The Professor and The Madman

The Professor and The Madman


National Bestseller!

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, and drew from tens of thousands of brilliant minds. But hidden within the rituals of its creation is a fascinating and mysterious story.

Professor James Murray was the distinguished editor of the OED project. Dr. William Chester Minor, an American surgeon who had served in the Civil War, was one of thousands of contributors to the dictionary. But Minor was no ordinary contributor. He was remarkably prolific, sending thousands of neat, hand-written quotations from his home. On numerous occasions Murray invited Minor to visit Oxford and celebrate his work, but Murray's offer was regularly, mysteriously, refused.

Finally, a puzzled Murray set out to visit him. It was then that Murray would finally learn the truth about Minor . . . that, in addition to being a masterly 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. Written with riveting insight and detail, Simon Winchester delivers a fascinating glimpse into one man's tortured mind and his contribution to another man's magnificent dictionary.

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  • Chapter 001
    Duration: 04min
  • Chapter 002
    Duration: 33min
  • Chapter 003
    Duration: 32min
  • Chapter 004
    Duration: 54min
  • Chapter 005
    Duration: 43min
  • Chapter 006
    Duration: 24min
  • Chapter 007
    Duration: 28min
  • Chapter 008
    Duration: 23min
  • Chapter 009
    Duration: 30min
  • Chapter 010
    Duration: 42min
  • Chapter 011
    Duration: 24min
  • Chapter 012
    Duration: 29min
  • Chapter 013
    Duration: 06min
  • Chapter 014
    Duration: 06min
  • Chapter 015
    Duration: 10min
  • Chapter 016
    Duration: 06min
  • Chapter 017
    Duration: 40min
  • sample-701
    Duration: 01min