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THE SURGEON OF CROWTHORNE: A TALE OF MURDER,…
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THE SURGEON OF CROWTHORNE: A TALE OF MURDER, MADNESS AND THE LOVE OF… (original 1998; edition 1998)

by Simon. Winchester

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7,843178426 (3.8)278
Member:bigship
Title:THE SURGEON OF CROWTHORNE: A TALE OF MURDER, MADNESS AND THE LOVE OF WORDS.
Authors:Simon. Winchester
Info:Viking (1998), Hardcover, 224 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:bio, read 1998

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The Surgeon of Crowthorne by Simon Winchester (1998)

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English (170)  Indonesian (2)  German (2)  Dutch (1)  Catalan (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (177)
Showing 1-5 of 170 (next | show all)
this is the kind of story that you would never believe is true if it weren't written by such a master as Simon Winchester. A great read. ( )
  KRoan | Jul 25, 2014 |
woooeeee how bout that self-inflicted peotomy? ( )
  abbeyhar | Jul 23, 2014 |
woooeeee how bout that self-inflicted peotomy? ( )
  abbeyhar | Jul 23, 2014 |
woooeeee how bout that self-inflicted peotomy? ( )
  abbeyhar | Jul 23, 2014 |
Yet another in a string of good and interesting reads. A story I knew nothing about, the creation of the OED, and the odd contributions of Dr. Minor, who was an American incarcerted at Broadmoor. Lots of diversions into interesting stories, not only of Dr. Minor but also Murray, the main editor of the OED, and the history of dicitionaries, the Civil War, mental illness, Victorian London, so many other things. Light in some ways but a pleasure to read. 2010 is starting much better on the reading front than 2009.
  amyem58 | Jul 3, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 170 (next | show all)
Here, as so consistently throughout, Winchester finds exactly the right tool to frame the scene.
added by John_Vaughan | editPowells, Dave Weich (Oct 1, 2001)
 
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Epigraph
Dedication
To the memory of
G. M.
First words
Popular myth has it that one of the most remarkable conversations in modern literary history took place on a cool and misty late autumn in 1896, in the small village of Crowthorne in the county of Berkshire.
Quotations
One word --and only one word-- was ever actually lost: bondmaid, which appears in Johnson's dictionary, was actually lost by Murray and was found, a stray without a home, long after the fascicle Battentlie - Bozzom had been published. It, and tens of thousands of words that had evolved or appeared during the forty-four years spent assembling the fascicles and their [twelve] parent volumes, appeared in a supplement, which came out in 1933. Four further supplements appeared between 1972 and 1986. In 1989, using the new abilities of the computer, Oxford University Press issued its fully integrated second edition, incorporating all the changes and additions of the supplements in twenty rather more slender volumes. [220]
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
UK title: The Surgeon of Crowthorne:a tale of murder, madness and the Oxford English dictionary

US title: The Professor and the Madman
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Book description
A wonderful story...It has all the ingredients of one of Patrick McGrath's icily stylish novels: madness, violence, arcane obsessions, weird learning, ghastly comedy - John Banville, Literary Review

Two distinguished-looking Victorians, both learned and serious, yet from very different worlds: one a brilliant polymath, the other a madman and a murderer.

Dr James Murray, erudite and pious, who broke free from an impoverished childhood to become a towering figure of British scholarship and editor of the great Oxford English Dictionary.

Dr W.C. Minor, lascivious, charismatic, a millionaire American Civil War surgeon and homicidal lunatic. Confined to Broadmoor Asylum he pursued his passion for words and became one of the OED's most valued contributors.

Their lives and unlikely friendship are unravelled in Simon Winchester's classic work of detection.

In this elegant book the writer has created a vivid parable, in the spirit of Nabakov and Borges - full of suspense, pathos and humour - Wall Street Journal

A jewel of a book, scholarly, beguiling and moving - as gripping as any thriller - Scotland on Sunday

A cracking read - Spectator
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0060839783, Paperback)

The compilation of the Oxford English Dictionary, 70 years in the making, was an intellectually heroic feat with a twist worthy of the greatest mystery fiction: one of its most valuable contributors was a criminally insane American physician, locked up in an English asylum for murder. British stage actor Simon Jones leads us through this uncommon meeting of minds (the other belonging to self-educated dictionary editor James Murray) at full gallop. Ultimately, it's hard to say which is more remarkable: the facts of this amazingly well-researched story, or the sound of author Simon Winchester's erudite prose. Jones's reading smoothly transports listeners to the 19th century, reminding us why so many brilliant people obsessively set out to catalogue the English language. This unabridged version contains an interview between Winchester and John Simpson, editor of the Oxford dictionary. (Running time: 6.5 hours, 6 cassettes) --Lou Schuler

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:59:55 -0400)

(see all 10 descriptions)

Looks at the making of the Oxford English dictionary.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 8 descriptions

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Editions: 0140271287, 0141037717

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