This biography of Alexander Cruden (1699-1770) – a man who I’d never heard of before – was a Christmas present. A concordance is a book that indexes every word in another book – in this case, Cruden’s Concordance indexed every word (except for “a” and “the” and a few) in the King James Version of the bible. The creation of this work is even more amazing when it is realised that he did it by himself, while working a full-time job.
It tells the story of a man who was committed to various madhouses during his life (though it seems more that this was for the convenience of others than any dangerous level of insanity).
Published by Harper Collins, this book is not trying to push a particular religious standpoint (though it covers his devout religious practice), but to tell the story of a remarkable man. It’s an easy read, and paints a vivid picture of life in the 18th century in England and Scotland.