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The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of…
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The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making… (original 1998; edición 2005)

por Simon Winchester (Autor)

MiembrosReseñasPopularidadValoración promediaMenciones
10,985273495 (3.8)438
The creation of the Oxford English Dictionary began in 1857, took seventy years to complete, drew from tens of thousands of brilliant minds, and organized the sprawling language into 414,825 precise definitions. But hidden within the rituals of its creation is a fascinating and mysterious story - a story of two remarkable men whose strange twenty-year relationship lies at the core of this historic undertaking. Professor James Murray, an astonishingly learned former schoolmaster and bank clerk, was the distinguished editor of the OED project. Dr. William Chester Minor, an American surgeon from New Haven, Connecticut, who had served in the Civil War, was one of thousands of contributors who submitted illustrative quotations of words to be used in the dictionary. But Minor was no ordinary contributor. He was remarkably prolific, sending thousands of neat, handwritten quotations from his home in the small village of Crowthorne, fifty miles from Oxford. On numerous occasions Murray invited Minor to visit Oxford and celebrate his work, but Murray's offer was regularly - and mysteriously - refused. Thus the two men, for two decades, maintained a close relationship only through correspondence. Finally, in 1896, after Minor had sent nearly ten thousand definitions to the dictionary but had still never traveled from his home, a puzzled Murray set out to visit him. It was then that Murray finally learned the truth about Minor - that, in addition to being a masterful wordsmith, Minor was also a murderer, clinically insane - and locked up in Broadmoor, England's harshest asylum for criminal lunatics.… (más)
Miembro:Frederic_Schneider
Título:The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary
Autores:Simon Winchester (Autor)
Info:Harper Perennial (2005), Edition: 1st, 242 pages
Colecciones:Tu biblioteca
Valoración:****
Etiquetas:biography, cultural-history, philology

Work Information

El profesor y el loco : una historia de crímenes, locura y amor por las palabras por Simon Winchester (1998)

  1. 40
    Among the Gently Mad: Perspectives and Strategies for the Book Hunter in the Twenty-first Century por Nicholas A. Basbanes (bnbookgirl)
  2. 30
    A Gentle Madness: Bibliophiles, Bibliomanes, and the Eternal Passion for Books por Nicholas A. Basbanes (bnbookgirl)
  3. 30
    The Man Who Loved Books Too Much: The True Story of a Thief, a Detective, and a World of Literary Obsession por Allison Hoover Bartlett (wrmjr66)
  4. 20
    El diablo en la ciudad blanca por Erik Larson (Stbalbach)
    Stbalbach: Both concern late-19th C American killers in the backdrop of a bigger social story of advancement (Chicago Fair and Oxford English Dictionary).
  5. 10
    The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary por Simon Winchester (PuddinTame)
    PuddinTame: Two accounts of the creation of the Oxford English Dictionary. The Meaning of Everything is a history of how the dictionary was created. The Professor and the Madman is focussed on a peculiar story: a detailed acccount of the man who contributed the most entries to the Oxford English Dictionary, while living in the Broadmoor Asylum (near Crawthorne) for the Criminally Insane.… (más)
  6. 10
    The Inventor and the Tycoon: A Gilded Age Murder and the Birth of Moving Pictures por Edward Ball (davesmind)
  7. 10
    Patience & Fortitude: A Roving Chronicle of Book People, Book Places, and Book Culture por Nicholas A. Basbanes (bnbookgirl)
  8. 00
    Caught in the Web of Words: James Murray and the Oxford English Dictionary por K. M. Elisabeth Murray (KayCliff)
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    Queen Victoria: From Her Birth to the Death of the Prince Consort por Cecil Woodham-Smith (carlym)
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» Ver también 438 menciones

Inglés (265)  Indonesio (2)  Alemán (2)  Holandés (1)  Catalán (1)  Hebreo (1)  Todos los idiomas (272)
Mostrando 1-5 de 272 (siguiente | mostrar todos)
This book is too long-winded and takes way too long to get to the actual story, which is the making of the OED. The author spends a good third of the book telling the life stories of people we don't care about without telling us how they relate to the subject. I couldn't finish it.
  JosephVanBuren | May 17, 2022 |
I found this very interesting - esp given its educational value about how the OED is created. The reader is even invited to participate in that creation. I only give it a 3 star rating b/c the writing seems like the kindof hack job that wd be done by a professional writer who'd be hired to write the bk by a publishing company b/c they think the subject's a winner. It's proficiently written w/o any inspiration or personality. ( )
  tENTATIVELY | Apr 3, 2022 |
After reading that The Surgeon of Crowthorne was the original book that Simon Winchester wrote to base his later
The Professor and the Madman, I ordered it only to find that it was just the previous title for the same book.

Intriguing cover! ( )
  m.belljackson | Mar 30, 2022 |
This was an interesting history. I know that the author was limited to what he could find as evidence of the happenings and therefore could not elaborate on some of the details, but I think he did a pretty good job of writing it. I am not sure of the accuracy, but it is nice to think that "lunatic asylums" were more caring then than what I've read about them at other times. I am not surprised that a doctor would have a lasting negative response to a requirement such as the branding, since he probably was a doctor because of his desire to help people. I also appreciated reading of the scope of the project - what an undertaking!
  Wren73 | Mar 4, 2022 |
Gimmicky and overblown. This might have worked better as an essay than a book, but since Simon Winchester doesn't seem to have much of a point to make about the life of William Chester Minor and his involvement with James Murray and the creation of the Oxford English Dictionary beyond "He was mad! Isn't that luridly shocking and enthralling?", perhaps not. There's an angle here about social class that seems worthy of further exploration but that Winchester seemed uninterested in.

