Education: Case of a Vexatious Man

At first glance, Book Dealer Alan Keen of Clifford's Inn, London, saw nothing particularly exciting about the old volume. It was simply one item from a new lot—a far-from-perfect 1550 copy of Edward Halle's Chronicle of England from Henry IV to Henry VIII. But when Alan Keen began to examine the book more closely that day in 1940, he found that some early reader had covered its margins with a most intriguing set of notations.

Last week Keen had scholars all over Britain arguing about those notations. After 14 years of work, he and Publisher Roger Lubbock of the London...

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