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Alexander the Corrector Paperback – 29 Jul 2011

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial (29 July 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007131968
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007131969
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.8 x 20.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,135,817 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

‘A perfectly lovely book, justly sympathetic to a most remarkable and enigmatic man whose scholarship enriches us still, centuries after the completion of his astonishing and entirely solitary work. In telling Alexander Cruden's story so impeccably Julia Keay shows herself to be a biographer of rare talent.’ Simon Winchester

‘Julia Keay deserves our thanks for bringing to life a man so alien to our present sensibilities, and in many ways so attractive. This is a beautiful book.’ Sunday Telegraph

‘An excellent biography … This is an enthralling tale of a batty pedant.’ Independent

Sunday Times

'Keay’s fascinating biography of Cruden reveals a life not just of erudite endeavour but of private torment and tragedy'

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Tim Talbot on 6 Jan. 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is a surprsingly well-researched and well-written account of Alexander Cruden, the Aberdeen Bible scholar who produced the famous Cruden’s Concordance of the Bible nearly 300 years ago. (A concordance lists all the words in the Bible and shows their context.)
Most biographies of long-dead people rely on what previous writers have written. But author Julia Keay has risen above what other Cruden biographers have said to produce a superbly readable and myth-busting biography that is first-class. Keay got hold of Cruden’s original writings, unearthed details of people and places in his life that have long remained a mystery, and doggedly chased the truth behind the common claim that Cruden was a madman.
It is true, Keay says, that Cruden spent much time in asylums. But her detective work shows with little doubt that this was because of unfortunate circumstances rather than lunacy. Cruden was an unlucky fellow. He fell in love with a woman whose jealous suitor threw him into an asylum. Queen Caroline gave him a grant that would have eased his financial troubles, but she died two weeks later and never received the money. His landlady had him imprisoned over a minor dispute. He took his persecutors to court, but failed each time because of the unjust reputation people had heaped on him.
The book includes interesting black-and-white images of some of the main players in Cruden’s story. An especially interesting series of drawings shows how artists have taken an 18th-century portrait of a good-looking Cruden, and over the next 200 years turned it into the portrait of a maniac. Their only basis was the rumour that he was mad.
“Alexander the Corrector” is a lovely account of a man who loved God so much that he spent years unravelling every word of the Bible. But even more important, it restores the reputation of a greatly misunderstood genius.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 6 Nov. 2005
Format: Paperback
Alexander Crudens wrote one of the first popular concordances of the Bible, cross referencing, in longhand of course, thousands of words and concepts to make research and studying the scriptures, which he dearly loved, more accessible. This was despite personal suffering at the hand of the religious establishment of his day. He then turned his attention to the injustices of the penal system and abuses of mental health care. An unusual man with courage and integrity in abundance. A great read for anyone interested in social history, history of medicine or just what an individual with great Christian faith can achieve.
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Format: Paperback
This book is absolutely fascinating and a gripping read. If only all biographies could be written with this level of skill! . Keay has researched in great depth and gives illuminating explanations of the social injustices and deceptions that led to wrong assessments of Cruden's alleged insanity. Her erudite conclusions from her research are revealing. Although Keay does not appear to share Cruden's beliefs she reports fairly and with great understanding.
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