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Word Count: 417
In The Professor and the Madman the author Simon Winchester does an excellent job of paralleling the history of the making of the Oxford English Dictionary with a touching story of friendship between the dictionarys editor Professor Murray and a notable contributor to the dictionary Dr Minor Simon Winchester provides an interesting background as to how the Oxford English Dictionary one of the worlds greatest books came to existence He includes a genealogy of the lives of the two main characters Dr Minor who is in a mental institution for killing a man and Professor Murray a dedicated editor to the Oxford English Dictionary Winchester also includes a brief history of the lack of dictionaries in the 1800s As for Winchesters style he colors the novel with a sympathetic touch to the tragic story He illustrates Dr Minor as a sensitive and intelligent man a graduate of Yale and well read and curious Winchester 113 Interspersed in the story are definitions such as lunatic murderer elephant and others These definitions usually occur at the beginning of a new chapter and add emphasis to the themes of the factual taleThe Professor and the Madman is a story based on fact about murder madness and the construction of the Oxford English Dictionary It is a tale about the companionship of two men who were both actively involved in the creation of the Oxford English Dictionary Dr Minor serves as a surgeon in the Civil war where he endures horrific sights Dr Minors experiences in the war are believed to be the leading cause of his madness As a result of Minors insanity he kills a man during a delusional state which lands him a place in a mental institution It is during Minors stay in the Broadmoar Criminal Lunatic Asylum in which he begins writing thousands of definitions to contribute to the dictionary After several volumes of the dictionary had been completed Professor Murray meets with
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