On a whim, I decided to pit MSN’s online version of the Encarta “encyclopedia” (part of MSN Learning and Research) against the Concise Columbia Encyclopedia available through Bartleby. The differences couldn’t be more stark.
A search for “Abelard and Heloise” on MSN turned up a few results, most accessible only to MSN subscribers. But the first result, this page, is free to all. It’s got a pretty painting of the two lovers (no information about the painting or its artist is given) and a one-paragraph, bowdlerized version of the story: “The 12th-century scholar Peter Abelard was one of the most famous theologians and philosophers of his time. In 1117 he began tutoring H