Winchester's book will fascinate those interested in the history of what is generally accepted to be the greatest dictionary produced for any language. The opening chapters provide a good background to the history and nature of the English language and previous attempts to create comprehensive dictionaries for it. This is essential to understanding the massive scope of the project undertaken by the OED's editors, publishers and contributors. As for the project itself, Winchester does an excellent job of portraying the challenges, triumphs and unique personalities involved in the project. His strength lies in taking a subject as seemingly uninteresting as producing a dictionary and making the personages, the historical context and the document itself come alive. Winchester's other strength is his attention to detail. There is no question raised in this book that is not answered, either in the text itself or the footnotes. Highly readable and highly enjoyable, this book is great for those interested in language, dictionaries or even just nineteenth century society in general.