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

by Winchester, Simon.

Format: Print Book 1998
Availability: Available at 20 Libraries 22 of 23 copies
Available (22)
Location Collection Call #
Bethel Park Public Library Nonfiction 423.092 WI
Location  Bethel Park Public Library
 
Collection  Nonfiction
 
Call Number  423.092 WI
 
 
CLP - Main Library Second Floor - Non-fiction PE1617.O94 W56 1998
Location  CLP - Main Library
 
Collection  Second Floor - Non-fiction
 
Call Number  PE1617.O94 W56 1998
 
 
CLP - Main Library Second Floor - Non-fiction PE1617.O94 W56 1998
Location  CLP - Main Library
 
Collection  Second Floor - Non-fiction
 
Call Number  PE1617.O94 W56 1998
 
 
CLP - Main Library Second Floor - Non-fiction PE1617.O94 W56 1998
Location  CLP - Main Library
 
Collection  Second Floor - Non-fiction
 
Call Number  PE1617.O94 W56 1998
 
 
Carnegie Free Library of Swissvale Non Fiction 423 Win
Location  Carnegie Free Library of Swissvale
 
Collection  Non Fiction
 
Call Number  423 Win
 
 
Community Library of Allegheny Valley - Harrison Non Fiction 423 WINCHESTER
Location  Community Library of Allegheny Valley - Harrison
 
Collection  Non Fiction
 
Call Number  423 WINCHESTER
 
 
Community Library of Castle Shannon Non Fiction 423 Winchester
Location  Community Library of Castle Shannon
 
Collection  Non Fiction
 
Call Number  423 Winchester
 
 
Cooper-Siegel Community Library Biography 920 WIN
Location  Cooper-Siegel Community Library
 
Collection  Biography
 
Call Number  920 WIN
 
 
Coraopolis Memorial Library Non-Fiction 423 WINC
Location  Coraopolis Memorial Library
 
Collection  Non-Fiction
 
Call Number  423 WINC
 
 
Dormont Public Library Non-Fiction 423 W72
Location  Dormont Public Library
 
Collection  Non-Fiction
 
Call Number  423 W72
 
 
Jefferson Hills Public Library Non-Fiction 423 WIN
Location  Jefferson Hills Public Library
 
Collection  Non-Fiction
 
Call Number  423 WIN
 
 
Monroeville Public Library Non-fiction 423 W
Location  Monroeville Public Library
 
Collection  Non-fiction
 
Call Number  423 W
 
 
Northern Tier Regional Library Nonfiction 423 WINCH
Location  Northern Tier Regional Library
 
Collection  Nonfiction
 
Call Number  423 WINCH
 
 
Penn Hills Library Non-Fiction 423 WIN
Location  Penn Hills Library
 
Collection  Non-Fiction
 
Call Number  423 WIN
 
 
Pleasant Hills Public Library Nonfiction 423 W75
Location  Pleasant Hills Public Library
 
Collection  Nonfiction
 
Call Number  423 W75
 
 
Scott Township Library Nonfiction 423 WIN
Location  Scott Township Library
 
Collection  Nonfiction
 
Call Number  423 WIN
 
 
Sewickley Public Library Nonfiction 423 WIN 1998
Location  Sewickley Public Library
 
Collection  Nonfiction
 
Call Number  423 WIN 1998
 
 
Shaler North Hills Library Non-Fiction 423.092 W
Location  Shaler North Hills Library
 
Collection  Non-Fiction
 
Call Number  423.092 W
 
 
South Park Library Nonfiction 423 WIN
Location  South Park Library
 
Collection  Nonfiction
 
Call Number  423 WIN
 
 
Springdale Free Public Library Adult Nonfiction 423 WINC
Location  Springdale Free Public Library
 
Collection  Adult Nonfiction
 
Call Number  423 WINC
 
 
Upper St. Clair Township Library Biography & Memoir 92 MURRAY James
Location  Upper St. Clair Township Library
 
Collection  Biography & Memoir
 
Call Number  92 MURRAY James
 
 
Wilkinsburg Public Library Nonfiction 92 MUR 1998
Location  Wilkinsburg Public Library
 
Collection  Nonfiction
 
Call Number  92 MUR 1998
 
 
 
Unavailable (1)
Location Collection Status
Carnegie Library of McKeesport Biography IN TRANSIT
Location  Carnegie Library of McKeesport
 
Collection  Biography
 
Status  IN TRANSIT
 
 
Summary
Now a major motion picture
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Distinguished journalist Winchester tells a marvelous, true story that few readers will have heard about. His narrative is based on official government files locked away for more than a century. As everyone knows, the Oxford English Dictionary is an essential library reference tool. The 12-volume OED took more than 70 years to produce, and one of its most distinguishing features is the copious quotations from published works to illustrate every shade of word usage. By the late 1890s the huge project was nearly half done, and the editor at the time, Professor James Murray, felt the need to meet and personally thank Dr. William Minor, with whom he had been in lengthy contact and who had contributed a lion's share of the quotations. As it turned out, Dr. Minor was an American surgeon who many years before had been found not guilty of murder by reason of insanity but had been incarcerated in an English asylum ever since. The tale of their affiliation and friendship reads like a creatively conceived novel. --Brad Hooper"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "The Oxford English Dictionary used 1,827,306 quotations to help define its 414,825 words. Tens of thousands of those used in the first edition came from the erudite, moneyed American Civil War veteran Dr. W.C. Minor¬Ďall from a cell at the Broadmoor Criminal Lunatic Asylum. Vanity Fair contributor Winchester (River at the Center of the World) has told his story in an imaginative if somewhat superficial work of historical journalism. Sketching Minor's childhood as a missionary's son and his travails as a young field surgeon, Winchester speculates on what may have triggered the prodigious paranoia that led Minor to seek respite in England in 1871 and, once there, to kill an innocent man. Pronounced insane and confined at Broadmoor with his collection of rare books, Minor happened upon a call for OED volunteers in the early 1880s. Here on more solid ground, Winchester enthusiastically chronicles Minor's subsequent correspondence with editor Dr. J.A.H. Murray, who, as Winchester shows, understood that Minor's endless scavenging for the first or best uses of words became his saving raison d'√™tre, and looked out for the increasingly frail man's well-being. Winchester fills out the story with a well-researched mini-history of the OED, a wonderful demonstration of the lexicography of the word "art" and a sympathetic account of Victorian attitudes toward insanity. With his cheeky way with a tale ("It is a brave and foolhardy and desperate man who will perform an autopeotomy" he writes of Minor's self-mutilation), Winchester celebrates a gloomy life brightened by devotion to a quietly noble, nearly anonymous task. Photos not seen by PW. Agent, Peter Matson. BOMC selection. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Murray, James A. H. -- (James Augustus Henry), -- 1837-1915 -- Friends and associates.
Minor, William Chester.
Oxford English dictionary.
New English dictionary on historical principles.
Psychiatric hospital patients -- Great Britain -- Biography.
Lexicographers -- Great Britain -- Biography.
English language -- Lexicography.
English language -- Etymology.
United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Veterans -- Biography.
Publisher New York :HarperCollins,1998
Edition 1st ed.
Language English
Description xi, 242 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages [239]-242).
ISBN 0060175966
Other Classic View