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The Professor and the Madman, masterfully researched and eloquently written, is an extraordinary tale of madness, genius, and the incredible obsessions of two remarkable men that led to the making of the Oxford English Dictionary—and literary history. The compilation of the OED, begun in 1857, was one of the most ambitious projects ever undertaken. As definitions were collected, the overseeing committee, led by Professor James Murray, discovered that one man, Dr. W. C. Minor, had submitted more than ten thousand. When the committee insisted on honoring him, a shocking truth came to light: Dr. Minor, an American Civil War veteran, was also an inmate at an asylum for the criminally insane.

Topics: England, Victorian Era, Illustrated, Suspenseful, Witty, Language, Mental Illness, Murder, Writing, Obsession, and British Author

Published: HarperCollins on
ISBN: 9780061807602
List price: $10.99
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Extraordinary...perfect for wordsmiths!more
fascinating history of the OED and the people involved in its completion
liked when it was story, often too many facts made the journey tediousmore
This book is horribly boring... maybe it gets better?

HOLY SH*T... he cuts off is OWN PENIS.


Book was still boring, but HOLY SH*T!!!more
What an extremely enjoyable book! Well-researched and delightfully written. Every chapter leaves the reader anxious to read the next. The dictionary is such an important part of our everyday life, and has been a pivotal part of my own. How incredible to realize just how recent a thing it is in its current form. All the many threads of this particular fold of the OED's story are deftly woven together. Quite probably a flawless book.more
What a sad, sad story. As much as the author puts this in the context of the creation of the OED, it's really a sensational retelling of the decline of a poor, sick, crazy man who had the time, inclination, and intelligence to contribute to the OED. I think the best part of the book was the bibliography; I'm looking forward to picking up some of the books the author listed.more
Interesting, emininently readable. I enjoyed reading it and yet in the end somehow it felt a little slight. More of an after dinner anectdote or an expanded magazine article. I don't feel like I really know the protagonists so much as I know a few interesting stories about them. That said, its well worth a read and would make an excellent book to take along on a trip.more
A charming and detailed look at the history of one of the most famous books ever written. What is the line between 'madness' and genius?more
What is the likelihood of any one particular person winning the lottery? Or of being struck by lightning? These are just two well-known instances of something that could possibly happen but seem so rare and unlikely that they could never have been predicated. And so also is the tale told by Simon Winchester in The Professor and the Madman (Harper Perennial, 2005).Winchester takes the story of two very different men, an American physician, Dr. W.C. Minor, and an English lexicologist, Dr. John Murray, and shows how their lives became interwoven through the writing of the Oxford English dictionary, the most comprehensive effort ever made to define the words that make up the English language. Murray spent nearly a lifetime developing the dictionary and Minor was a prolific volunteer contributor to it, sending in thousands of suggestions. Winchester tells the separate parts of their early lives, the intersection of what, in its own way, became their life’s work, and the development of their friendship, something that didn’t occur until nearly twenty years of their working together, albeit separated by Minor’s confinement to what would be called a mental health facility today. Minor’s hospitalization was something that Murray was unaware of for many years, and that is just one of many surprising twists that true life took in the lives of these men.Winchester tells this most unlikely story well, including not just the success of the dictionary itself, but also the role that personal tragedy played in it. Reading it whets my appetite to learn more about the Oxford English dictionary itself.more
One would not expect a history of the Oxford English Dictionary to be particularly interesting, but indeed, there is quite a story behind it. A tremendous amount of the dictionary's research was done by a convicted murderer mired in severe mental illness. This book recounts the strange tale of how W.C. Minor came to write significant portions of the dictionary and, more broadly, how the OED came to be. The OED is undeniably a tremendous achievement. Winchester is clearly enamored of the dictionary; he states unequivocally that the OED is the most important dictionary in human history. He makes little of the various criticisms that have been waged against the dictionary: its orientation towards white, middle class language conventions, its imperialist outlook. Winchester has other interests, and cannot be criticized for that. Still, his dismissal of these criticisms is so absolute that it does make one wonder. Overall, this is a compelling story, enjoyably told.more
