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The Man Who Loved China: The Fantastic Story of the Eccentric Scientist Who Unlocked the Mysteries of the Middle Kingdom (review)

The Man Who Loved China: The Fantastic Story of the Eccentric Scientist Who Unlocked the... 588 China Review International: Vol. 15, No. 4, 2008 Simon Winchester. The Man Who Loved China: The Fantastic Story of the Eccentric Scientist Who Unlocked the Mysteries of the Middle Kingdom. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2008. xii, 316 pp. Hardcover $27.95, ISBN 978-0-06-088459-8. Simon Winchester is a great storyteller who is particularly good at covering the lives of geniuses and peculiar people. His riveting best-seller about one of the greatest of the thousands of contributors to the making of the Oxford English Dictionary (William Chester Minor), a more than two-decades project in the late nineteenth century, is a case in point. When editor James Murray finally met the prolific contributor to the dictionary project, it was a shocking revelation. Minor was not only an American from New Haven, Connecticut, a formerly sexually promiscuous surgeon with the rank of captain in the U.S. Army, but for more than twenty years during the making of the dictionary had been an inmate of an asylum for the criminally insane. Joseph Needham (1900­1995), though perhaps eccentric as a single-minded professor, was (with his wife, Dorothy) a believer in free love, liked performing morris (Moorish) dancing, swam in the nude, and insisted on http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png China Review International University of Hawai'I Press

The Man Who Loved China: The Fantastic Story of the Eccentric Scientist Who Unlocked the Mysteries of the Middle Kingdom (review)

China Review International , Volume 15 (4) – Feb 24, 2008

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University of Hawai'I Press
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Copyright © University of Hawai'I Press
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Abstract

588 China Review International: Vol. 15, No. 4, 2008 Simon Winchester. The Man Who Loved China: The Fantastic Story of the Eccentric Scientist Who Unlocked the Mysteries of the Middle Kingdom. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2008. xii, 316 pp. Hardcover $27.95, ISBN 978-0-06-088459-8. Simon Winchester is a great storyteller who is particularly good at covering the lives of geniuses and peculiar people. His riveting best-seller about one of the greatest of the thousands of contributors to the making of the Oxford English Dictionary (William Chester Minor), a more than two-decades project in the late nineteenth century, is a case in point. When editor James Murray finally met the prolific contributor to the dictionary project, it was a shocking revelation. Minor was not only an American from New Haven, Connecticut, a formerly sexually promiscuous surgeon with the rank of captain in the U.S. Army, but for more than twenty years during the making of the dictionary had been an inmate of an asylum for the criminally insane. Joseph Needham (1900­1995), though perhaps eccentric as a single-minded professor, was (with his wife, Dorothy) a believer in free love, liked performing morris (Moorish) dancing, swam in the nude, and insisted on

Journal

China Review InternationalUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Feb 24, 2008

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