entity/work/data/14567636#CreativeWork/new_english_dictionary_on_historical_principles> ; # New English dictionary on historical principles.
    schema:about <http://dewey.info/class/423.092/e21/> ;
    schema:about <http://id.worldcat.org/fast/1361405> ; # New English dictionary on historical principles.
    schema:about <http://experiment.worldcat.org/entity/work/data/14567636#CreativeWork/oxford_english_dictionary> ; # Oxford English dictionary
    schema:about <http://experiment.worldcat.org/entity/work/data/14567636#Topic/english_language_lexicography> ; # English language--Lexicography
    schema:about <http://viaf.org/viaf/78752515> ; # William Chester Minor
    schema:about <http://experiment.worldcat.org/entity/work/data/14567636#Topic/psychiatric_hospital_patients_great_britain> ; # Psychiatric hospital patients--Great Britain
    schema:about <http://id.worldcat.org/fast/1351658> ; # American Civil War (1861-1865)
    schema:bookEdition "1st ed." ;
    schema:bookFormat bgn:PrintBook ;
    schema:copyrightYear "1998" ;
    schema:creator <http://viaf.org/viaf/5144962> ; # Simon Winchester
    schema:datePublished "1998" ;
    schema:description "The creation of the Oxford English Dictionary began in 1857, took seventy years to complete, drew from tens of thousands of brilliant minds, and organized the sprawling language into 414,825 precise definitions. But hidden within the rituals of its creation is a fascinating and mysterious story - a story of two remarkable men whose strange twenty-year relationship lies at the core of this historic undertaking. Professor James Murray, an astonishingly learned former schoolmaster and bank clerk, was the distinguished editor of the OED project. Dr. William Chester Minor, an American surgeon from New Haven, Connecticut, who had served in the Civil War, was one of thousands of contributors who submitted illustrative quotations of words to be used in the dictionary. But Minor was no ordinary contributor. He was remarkably prolific, sending thousands of neat, handwritten quotations from his home in the small village of Crowthorne, fifty miles from Oxford. On numerous occasions Murray invited Minor to visit Oxford and celebrate his work, but Murray's offer was regularly - and mysteriously - refused. Thus the two men, for two decades, maintained a close relationship only through correspondence. Finally, in 1896, after Minor had sent nearly ten thousand definitions to the dictionary but had still never traveled from his home, a puzzled Murray set out to visit him. It was then that Murray finally learned the truth about Minor - that, in addition to being a masterful wordsmith, Minor was also a murderer, clinically insane - and locked up in Broadmoor, England's harshest asylum for criminal lunatics."@en ;
    schema:exampleOfWork <http://worldcat.org/entity/work/id/14567636> ;
    schema:genre "Biography"@en ;
    schema:genre "History"@en ;
    schema:inLanguage "en" ;
    schema:name "The professor and the madman : a tale of murder, insanity, and the making of the Oxford English dictionary"@en ;
    schema:numberOfPages "242" ;
    schema:productID "38425992" ;
    schema:publication <http://www.worldcat.org/title/-/oclc/38425992#PublicationEvent/new_york_harpercollins_publishers_c1998> ;
    schema:publisher <http://experiment.worldcat.org/entity/work/data/14567636#Agent/harpercollins_publishers> ; # HarperCollins Publishers
    schema:workExample <http://worldcat.org/isbn/9780060175962> ;
    wdrs:describedby <http://www.worldcat.org/title/-/oclc/38425992> ;
    .


Related Entities

<http://dbpedia.org/resource/New_York_City> # New York
    a schema:Place ;
    schema:name "New York" ;
    .

<http://experiment.worldcat.org/entity/work/data/14567636#Agent/harpercollins_publishers> # HarperCollins Publishers
    a bgn:Agent ;
    schema:name "HarperCollins Publishers" ;
    .

<http://experiment.worldcat.org/entity/work/data/14567636#CreativeWork/new_english_dictionary_on_historical_principles> # New English dictionary on historical principles.
    a schema:CreativeWork ;
    schema:name "New English dictionary on historical principles." ;
    .

<http://experiment.worldcat.org/entity/work/data/14567636#CreativeWork/oxford_english_dictionary> # Oxford English dictionary
    a schema:CreativeWork ;
    schema:name "Oxford English dictionary" ;
    schema:name "Oxford English dictionary." ;
    .

<http://experiment.worldcat.org/entity/work/data/14567636#Place/united_states> # United States
    a schema:Place ;
    schema:name "United States" ;
    .

<http://experiment.worldcat.org/entity/work/data/14567636#Topic/anglais_langue_etymologie> # Anglais (Langue)--Étymologie
    a schema:Intangible ;
    schema:name "Anglais (Langue)--Étymologie"@fr ;
    .

<http://experiment.worldcat.org/entity/work/data/14567636#Topic/anglais_langue_lexicographie> # Anglais (langue)--Lexicographie
    a schema:Intangible ;
    schema:name "Anglais (langue)--Lexicographie"@en ;
    schema:name "Anglais (Langue)--Lexicographie"@fr ;
    .

<http://experiment.worldcat.org/entity/work/data/14567636#Topic/encyclopedies_et_dictionnaires_anglais_histoire_et_critique> # Encyclopédies et dictionnaires anglais--Histoire et critique
    a schema:Intangible ;
    schema:name "Encyclopédies et dictionnaires anglais--Histoire et critique"@fr ;
    .