To tell the tale of how the first truly comprehensive dictionary of the English language, the Oxford English Dictionary (or OED) came into being, Simon Winchester chose to focus on one of it's most dedicated contributors, Dr. W. C. Minor, who contributed close to ten thousand definitions. What the man in charge of the committee which oversaw the compilation of the vast amount of information that went into this book, Professor James Murray, did not learn until came the time to honour the volunteers who'd helped put together this monumental work, was that Dr. Minor had been doing all his research and submitting his findings from rooms he occupied at an insane asylum. He was expected to remain there till the end of his natural life, after having been found guilty of murder and also been proved to be completely out of his mind. A fascinating story backed with great research, I'd been looking forward to reading this book for a long time, and it did not disappoint. Because I take a personal interest in matters pertaining to mental illness and it's cures, I was particularly impressed with the last chapter of the book, where Winchester talks about Dr. Minor's diagnosis, which at the time was thought to be simple paranoia but is now recognized as schizophrenia: "One in a hundred people today suffer from schizophrenia: Nearly all of them, if treated with compassion and good chemistry, can have some kind of dignified life, of a kind that was denied, for much of his time, to Doctor Minor. Except, of course, that Minor had his dictionary work. And there is a cruel irony in this—that if he had been so treated, he might never have felt impelled to work on it as he did. By offering him mood-altering sedatives, as they would have done in Edwardian times, or treating him as today with such antipsychotic drugs as quetiapine or risperidone, many of his symptoms of madness might have gone away—but he might well have felt disinclined or unable to perform his work for Doctor Murray. In a sense doing all those dictionary slips was his medication; in a way they became his therapy. The routine of his quiet and cellbound intellectual stimulus, month upon month, year upon year, appears to have provided him with at least a measure of release from his paranoia. [...] One must feel a sense of strange gratitude, then, that his treatment was never good enough to divert him from his work. The agonies that he must have suffered in those terrible asylum nights have granted us all a benefit, for all time. He was mad, and for that, we have reason to be glad." That quote alone earned the book an extra half star.more
Winchester's book on a minor story in the making of the Oxford English Dictionary (published in the UK as The Surgeon of Crowthorne) is a strong example of the pleasant diversion to be found in popular intellectual history. That an American military officer & surgeon (Minor) would end up contributing many thousand definitions to the OED under its founding editor (Murray) is interesting enough, given the national --even imperial-- motivations behind the dictionary; still better that Minor was institutionalised and his behavioural health was, in fact, key to his role as contributor.Winchester provides interesting sketches of London including Lambeth Marsh, Bedlam, and its successor Crowthorne; the origins of dictionaries; U.S. Civil War battlefield medicine; and an infectious enthusiasm for the OED itself. Within the space of two pages, the reader is treated to the real life inspiration for George Bernard Shaw's Henry Huggins and Kenneth Grahame's Water Rat, and after treating of several known personalities Winchester ends with the bit part played by Winston Churchill. Lexicography and the specific history of the OED are peppered throughout.Interestingly, in the American edition at least there are line drawings provided by Philip Hood. While they cannot be considered necessary to the text, they highlight the atmospheric nature of the work, employing a style suited to Dickens. A very pleasant palate cleanser between more demanding books.more
Winchester really has a way with words. That way, however, is dramatic. Every potential moment of drama is heightened to its fullest, to the point where I occasionally felt like the author was standing behind me NARRATING EVERYTHING WITH A BIG, BOOMING VOICE. Maybe with a flashlight to shine on his face for the creepy points. I mean, I get it, it's a book about the creation of the dictionary, it probably gets dry quickly, but there were a couple moments I had to put the book down and giggle at the absurdity of it all. I did get used to the style eventually, and found the information interesting and readable, but I still think the level of pathos present in the book is far above what it requires.more
An American Civil War veteran, incarcerated in an insane asylum in Victorian England for a murder he committed in a fit of (what would be recurring) insanity, makes an enormous and invaluable contribution to the greatest and most ambitious literary project of the English-speaking world: the Oxford English Dictionary. Author Simon Winchester has taken this curious bit of trivia, relegated in the past to a mere footnote in the history of the OED, and written an intriguing and ultimately tragic story about Dr. W.C. Minor. A brilliant, talented, but severely flawed man, his story is one of obsession, his slow and inevitable descent into madness, and the amazing confluence of events that allowed him to have a hand in the creation of the first comprehensive English-language dictionary. However, Dr. Minor wasn't alone in this endeavour and so the book explores his other half, Professor James Murray, the editor of the OED, another brilliant and obsessive man whose drive helped shaped the project; a man who was a contemporary of Dr. Minor's, with a life oddly similar in many ways to his, yet with a dramtically different outcome. Interwoven is a brief yet enlightening history of lexicography and the desire to quantify the English language. For a scholarly and in-depth examination on lexicography, one should instead turn to the books listed in Winchester's bibliography; however, if you'd like to read about a curious happenstance which lead to the making of the OED and literary history, this is the book for you.more
