The Surgeon of Crowthorne

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The Surgeon of Crowthorne: A Tale of Murder, Madness and the Love of Words is a book by Simon Winchester that was first published in England in 1998. It was retitled The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary in the United States and Canada and, in translation, as Le Fou et le Professeur [citation needed] in France and Der Mann, der die Worter liebte [citation needed] in Germany.

It tells the story of the making of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) and one of its most prolific early contributors, Dr. W.C. Minor, a retired United States Army surgeon. Minor was, at the time, imprisoned in the Broadmoor Criminal Lunatic Asylum, near the village of Crowthorne in Berkshire, England. The 'professor' of the American title is the chief editor of the OED during most of the project, Sir James Murray. He was a talented linguist and had other scholarly interests, and he had taught in schools and worked in banking.

The book was a major success[1][2][3]. Winchester went on to write The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary about the broader history of the OED.

The movie rights for the novel were sold to Mel Gibson in 1998 and it was slated to be directed by Luc Besson[4] but is now being directed by John Boorman.[5]

Contents

Excerpt

See also

References

Sources

  • Winchester, Simon, The Surgeon of Crowthorne: A Tale of Murder, Madness and the Love of Words, Viking, 1998, ISBN 0-670-87862-6 (hardback).
  • Winchester, Simon, The Surgeon of Crowthorne: A Tale of Murder, Madness and the Oxford English Dictionary, Penguin, 1999, ISBN 0-14-027128-7 (paperback).
  • Winchester, Simon, The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary, Harper Collins, 1998, ISBN 0-06-017596-6 (hardback).

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