The Surgeon of Crowthorne: A Tale of Murder,Madness And the Love of Words by Unknown (Hardcover, 1998)

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The making of the Oxford English Dictionary was a monumental 50 year task requiring thousands of volunteers. One of the keenest volunteers was a W C Minor who astonished everyone by refusing to come to Oxford to receive his congratulations. In the end James Murray, the OED's editor, went to Crowthorne in Berkshire to meet him. What he found was incredible - Minor was a millionaire American civil war surgeon turned lunatic, imprisioned in Broadmoor Asylum for murder and yet who dedicated his entire cell-bound life to work on the English language.