Monday, 24 June 2013

The Dictionary Was Never So Interesting

The Professor And The Madman by Simon Winchester

Who would think that the story of the Oxford Dictionary would be so entertaining? After reading this book I was in awe of the amount of work and dedication that went into making of the dictionary. After 50 years and the help of countless volunteers they only missed 4 words. This story tells the story in two parts that of the main editor and that of one of the main contributors. Can you guess which one is the Professor and who is the Madman?

By telling the story in this manner the author gives a great overview of Victorian England. Without giving the story away I found the look into the mental health care system of England fascinating. Finally what would a book on the dictionary be without giving some great examples of English and its origins? For me the making of the Oxford Dictionary ranks up there with one of the greatest wonders of the modern world.

3.5 Stars

1 comment:

  1. I think I'd enjoy this one. Are you a fan of Blackadder? The concept for this books reminds me of the episode "Ink and Incapability". It's probably a lot sillier than this book, though! M