The Dictionary People  –  The Unsung Heroes Who Created The Oxford English Dictionary

A goldmine of nutters, obsessives, murderers, vicars and, above all, readers!

Click here to buy the book

In a time before the internet, the compilation of the Oxford English Dictionary was the Wickipedia of its day, crowdsourcing its contributions from thousands of readers across the world.

Over decades, millions of slips inscribed with words and quotations poured into a metal shed in an Oxford garden to be assembled into the magnificent, comprehensive, authoritative dictionary that was a wonder of the age.

It is understandable that attention has tended to focus on the principle Editor, James Murray, who devoted thirty-six years to the project (he got it to the letter T), but a chance discovery sent Sarah Ogilvie on a quest for the unpaid contributors to the O.E.D., and it was a gold mine of nutters, obsessives, murderers, vicars, and above all, readers.

Dr Ogilvie fell in love with them and has gleefully made a book packed with more lurid and remarkable stories than you could shake a philologist at.

Sarah Ogilvie             Chatto & Windus          £22:00

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About Johnny Mindlin

Johnny Mindlin, the producer, spent 10 years in high-end speech radio, producing book programmes, entertainment / review shows and politics/discussion shows. Tim Haigh is a radio presenter and broadcaster and books reviewer. He also writes for national papers on books and literature.
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