In 1737 Alexander Cruden of Aberdeen published his mighty Concordance—every word in the King James Bible given location, context and, often, definition. The book was more than three times the length of the Bible itself—all done with paper slips and ceaseless effort—and has never been out of print.

Widely know for his eccentricity and abject poverty, Cruden spent several spells in the madhouse, largely because of his catastrophic relationships with women—or was it the ceaseless torrent of words that drove him and/or drove him mad?

Alexander died at his prayers in 1770 and we become privy to the life that flashes before his eyes at the last.

Inspired, gaga or both?

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