This was a depressing little book built around the collaboration and friendship between the self-made scholar who shepherded the astonishing birth of the Oxford English Dictionary and one of the volunteers who regularly sent in contributions. The volunteer turned out to be a wealthy American doctor and murderer housed in an insane asylum outside London. The book expounds on a variety of topics which touch on the lives of the two men, including surgical practice in the Union Army during the Civil War, the Battle of the Wilderness, and the history of dictionaries. Much of this is quite interesting, but I didn’t find the central story all that compelling, perhaps because the actual documentation isn’t voluminous, so all the details on other subjects feel like filler.more
I have recommended this and other Simon Winchester books to friends and colleagues over the years. This one is a particularly interesting read. I highly recommend it!more
Required reading! A great book. A little slow, but an important historical account of the development of the OED. Very memorable and I have recommended this book to many word-loving friends.more
One might think that the compilation of the Oxford English Dictionary would be a dry read, but it most certainly is not. This is mostly due to the fact that one of the most prolific contributors turned out to be an American inmate in an asylum for the criminally insane. Seriously. True, you should have at least a passing interest in linguistics - or at least vocabulary - to get a lot out of this book, but in a lot of ways this nonfiction book reads like a novel. This is the sort of history book I enjoy. Definitely recommended for lovers of words.more
A highly entertaining story regarding the development of the Oxford English Dictionary. It drove me crazy!more
A very interesting take on the most impressive dictionary I have ever seen, and my university just kept one of the compressed versions out for use (still at least 14 inches thick though). This book was used for a book review assignment with my Composition II class, and they thoroughly enjoyed it. It was nice to learn the true story behind the myth of how James Murray and William Minor truly met, became friends, and worked together for so long. I've always been interested in etymology and lexicography, and putting something together on the same scale of the OED is such an interesting topic. A nice read, and it reads very quickly and easily for a history book.more
The Professor and the Madman is about the making of the Oxford English Dictionary, and the “dangerous lunatic” that was a major contributor of entries to the dictionary. It was a fascinating narrative—well told with an interesting and educational topic. I think there were parts where Winchester waxed a bit dramatic or put in theories based upon conjecture rather than fact…but that is what journalists do, after all. :) Quite worth the read. 4.5/5 stars.more
Nice weaving of history, facts, and fiction all in one.more
While it's written more as an almost disassociated series of articles about the Oxford English Dictionary and a mad man who was pivotal in helping create it. At first the dictionary's editor, James Murray, didn't know that the man who did so much work on the dictionary was in fact incarcerated in Broadmoor asylum because his paranoia had caused him to kill someone. He was a man who needed to be inside, possibly pushed into insanity by the American Civil War, but this enabled him to have the time and the monomania that enabled him to do the work that helped.It's an interesting story, a man who was severly damaged, who comitted a senseless murder, who contributed so much in reality, but whose hold on reality was so tenuous!more
One of the definitions which Simon Winchester starts every chapter of this book is "polymath;" a person of much or varied learning. This is a definition that could describe Winchester himself as he has written books on a wide variety of subjects that have strayed far away from his original education as a geologist.This book about the writing of the OED and the strange partnership of a self-taught linguist and a paranoid schizophrenic incarcerated in what was then know as a lunatic asylum has to be one of the strangest tales in history.In his usual accessible style, Winchester gives his story a novelistic feel with insights not only into the writing of the great dictionary, but also the motivations of its star players. In the general scheme of things, this story is one of history's footnotes, but then sometimes the footnotes are the most interesting part of the whole.more
Fascinating--even more so when you consider that Dr. Minor may never have been able to contribute his copious amounts of work had his mental illness been properly treated.more
As someone who never uses dictionaries because she finds them dull and loaded with complicated abbreviations, I thought Winchester's story would be much the same. However, I truly enjoyed getting to know Professor Murray and W.C. Minor; their long distance relationship by letter was focused on apt quotations for well-defined words, but it's apparent their correspondence meant much more to both men.more
It was a good quick read that focused on the two men, Capt. Minor and Prof. Murray, and their relationship (though that only took up the last third of the book). I would have liked more evidence of scholarship (footnotes and citations), and photos would have been nice.more
wWhile I liked the history behind this book, I found the writing repetitive and the author tended to romanticize when facts would have been better. Still, it was interesting and short, so I would still recommend it to anyone interested in the making of the OED.more
Read all 111 reviews

Reviews

Extraordinary...perfect for wordsmiths!more
fascinating history of the OED and the people involved in its completion
liked when it was story, often too many facts made the journey tediousmore
This book is horribly boring... maybe it gets better?

