the professor and the madman

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The Surgeon Of Crowthorne

Author : Michael Dean
ISBN : 0582435889
Genre :
File Size : 20. 2 MB
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The Professor And The Madman

Author : Simon Winchester
ISBN : 0061807605
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 39. 88 MB
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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.

The Meaning Of Everything

Author : Simon Winchester
ISBN : 0199813647
Genre : History
File Size : 75. 18 MB
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From the best-selling author of The Professor and the Madman, The Map That Changed the World, and Krakatoa comes a truly wonderful celebration of the English language and of its unrivaled treasure house, the Oxford English Dictionary. Writing with marvelous brio, Winchester first serves up a lightning history of the English language--"so vast, so sprawling, so wonderfully unwieldy"--and pays homage to the great dictionary makers, from "the irredeemably famous" Samuel Johnson to the "short, pale, smug and boastful" schoolmaster from New Hartford, Noah Webster. He then turns his unmatched talent for story-telling to the making of this most venerable of dictionaries. In this fast-paced narrative, the reader will discover lively portraits of such key figures as the brilliant but tubercular first editor Herbert Coleridge (grandson of the poet), the colorful, boisterous Frederick Furnivall (who left the project in a shambles), and James Augustus Henry Murray, who spent a half-century bringing the project to fruition. Winchester lovingly describes the nuts-and-bolts of dictionary making--how unexpectedly tricky the dictionary entry for marzipan was, or how fraternity turned out so much longer and monkey so much more ancient than anticipated--and how bondmaid was left out completely, its slips found lurking under a pile of books long after the B-volume had gone to press. We visit the ugly corrugated iron structure that Murray grandly dubbed the Scriptorium--the Scrippy or the Shed, as locals called it--and meet some of the legion of volunteers, from Fitzedward Hall, a bitter hermit obsessively devoted to the OED, to W. C. Minor, whose story is one of dangerous madness, ineluctable sadness, and ultimate redemption. The Meaning of Everything is a scintillating account of the creation of the greatest monument ever erected to a living language. Simon Winchester's supple, vigorous prose illuminates this dauntingly ambitious project--a seventy-year odyssey to create the grandfather of all word-books, the world's unrivalled uber-dictionary.

The Professor And The Madman

Author : Simon Winchester
ISBN : 0060175966
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 86. 60 MB
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Mysterious (mistîe · ries), a. [f. L. mystérium Mysteryi + ous. Cf. F. mystérieux.] 1. Full of or fraught with mystery; wrapt in mystery; hidden from human knowledge or understanding; impossible or difficult to explain, solve, or discover; of obscure origin, nature, or purpose. It is known as one of the greatest literary achievements in the history of English letters. 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. The Professor and the Madman is an extraordinary tale of madness and genius, and the incredible obsessions of two men at the heart of the Oxford English Dictionary and literary history. With riveting insight and detail, Simon Winchester crafts a fascinating glimpse into one man's tortured mind and his contribution to another man's magnificent dictionary.

Outposts

Author : Simon Winchester
ISBN : 9780141011899
Genre : Travel
File Size : 48. 73 MB
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The reissue of a Simon Winchester classic In 1985 Simon Winchester, struck by a sudden need to discover exactly what was left of the British Empire travelled 100,000 miles back and forth from Antarctica to the Caribbean to visit the far-flung islands that are all that remain of what once made Britain great. His adventures in these distant and forgotten ends of the earth make compelling and often funny reading. With a new introduction and additional material in many of the chapters, this revised edition tells us what has happened while the author's been away.

Caught In The Web Of Words

Author : Katherine Maud Elisabeth Murray
ISBN : 0300089198
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 67. 14 MB
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This unique and celebrated biography describes how a largely self-educated boy from a small village in Scotland entered the world of scholarship and became the first editor of the Oxford English Dictionary, and a lexicographer greater by far than Dr. Johnson. It also provides an absorbing account of how the dictionary was written, the personalities of the people working on it, and the endless difficulties which nearly led to the whole enterprise being abandoned.

When The Earth Shakes

Author : Simon Winchester
ISBN : 9781101997130
Genre : Juvenile Nonfiction
File Size : 55. 44 MB
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Earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis. Headline-making natural disasters with devastating consequences for millions of people. But what do we actually know about these literally earth-shaking events? New York Times bestselling author, explorer, journalist, and geologist Simon Winchester—who’s been shaken by earthquakes in New Zealand, skied through Greenland to help prove the theory of plate tectonics, and even charred the soles of his boots climbing a volcano—looks at the science, technology, and societal impact of these inter-connected natural phenomena. A master nonfiction storyteller, Winchester digs deep into the powerful natural forces that shape the earth, exploring the how and why of world-changing events from the 19th-century’s infamous volcanic eruption at Krakatoa and the earthquake that flattened San Francisco, to the 21st-century tsunamis that devastated Indonesia and Japan. It’s a gripping story about what happens when our seemingly unmovable planet shakes, explodes, and floods—all richly illustrated with fascinating historical and stunning contemporary photographs. From the Hardcover edition.

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