The Professor and the Madman
Winchester examines the details of Minor's life, searching out reasons for his behaviour. Minor was a doctor during the American Civil War and was forced to inflict the punishment of branding on a defector. Being involved with an army punishing its own members within a country fighting itself clearly was harmful to such a sensitive person. During a visit to England he killed a man, and hence ended up in Broadmoor, where he had plenty of time to contribute to the new OED.
Each chapter starts with an entry from the dictionary. This is all very well, but some stretch to a page or more which tends to break up the flow of the book. I felt that this was a problem when several stories were being interleaved, which is otherwise very skillfully done.