<http://experiment.worldcat.org/entity/work/data/14567636#Topic/english_language_etymology> # English language--Etymology
    a schema:Intangible ;
    schema:name "English language--Etymology"@en ;
    .

<http://experiment.worldcat.org/entity/work/data/14567636#Topic/english_language_lexicography_history_19th_century> # English language--Lexicography--History--19th century
    a schema:Intangible ;
    schema:name "English language--Lexicography--History--19th century"@en ;
    .

<http://experiment.worldcat.org/entity/work/data/14567636#Topic/lexicographes_grande_bretagne> # Lexicographes--Grande-Bretagne
    a schema:Intangible ;
    schema:name "Lexicographes--Grande-Bretagne"@fr ;
    .

<http://experiment.worldcat.org/entity/work/data/14567636#Topic/lexicographes_grande_bretagne_biographies> # Lexicographes--Grande-Bretagne--Biographies
    a schema:Intangible ;
    schema:name "Lexicographes--Grande-Bretagne--Biographies"@en ;
    .

<http://experiment.worldcat.org/entity/work/data/14567636#Topic/patients_dans_les_hopitaux_psychiatriques_angleterre> # Patients dans les hôpitaux psychiatriques--Angleterre
    a schema:Intangible ;
    schema:name "Patients dans les hôpitaux psychiatriques--Angleterre"@fr ;
    .

<http://experiment.worldcat.org/entity/work/data/14567636#Topic/patients_dans_les_hopitaux_psychiatriques_grande_bretagne_biographies> # Patients dans les hôpitaux psychiatriques--Grande-Bretagne--Biographies
    a schema:Intangible ;
    schema:name "Patients dans les hôpitaux psychiatriques--Grande-Bretagne--Biographies"@en ;
    .

<http://experiment.worldcat.org/entity/work/data/14567636#Topic/psychiatric_hospital_patients_great_britain> # Psychiatric hospital patients--Great Britain
    a schema:Intangible ;
    rdfs:seeAlso <http://id.loc.gov/authorities/subjects/sh2010108727> ;
    schema:name "Psychiatric hospital patients--Great Britain"@en ;
    .

<http://experiment.worldcat.org/entity/work/data/14567636#Topic/psychiatry_great_britain> # Psychiatry--Great Britain
    a schema:Intangible ;
    schema:name "Psychiatry--Great Britain"@en ;
    .

<http://id.worldcat.org/fast/1081030> # Psychiatric hospital patients
    a schema:Intangible ;
    schema:name "Psychiatric hospital patients"@en ;
    .

<http://id.worldcat.org/fast/1165710> # Veterans
    a schema:Intangible ;
    schema:name "Veterans"@en ;
    .

<http://id.worldcat.org/fast/1204155> # United States.
    a schema:Place ;
    schema:name "United States." ;
    .

<http://id.worldcat.org/fast/1204623> # Great Britain.
    a schema:Place ;
    schema:name "Great Britain." ;
    .

<http://id.worldcat.org/fast/1351658> # American Civil War (1861-1865)
    a bgn:Meeting, schema:Event ;
    schema:name "American Civil War (1861-1865)" ;
    .

<http://id.worldcat.org/fast/1361405> # New English dictionary on historical principles.
    a schema:CreativeWork ;
    schema:name "New English dictionary on historical principles." ;
    .

<http://id.worldcat.org/fast/1363319> # Oxford English dictionary.
    a schema:CreativeWork ;
    schema:name "Oxford English dictionary." ;
    .

<http://id.worldcat.org/fast/911149> # English language--Etymology
    a schema:Intangible ;
    schema:name "English language--Etymology"@en ;
    .

<http://id.worldcat.org/fast/911326> # English language--Lexicography
    a schema:Intangible ;
    schema:name "English language--Lexicography"@en ;
    .

<http://id.worldcat.org/fast/997019> # Lexicographers
    a schema:Intangible ;
    schema:name "Lexicographers"@en ;
    .

<http://viaf.org/viaf/5144962> # Simon Winchester
    a schema:Person ;
    schema:familyName "Winchester" ;
    schema:givenName "Simon" ;
    schema:name "Simon Winchester" ;
    .

<http://viaf.org/viaf/64157675> # Sir James Augustus Henry Murray
    a schema:Person ;
    schema:birthDate "1837" ;
    schema:deathDate "1915" ;
    schema:familyName "Murray" ;
    schema:givenName "James Augustus Henry" ;
    schema:givenName "James A. H." ;
    schema:name "Sir James Augustus Henry Murray" ;
    schema:name "James Augustus Henry Murray" ;
    .

<http://viaf.org/viaf/78752515> # William Chester Minor
    a schema:Person ;
    schema:birthDate "1834" ;
    schema:deathDate "1920" ;
    schema:familyName "Minor" ;
    schema:givenName "William Chester" ;
    schema:name "William Chester Minor" ;
    .

<http://worldcat.org/isbn/9780060175962>
    a schema:ProductModel ;
    schema:isbn "0060175966" ;
    schema:isbn "9780060175962" ;
    .

<http://www.worldcat.org/title/-/oclc/38425992>
    a genont:InformationResource, genont:ContentTypeGenericResource ;
    schema:about <http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/38425992> ; # The professor and the madman : a tale of murder, insanity, and the making of the Oxford English dictionary
    schema:dateModified "2015-04-01" ;
    void:inDataset <http://purl.oclc.org/dataset/WorldCat> ;
    .


Content-negotiable representations

Close Window

Please sign in to WorldCat 

Don't have an account? You can easily create a free account.