The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of The Oxford English Dictionary

Written by:
Simon Winchester
Narrated by:
Simon Winchester

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
January 2004
7 hours 22 minutes
A New York Times Notable Book  

The Professor and the Madman is an extraordinary tale of madness, genius, and the incredible obsessions of two remarkable men that led to the making of the Oxford English Dictionary—and literary history.

The making of the OED was one of the most ambitious projects ever undertaken. As definitions were collected, the overseeing committee, led by Professor James Murray, was stunned to discover that one man, Dr. W. C. Minor, had submitted more than ten thousand. But their surprise would pale in comparison to what they were about to discover when the committee insisted on honoring him. For Dr. Minor, an American Civil War veteran, was also an inmate at an asylum for the criminally insane.

Masterfully researched and eloquently written, The Professor and the Madman “is the linguistic detective story of the decade.” (William Safire, New York Times Magazine)

This P.S. edition features an extra 16 pages of insights into the book, including author interviews, recommended reading, and more.
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Can’t figure out why anyone liked this audiobook. The entire content is essentially in the description. Not engaging or interesting and the content itself is only about 6 hrs. There is about an hour at the end for acknowledgments and other misc items.

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Sergio C.

This is one of those where I watched the movie, and I discovered it was a book first. The movie was wonderful but this listen was absolutely wonderful. The time flew by without issue. This story is both fascinating and sorrowful. I HIGHLY recommend anyone who has the time to listen to this story about two important men who contributed to the Oxford English Dictionary.

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