Education: Lost & Found

Literature detectives, says Professor Richard D. Altick of Ohio State University, can be just as clever as any other kind. What kind of mysteries do they solve? In a brisk, well-written book, The Scholar Adventurers (Macmillan; $5), Professor Altick, an English teacher himself, chronicles a few.

Some of the mysteries, Altick admits, have been solved more by chance than by special cunning. Biographer Mason Wade unearthed the Western journals of Francis Parkman by going to the historian's old home in Boston and rummaging through his desk. Usually, however, the scholar's quest takes a...

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