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

Simon Winchester
This Study Guide consists of approximately 27 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Professor and the Madman.
This section contains 856 words
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Odd Connections

One of the first themes in The Professor and the Madman is the theme of odd connections. The lives of James Murray and William Minor are intertwined in a particularly unusual fashion. For instance, Minor and Murray are both the children of missionaries who lived abroad; they lived in basically the same time period, and despite Murray and Minor being Scottish and American respectively, both ended up in London. Both had independent interests in lexicography despite different educations and nationalities.

But what was most unusual about their connection is first, that Minor came upon Murray's public invitation for volunteers to the Oxford English Dictionary, that he wanted to reply, that he was sane enough to reply and that he made an enormous number of contributions. Second, what is more amazing is that Murray never inquired as to who Minor was or where he was located and was...

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This section contains 856 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary Study Guide
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