Synopses & Reviews
The extraordinary true story of Peter Mark Roget and his legendary Thesaurus, Peter Mark Roget-polymath, eccentric, synonym aficionado-was a complicated man. He was an eminent scholar who absorbed himself in his work, yet he also possessed an allure that endeared him to his mentors and colleagues-not to mention a host of female admirers. But, most notably, Roget made lists. From the age of eight, he kept these lists with the intention of ordering the chaotic world around him. After his father's death, his mother became, at once, overbearing and despondent. Soon, his sister would also descend into mental illness. Despite these tragedies, Roget lived a colorful life full of unexpected twists and discoveries-including narrowly avoiding jail in Napoleon's France, assisting famed physician Thomas Beddoes by personally testing the effects of laughing gas, and inventing the slide rule. Evocative and entertaining, The Man Who Made Lists lets readers join Roget on his worldly adventures and emotional journeys. This rich narrative explores the power of words and the everlasting legacy of a rediscovered genius.
"Brisk and vivid, with Kendall coloring between the lines left by history."
-Los Angeles Times
"Kendall's style...gets the job done with sympathy and speed."
-New York Times
"Well written and persuasive."
Kendall offers the extraordinary true story of Peter Mark Roget--the man who created the legendary "Roget's Thesaurus." Evocative and entertaining, this work lets readers join Roget on his worldly adventures and emotional journeys as he explored the power of words.
In the tradition of The Professor and the Madman, a "brisk and vivid"( Los Angeles Times) account of an obsessive scholar.
Polymath, eccentric, and synonym aficionado, Peter Mark Roget had a host of female admirers, was one of the first to test the effects of laughing gas, invented the slide rule, and narrowly escaped jail in Napoleon's France. But Roget is best known for making lists.
After the tragic turmoil of his early life (both his mother and sister were institutionalized), Roget longed for order in his chaotic world. At the age of eight, he began his quest to put everything in its rightful place, one word at a time. This is the fascinating story of a driven man and a brilliant scholar-and the legacy he has left for generations.
About the Author
Joshua Kendall is a language enthusiast and an award-winning freelance journalist whose work has appeared in such publications as The Boston Globe, The Wall Street Journal, and Psychology Today. He lives in Boston.