There's also a lot of jingoism, dubious psychologising, suspect logic (just because the OED doesn't record "to look up" in the sense of "to search for in a dictionary or reference work" until 1692 does not mean "it follows that there was essentially no concept either, certainly not at the time when Shakespeare was writing"), weirdness about women (Winchester really likes the word "whore"), and queasy weirdness about very young Sri Lankan women ("young, chocolate-skinned, ever-giggling naked girls with sleek wet bodies, rosebud nipples"—even allowing for an attempt to convey something of Minor's sexual monomania, this is a bit much).

Meh. ( )
  siriaeve | Feb 8, 2022 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 272 (siguiente | mostrar todos)
Here, as so consistently throughout, Winchester finds exactly the right tool to frame the scene.
añadido por John_Vaughan | editarPowells, Dave Weich (Oct 1, 2001)
 

» Añade otros autores (22 posible)

Nombre del autorRolTipo de autor¿Trabajo?Estado
Winchester, Simonautor principaltodas las edicionesconfirmado
Hood, PhilipIlustradorautor secundarioalgunas edicionesconfirmado
Out, PeterTraductorautor secundarioalgunas edicionesconfirmado
Pracher, RickDiseñador de cubiertaautor secundarioalgunas edicionesconfirmado
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To the memory of
G. M.
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[Preface Popular myth has it that one of the most remarkable conversations in modern literary history took place on a cool and misty late autumn in 1896, in the small village of Crowthorne in the county of Berkshire.
The word (murder) has not been found in any Teut. lang. but Eng. and Gothic, but that it existed in continental WGer. is evident, as it is the source of OF. murdre, murtre (md. F. meurtre) and of med. L. mordrum, murdrum, and OHG.
[Postscript] And why this book is offered as a small testament to the late George Merrett of Wiltshire and Lambeth, without whose untimely death these events would never have unfolded and this tale could never have been told.
[Author's Note] But she won, and a grandfather I never met made a thousand guineas, all because of a word that briefly took his fancy.
Citas
Información del conocimiento común inglés. Edita para encontrar en tu idioma.
One word --and only one word-- was ever actually lost: bondmaid, which appears in Johnson's dictionary, was actually lost by Murray and was found, a stray without a home, long after the fascicle Battentlie - Bozzom had been published. It, and tens of thousands of words that had evolved or appeared during the forty-four years spent assembling the fascicles and their [twelve] parent volumes, appeared in a supplement, which came out in 1933. Four further supplements appeared between 1972 and 1986. In 1989, using the new abilities of the computer, Oxford University Press issued its fully integrated second edition, incorporating all the changes and additions of the supplements in twenty rather more slender volumes. [220]
Defining words properly is a fine and peculiar craft. There are rules—a word (to take a noun as an example) must first be defined according to the class of things to which it belongs (mammal, quadruped), and then differentiated from other members of that class (bovine, female). There must be no words in the definition that are more complicated or less likely to be known than the word being defined. The definition must say what something is, and not what it is not. If there is a range of meanings of any one word—cow having a broad range of meanings, cower having essentially only one—then they must be stated. And all the words in the definition must be found elsewhere in the dictionary—a reader must never happen upon a word in the dictionary that he or she cannot discover elsewhere in it. If the definer contrives to follow all these rules, stirs into the mix an ever-pressing need for concision and elegance—and if he or she is true to the task, a proper definition will probably result.
He would index and collect and collate words and sentences from each of the books, until his prison desk was heavy with the quires of paper, each one containing a master-list of the indexed words from his eclectic, very valuable and much valued little gem of a library.... He had made a key, a Victorian word-Rolodex, a dictionary-within-a-dictionary, and instantly available.
Últimas palabras
Información del conocimiento común inglés. Edita para encontrar en tu idioma.
(Click para mostrar. Atención: puede contener spoilers.)
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Información del conocimiento común inglés. Edita para encontrar en tu idioma.
UK title: The Surgeon of Crowthorne
US title: The Professor and the Madman
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DDC/MDS Canónico
Canonical LCC
The creation of the Oxford English Dictionary began in 1857, took seventy years to complete, drew from tens of thousands of brilliant minds, and organized the sprawling language into 414,825 precise definitions. But hidden within the rituals of its creation is a fascinating and mysterious story - a story of two remarkable men whose strange twenty-year relationship lies at the core of this historic undertaking. Professor James Murray, an astonishingly learned former schoolmaster and bank clerk, was the distinguished editor of the OED project. Dr. William Chester Minor, an American surgeon from New Haven, Connecticut, who had served in the Civil War, was one of thousands of contributors who submitted illustrative quotations of words to be used in the dictionary. But Minor was no ordinary contributor. He was remarkably prolific, sending thousands of neat, handwritten quotations from his home in the small village of Crowthorne, fifty miles from Oxford. On numerous occasions Murray invited Minor to visit Oxford and celebrate his work, but Murray's offer was regularly - and mysteriously - refused. Thus the two men, for two decades, maintained a close relationship only through correspondence. Finally, in 1896, after Minor had sent nearly ten thousand definitions to the dictionary but had still never traveled from his home, a puzzled Murray set out to visit him. It was then that Murray finally learned the truth about Minor - that, in addition to being a masterful wordsmith, Minor was also a murderer, clinically insane - and locked up in Broadmoor, England's harshest asylum for criminal lunatics.

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Penguin Australia

2 ediciones de este libro fueron publicadas por Penguin Australia.

Ediciones: 0140271287, 0141037717

 

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