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The Voynich Manuscript

The Voynich Manuscript

Book - 2016
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"The fifteenth-century work commonly known as the Voynich Manuscript is often called the world's most mysterious book. Written in an unknown script by an unknown author, the manuscript has no clearer purpose now than when it was rediscovered in 1912 by rare books dealer Wilfrid Voynich. The manuscript appears and disappears throughout history, from the library of the Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II to a secret sale of books in 1903 by the Society of Jesus in Rome. The book's language has eluded decipherment, and its elaborate illustrations remain as baffling as they are beautiful. For the first time, this facsimile, complete with reproductions of elaborate folding sections, allows readers to explore this enigma in all its stunning detail, from its one-of-a-kind 'Voynichese' text to its illustrations of otherworldly plants, unfamiliar constellations, and naked women swimming though fantastical tubes and green baths. The essays that accompany the manuscript explain what we have learned about this work--from alchemical, cryptographic, forensic, and historical perspectives--but they provide few definitive answers. Instead, as New York Times best-selling author Deborah Harkness says in her introduction, the book's essays 'invite the reader to join us at the heart of the mystery.'"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New Haven ; London : Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, in association with Yale University Press, [2016]
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9780300217230
Call Number: 025.341 V975 2016
Characteristics: xvii, 240 unnumbered pages (some folded), 66 pages : color illustrations, color facsimiles, color portraits ; 31 cm


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Feb 19, 2020

This has to be the most mysterious book ever found. Dating from the 15th century, the first third contains beautiful plant illustrations. Following are circular drawings that appear to be astronomical in nature. Then there are these pages of pipe systems with naked ladies bathing in connected tubs. The text has defied any interpreting or coding by groups of world experts. The plant are not identifiable by botanists. It resides in the Yale University library. This book from Yale U Press reproduces it in its exact size, and includes all of the complicated fold-out pages of the original. Its full history, including educated interpretative attempts through time are included in a group of short, very informative essays. The manuscript itself, including enlargements has been posted online by the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library. This book was published in 2016, and since then an interpretation, a cracking of the code, was published in a scholarly review, but has also since been disputed as bogus by Medieval language scholars. In any case, this allows you to pour over a close facsimile of the world's most mysterious book and read about it in detail as you do so. For me, nothing could be more fun.


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