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Meetup details changed: The Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester - Tentative Date

From: Greg
Sent on: Sunday, November 9, 2008 2:27 PM
I've updated this Meetup. For more details, see the full listing:
http://bookclub.meetup.com/17/calendar/9083897/

All right! I've heard some engaging stuff about this book, so I'm anxious to get started on it. The winner from the poll, which came out of nowhere (well, it came from the email suggestion I got from a new member) is The Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester.

I've had discussions of opinions about this genre of historical fiction: that of taking historical events and fictionalizing the accounts of the participants. Undoubtedly, this should make for an interesting discussion.

Here's the Amazon review, which as we all know is the bastion of the literary review world:

When the editors of the Oxford English Dictionary put out a call during the late 19th century pleading for "men of letters" to provide help with their mammoth undertaking, hundreds of responses came forth. Some helpers, like Dr. W.C. Minor, provided literally thousands of entries to the editors. But Minor, an American expatriate in England and a Civil War veteran, was actually a certified lunatic who turned in his dictionary entries from the Broadmoor Criminal Lunatic Asylum. Simon Winchester has produced a mesmerizing coda to the deeply troubled Minor's life, a life that in one sense began with the senseless murder of an innocent British brewery worker that the deluded Minor believed was an assassin sent by one of his numerous "enemies."

Winchester also paints a rich portrait of the OED's leading light, Professor James Murray, who spent more than 40 years of his life on a project he would not see completed in his lifetime. Winchester traces the origins of the drive to create a "Big Dictionary" down through Murray and far back into the past; the result is a fascinating compact history of the English language (albeit admittedly more interesting to linguistics enthusiasts than historians or true crime buffs). That Murray and Minor, whose lives took such wildly disparate turns yet were united in their fierce love of language, were able to view one another as peers and foster a warm friendship is just one of the delicately turned subplots of this compelling book.

I'll stop by Market Ave this week and see if they can accommodate us in their new location in December, at which time I'll firm up the date. In the meantime, start yer readin'!


When: December 4,[masked]:30 PM

Where: Market Avenue Wine Bar
2526 Market Ave
Cleveland, OH 44113
(216)[masked]

If the changes affect your plans to attend, please take a moment to update your RSVP. (You can RSVP "No" or "Maybe" as well as "Yes".)

You can always get in touch with me through the "Contact Organizer" link on Meetup: http://bookclub.meetup.com/17/suggestion/

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