The Surgeon of Crowthorne : A Tale of Murder, Madness and the Oxford English Dictionary
by Simon Winchester
Editor: Penguin Books Ltd
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The realization of the Oxford English Dictionary was a monumental 50 year task requiring thousands of volunteers.One of the hardest volunteers was a W C Minor who surprised everyone by refusing to come to Oxford to receive his congratulations.Ultimately, James Murray, the publisher’s OED, went to Crowthorne in Berkshire to meet him.What he found was unbelievable – Minor was an American civil war millionaire, the surgeon shot mad, imprisoned at Broadmoor Asylum for murder and yet, who devoted all his related life cells to working on the English language.
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