HOLY SH*T... he cuts off is OWN PENIS.


Book was still boring, but HOLY SH*T!!!more
What an extremely enjoyable book! Well-researched and delightfully written. Every chapter leaves the reader anxious to read the next. The dictionary is such an important part of our everyday life, and has been a pivotal part of my own. How incredible to realize just how recent a thing it is in its current form. All the many threads of this particular fold of the OED's story are deftly woven together. Quite probably a flawless book.more
What a sad, sad story. As much as the author puts this in the context of the creation of the OED, it's really a sensational retelling of the decline of a poor, sick, crazy man who had the time, inclination, and intelligence to contribute to the OED. I think the best part of the book was the bibliography; I'm looking forward to picking up some of the books the author listed.more
Interesting, emininently readable. I enjoyed reading it and yet in the end somehow it felt a little slight. More of an after dinner anectdote or an expanded magazine article. I don't feel like I really know the protagonists so much as I know a few interesting stories about them. That said, its well worth a read and would make an excellent book to take along on a trip.more
A charming and detailed look at the history of one of the most famous books ever written. What is the line between 'madness' and genius?more
What is the likelihood of any one particular person winning the lottery? Or of being struck by lightning? These are just two well-known instances of something that could possibly happen but seem so rare and unlikely that they could never have been predicated. And so also is the tale told by Simon Winchester in The Professor and the Madman (Harper Perennial, 2005).Winchester takes the story of two very different men, an American physician, Dr. W.C. Minor, and an English lexicologist, Dr. John Murray, and shows how their lives became interwoven through the writing of the Oxford English dictionary, the most comprehensive effort ever made to define the words that make up the English language. Murray spent nearly a lifetime developing the dictionary and Minor was a prolific volunteer contributor to it, sending in thousands of suggestions. Winchester tells the separate parts of their early lives, the intersection of what, in its own way, became their life’s work, and the development of their friendship, something that didn’t occur until nearly twenty years of their working together, albeit separated by Minor’s confinement to what would be called a mental health facility today. Minor’s hospitalization was something that Murray was unaware of for many years, and that is just one of many surprising twists that true life took in the lives of these men.Winchester tells this most unlikely story well, including not just the success of the dictionary itself, but also the role that personal tragedy played in it. Reading it whets my appetite to learn more about the Oxford English dictionary itself.more
One would not expect a history of the Oxford English Dictionary to be particularly interesting, but indeed, there is quite a story behind it. A tremendous amount of the dictionary's research was done by a convicted murderer mired in severe mental illness. This book recounts the strange tale of how W.C. Minor came to write significant portions of the dictionary and, more broadly, how the OED came to be. The OED is undeniably a tremendous achievement. Winchester is clearly enamored of the dictionary; he states unequivocally that the OED is the most important dictionary in human history. He makes little of the various criticisms that have been waged against the dictionary: its orientation towards white, middle class language conventions, its imperialist outlook. Winchester has other interests, and cannot be criticized for that. Still, his dismissal of these criticisms is so absolute that it does make one wonder. Overall, this is a compelling story, enjoyably told.more
To tell the tale of how the first truly comprehensive dictionary of the English language, the Oxford English Dictionary (or OED) came into being, Simon Winchester chose to focus on one of it's most dedicated contributors, Dr. W. C. Minor, who contributed close to ten thousand definitions. What the man in charge of the committee which oversaw the compilation of the vast amount of information that went into this book, Professor James Murray, did not learn until came the time to honour the volunteers who'd helped put together this monumental work, was that Dr. Minor had been doing all his research and submitting his findings from rooms he occupied at an insane asylum. He was expected to remain there till the end of his natural life, after having been found guilty of murder and also been proved to be completely out of his mind. A fascinating story backed with great research, I'd been looking forward to reading this book for a long time, and it did not disappoint. Because I take a personal interest in matters pertaining to mental illness and it's cures, I was particularly impressed with the last chapter of the book, where Winchester talks about Dr. Minor's diagnosis, which at the time was thought to be simple paranoia but is now recognized as schizophrenia: "One in a hundred people today suffer from schizophrenia: Nearly all of them, if treated