the professor and the madman essay research

The Professor and the Madman, written by Simon Winchester, is a life about the devising of the Oxford English Dictionary. Winchester, who is an writer, journalist, broadcaster and foreign letter writer, has written for many magazines and newspapers distributed worldwide. In an interview between Winchester and a host of C-SPAN, Winchester was asked where the thought for the book came, he replies? Well, it came to me in a instead eccentric manner. I was reading a book on lexicography in the bath one forenoon, as one does, I suppose, merely before breakfast, and it was a book – a fantastic book called “Chasing The Sun” by a adult male called Jonathan Green. And it had a mention – it said, `Readers will be familiar with the extraordinary narrative of Dr. W.C. Minor, an American moonstruck liquidator, who was a prodigiously energetic subscriber to the OED.’ And I remember sitting up in the bath, Archimedeslike, dripping and stating, `Well, I know nil about this.’? Winchester? s chief foundation for this book is to clear up the narrative of the devising of the Oxford English Dictionary

The formation of the Oxford English Dictionary began in 1857 and took 70 old ages to complete. Tens of 1000s of persons organized the expansive linguistic communication into 414,825 exact definitions. The narrative begins with the ghastly slaying of George Merrett, by William Chester Minor the former U.S. Army officer and qualified sawbones. On February 17th of 1872 in the early forenoon William Minor had been keeping, when he awoke to some? noises? of person in his level. He sat up and saw person standing at the pes of his bed. He proceeded to trail the person into the street, and shooting at the? individual? as they attempted to fly. He ended up hitting the first individual that came into position seemingly, and this individual was George Merrett. Merrett had ne’er met W.C Minor and had been heading place after a long twenty-four hours at work. W.C Minor was arrested. While in prison, he appeared to move exceptionally unusual. One of the guards told the jury that Minor accused him of paying people to come in his room and molest him while he slept. This grounds clearly showed that W.C Minor was insane and was sent to the Asylum for the Criminally Insane, Broadmoore. The justice stated that he would stay at that place? until her Majesty’s Pleasure be known.

Professor James Murray, an inordinately educated former headmaster and bank clerk, sent out an proclamation about the devising of the Oxford English Dictionary, inquiring for literary parts. From his cell in Broadmoore, Minor came across this proclamation and began lending illustrations from his monolithic aggregation of new and scarce old-timer books. Minor had an tremendous aggregation of books in his cell, which were non available to Murray and the staff, where the lexicon was being created. Thousand of neat and well-written quotation marks and illustrations came from Minor over several old ages to Oxford. Murray was merely 50 stat mis off from where Minor was populating, and had no thought that Minor was committed to an refuge. On several occasions Minor had been as

ked to see Murray In Oxford, where they could run into and discourse the lexicon. Minor declined all invitations, without an account, and merely an apology. After being rebuffed several times, Murray offered to see Minor and Minor accepted the offer. Upon arrival Murray discovered that Minor was non a physician of the refuge as he had assumed, but a occupant.

Murray was shocked, but that didn’t dissuade him from sing Minor. Although Minor invariably complained about people molesting him while he slept, people interrupting into his room at dark, and his personal ownerships being vandalized Murray ignored the unusual remarks and went on with his visits. Minor? s stepbrother began composing entreaties to the tribunal, inquiring that his brother be allowed to reassign to a infirmary in the United States. James Murray, who spent more than 40 old ages redacting the lexicon, and up until 1910 wrote and visited Minor on a regular basis, until Minor was released and allowed to travel back to the U.S. On July 16th 1915 Murray died, surrounded by friends and relations. In November 1915 Minor wrote to Lady Murray, offering all his books to the Scriptorium. On Friday March 26th 1920 Minor died from a cold that developed into bronchial pneumonia. The English Oxford Dictionary took eight more old ages to be completed. On New Years Eve of 1927 its completion was announced.

The Professor and the lunatic is a wondrous written life. Before each chapter was a word that defined the whole chapter. Most of the book was in chronological order, except for the parts where the writer backtracked in order to lucubrate. The PS and writers note gave a spot of penetration on where he got his thought to compose the book, and some of his resources. Unlike The Bluest Eye written by Toni Morrison, the enunciation was easy to follow, and plot line was far from dejecting. Winchester was really straightforward, and turned a small known narrative into a well-written and really compelling book.

I had my uncertainties about this peculiar book. I got this book, when the study was foremost assigned. I attempted to read, but found the first chapter awfully deadening, and returned the book to the bookshop. I forgot about the study until I was reminded a hebdomad ago. I went to travel and happen a different book, but had no fortune, so I bought the book once more. I am glad that I did stop up with this book. I enjoyed The Professor and the Madman vastly. I have no remembrance of of all time hearing about the writers of the Oxford English Dictionary. I told one of my friends about this book, and he asked if he could borrow it every bit shortly as I finished utilizing it for my study


  1. Winchester, Simon. The Professor and the Madman. New York, N.Y. Harper Collins. 1998
  2. Air day of the month: November 8, 1998 on C-SPAN, and so transferred to the cyberspace.
  3. A hunt for writer information on Winchester produced this. hypertext transfer protocol: // authorCode=208118 & A; userid=2UHBJHVHUL & A; mscssid=EB4B5PL8R3SM9LB4KXAN43GBAGP60U5C

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