Author(s): Simon Winchester
Now available in paperback, The Meaning of Everything is the absorbing story behind the making of the Oxford English Dictionary. Originally mooted in 1857, it would be another 71 years before the British prime minister could celebrate the completion of 'the greatest enterprise of its kind in history'. In this delightful account of the OED's creation, Winchester introduces us to a host of extraordinary characters: the murderer who contributed from his prison cell, the brilliant but tubercular first editor Herbert Coleridge (grandson of the poet), the boisterous Frederick Furnivall (who left the project in shambles) and James Murray, the self-taught draper's son who spent a half-century bringing the project to triumphant fruition. The Meaning of Everything is a scintillating and engaging account of the creation of the greatest monument ever erected to a living language.
PROLOGUE; ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS; LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS; 1. Taking the Measure of It All; 2. The Construction of the Pigeonholes; 3. The General Officer Commanding; 4. Battling the Undertow; 5. Pushing through the Untrodden Forest; 6. So Heavily Goes the Chariot; 7. The Hermit and the Murderer - and Hereward Thimbleby Price; 8. From Take to Turndown - and then, Triumphal Valediction; EPILOGUE; BIBLIOGRAPHY