with compassion and good chemistry, can have some kind of dignified life, of a kind that was denied, for much of his time, to Doctor Minor. Except, of course, that Minor had his dictionary work. And there is a cruel irony in this—that if he had been so treated, he might never have felt impelled to work on it as he did. By offering him mood-altering sedatives, as they would have done in Edwardian times, or treating him as today with such antipsychotic drugs as quetiapine or risperidone, many of his symptoms of madness might have gone away—but he might well have felt disinclined or unable to perform his work for Doctor Murray. In a sense doing all those dictionary slips was his medication; in a way they became his therapy. The routine of his quiet and cellbound intellectual stimulus, month upon month, year upon year, appears to have provided him with at least a measure of release from his paranoia. [...] One must feel a sense of strange gratitude, then, that his treatment was never good enough to divert him from his work. The agonies that he must have suffered in those terrible asylum nights have granted us all a benefit, for all time. He was mad, and for that, we have reason to be glad." That quote alone earned the book an extra half star.more
Winchester's book on a minor story in the making of the Oxford English Dictionary (published in the UK as The Surgeon of Crowthorne) is a strong example of the pleasant diversion to be found in popular intellectual history. That an American military officer & surgeon (Minor) would end up contributing many thousand definitions to the OED under its founding editor (Murray) is interesting enough, given the national --even imperial-- motivations behind the dictionary; still better that Minor was institutionalised and his behavioural health was, in fact, key to his role as contributor.Winchester provides interesting sketches of London including Lambeth Marsh, Bedlam, and its successor Crowthorne; the origins of dictionaries; U.S. Civil War battlefield medicine; and an infectious enthusiasm for the OED itself. Within the space of two pages, the reader is treated to the real life inspiration for George Bernard Shaw's Henry Huggins and Kenneth Grahame's Water Rat, and after treating of several known personalities Winchester ends with the bit part played by Winston Churchill. Lexicography and the specific history of the OED are peppered throughout.Interestingly, in the American edition at least there are line drawings provided by Philip Hood. While they cannot be considered necessary to the text, they highlight the atmospheric nature of the work, employing a style suited to Dickens. A very pleasant palate cleanser between more demanding books.more
Winchester really has a way with words. That way, however, is dramatic. Every potential moment of drama is heightened to its fullest, to the point where I occasionally felt like the author was standing behind me NARRATING EVERYTHING WITH A BIG, BOOMING VOICE. Maybe with a flashlight to shine on his face for the creepy points. I mean, I get it, it's a book about the creation of the dictionary, it probably gets dry quickly, but there were a couple moments I had to put the book down and giggle at the absurdity of it all. I did get used to the style eventually, and found the information interesting and readable, but I still think the level of pathos present in the book is far above what it requires.more
An American Civil War veteran, incarcerated in an insane asylum in Victorian England for a murder he committed in a fit of (what would be recurring) insanity, makes an enormous and invaluable contribution to the greatest and most ambitious literary project of the English-speaking world: the Oxford English Dictionary. Author Simon Winchester has taken this curious bit of trivia, relegated in the past to a mere footnote in the history of the OED, and written an intriguing and ultimately tragic story about Dr. W.C. Minor. A brilliant, talented, but severely flawed man, his story is one of obsession, his slow and inevitable descent into madness, and the amazing confluence of events that allowed him to have a hand in the creation of the first comprehensive English-language dictionary. However, Dr. Minor wasn't alone in this endeavour and so the book explores his other half, Professor James Murray, the editor of the OED, another brilliant and obsessive man whose drive helped shaped the project; a man who was a contemporary of Dr. Minor's, with a life oddly similar in many ways to his, yet with a dramtically different outcome. Interwoven is a brief yet enlightening history of lexicography and the desire to quantify the English language. For a scholarly and in-depth examination on lexicography, one should instead turn to the books listed in Winchester's bibliography; however, if you'd like to read about a curious happenstance which lead to the making of the OED and literary history, this is the book for you.more
This was a depressing little book built around the collaboration and friendship between the self-made scholar who shepherded the astonishing birth of the Oxford English Dictionary and one of the volunteers who regularly sent in contributions. The volunteer turned out to be a wealthy American doctor and murderer housed in an insane asylum outside London. The book expounds on a variety of topics which touch on the lives of the two men, including surgical practice in the Union Army during the Civil War, the Battle of the Wilderness, and the history of dictionaries. Much of this is quite interesting, but I didn’t find the central story all that compelling, perhaps because the actual documentation isn’t voluminous, so all the details on other subjects feel like filler.more
