3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Ain't no Crowthorne,
This review is from: The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary (Hardcover)
The 20 volume Oxford English dictionary in certain circles is considered a legend. This is the story of its birth, a labour of love, if ever there was one. Winchester colours a subject that could have been very dry largely by peopling it with some fascinating characters. He follows the at times myopic cast and the lengths they go to in gathering words, their origins and their earliest examples. Winchester writes well and at a lively pace. Unfortunately, for me the biggest flaw is it's not the The Surgeon of Crowthorne: A Tale of Murder,Madness and the Oxford English Dictionary. Not fair I know, my expectations had been raised to an unrealistic level that Winchester would have to be a complete genius to have fulfilled. That aside this is still a pleasure to read.