The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary - Chapter 11, Then Only the Monuments, Postscript Summary & Analysis

Simon Winchester
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Chapter 11, Then Only the Monuments, Postscript Summary and Analysis

Summary: Of the great men who started the OED project, Furnivall was the first to die in 1910. Murray was advancing in years as well and expected himself to die soon thereafter. Murray hoped the OED would be finished on his eightieth birthday but it did not happen. Nor did Murray live to his eightieth birthday. He died on July 26th, 1915.

At this time, Minor was in a Washington D. C. insane asylum. The day Murray died, Minor hit one of the fellow patients but could not hurt anyone, as he was too weak. Minor was not dangerous and was allowed to walk the countryside, but his delusions became worse, thinking his eyes were always being pecked out by birds.

Minor was finally diagnosed with "dementia praecox," which meant "early-flowering failure of...

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