Scholars have known of the letter’s existence for more than 300 years, but not its contents. Apparently the only person who had really studied it was a Haverford undergraduate who spent a semester writing a paper about the letter in 1979. (Mr. Bos called the paper “a truly fine piece of work.”)
So did they know it existed or not? Is the news just that the letter is being returned to France? Big deal.
Neutrinos are into physicists.