I have recommended this and other Simon Winchester books to friends and colleagues over the years. This one is a particularly interesting read. I highly recommend it!more
Required reading! A great book. A little slow, but an important historical account of the development of the OED. Very memorable and I have recommended this book to many word-loving friends.more
One might think that the compilation of the Oxford English Dictionary would be a dry read, but it most certainly is not. This is mostly due to the fact that one of the most prolific contributors turned out to be an American inmate in an asylum for the criminally insane. Seriously. True, you should have at least a passing interest in linguistics - or at least vocabulary - to get a lot out of this book, but in a lot of ways this nonfiction book reads like a novel. This is the sort of history book I enjoy. Definitely recommended for lovers of words.more
A highly entertaining story regarding the development of the Oxford English Dictionary. It drove me crazy!more
A very interesting take on the most impressive dictionary I have ever seen, and my university just kept one of the compressed versions out for use (still at least 14 inches thick though). This book was used for a book review assignment with my Composition II class, and they thoroughly enjoyed it. It was nice to learn the true story behind the myth of how James Murray and William Minor truly met, became friends, and worked together for so long. I've always been interested in etymology and lexicography, and putting something together on the same scale of the OED is such an interesting topic. A nice read, and it reads very quickly and easily for a history book.more
The Professor and the Madman is about the making of the Oxford English Dictionary, and the “dangerous lunatic” that was a major contributor of entries to the dictionary. It was a fascinating narrative—well told with an interesting and educational topic. I think there were parts where Winchester waxed a bit dramatic or put in theories based upon conjecture rather than fact…but that is what journalists do, after all. :) Quite worth the read. 4.5/5 stars.more
Nice weaving of history, facts, and fiction all in one.more
While it's written more as an almost disassociated series of articles about the Oxford English Dictionary and a mad man who was pivotal in helping create it. At first the dictionary's editor, James Murray, didn't know that the man who did so much work on the dictionary was in fact incarcerated in Broadmoor asylum because his paranoia had caused him to kill someone. He was a man who needed to be inside, possibly pushed into insanity by the American Civil War, but this enabled him to have the time and the monomania that enabled him to do the work that helped.It's an interesting story, a man who was severly damaged, who comitted a senseless murder, who contributed so much in reality, but whose hold on reality was so tenuous!more
One of the definitions which Simon Winchester starts every chapter of this book is "polymath;" a person of much or varied learning. This is a definition that could describe Winchester himself as he has written books on a wide variety of subjects that have strayed far away from his original education as a geologist.This book about the writing of the OED and the strange partnership of a self-taught linguist and a paranoid schizophrenic incarcerated in what was then know as a lunatic asylum has to be one of the strangest tales in history.In his usual accessible style, Winchester gives his story a novelistic feel with insights not only into the writing of the great dictionary, but also the motivations of its star players. In the general scheme of things, this story is one of history's footnotes, but then sometimes the footnotes are the most interesting part of the whole.more
Fascinating--even more so when you consider that Dr. Minor may never have been able to contribute his copious amounts of work had his mental illness been properly treated.more
As someone who never uses dictionaries because she finds them dull and loaded with complicated abbreviations, I thought Winchester's story would be much the same. However, I truly enjoyed getting to know Professor Murray and W.C. Minor; their long distance relationship by letter was focused on apt quotations for well-defined words, but it's apparent their correspondence meant much more to both men.more
It was a good quick read that focused on the two men, Capt. Minor and Prof. Murray, and their relationship (though that only took up the last third of the book). I would have liked more evidence of scholarship (footnotes and citations), and photos would have been nice.more
wWhile I liked the history behind this book, I found the writing repetitive and the author tended to romanticize when facts would have been better. Still, it was interesting and short, so I would still recommend it to anyone interested in the making of the OED.more
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