The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity and the Making of the English Oxford Dictionary By Simon Winchester
It is indeed the story of the making of the Oxford English Dictionary and two men that were instrumental in its creation, but who never met until its completion. When the dictionary was about to be published the contributors wanted to honour a valued contributor only to find out that he resided in a mental institution. Dr. W.C. Minor, an American Civil War criminal who was considered both a genius and a lunatic had submitted more than ten thousand definitions for the first Oxford English Dictionary. This story details the lives of these two very different but similarly impassioned men.
I found this book to be fascinating. Simon Winchester is an incredible researcher, storyteller and beautiful writer!!! I wish he had been my history teacher. The way he weaves the two men's life stories throughout the book is exquisite and even though you know about the doctor from the beginning you want to read it to the end to see how the professor discovers the truth.
Review by Jan R.