The riddle of the Voynich ManuscriptBreaking News
tags: Voynich manuscript
I have come to the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, at Yale University, to solve a mystery that makes The Da Vinci Code seem tame - a book no-one can read, in a language that doesn't exist, illustrated with plants and creatures that have never been seen on Earth.
It is known as The Voynich Manuscript, after the second-hand book dealer, Wilfrid Voynich, who claimed to have discovered it in Italy, in 1912. Since then, it has obsessed countless experts and generated numerous theories, both scientific and crackpot. "My favourite is that it is the illustrated diary of a teenage space alien who left it behind on earth," jokes the Beinecke's curator, Ray Clemens.
Bound in a limp vellum cover the colour of old ivory, it contains 240 richly illustrated pages. The illustrations look like something Timothy Leary might have seen on LSD. Strange plants, astrological symbols, jellyfish-like creatures and what looks like a lobster. In one image, a group of naked ladies with alabaster skin shoot down what looks like a water slide. The text, written in brown, iron gall ink, reminds me of Tolkien's Elvish.
comments powered by Disqus
- The Debt Ceiling Law is now a Tool of Partisan Political Power; Abolish It
- Amitai Etzioni, Theorist of Communitarianism, Dies at 94
- Kagan, Sotomayor Join SCOTUS Cons in Sticking it to Unions
- New Evidence: Rehnquist Pretty Much OK with Plessy v. Ferguson
- Ohio Unions Link Academic Freedom and the Freedom to Strike
- First Round of Obama Administration Oral Histories Focus on Political Fault Lines and Policy Tradeoffs
- The Tulsa Race Massacre was an Attack on Black People; Rebuilding Policies were an Attack on Black Wealth
- British Universities are Researching Ties to Slavery. Conservative Alumni Say "Enough"
- Martha Hodes Reconstructs Her Memory of a 1970 Hijacking
- Jeremi Suri: Texas Higher Ed Conflict "Doesn't Have to Be This Way"
- New transcript of Ayn Rand at West Point in 1974 shows she claimed “savage" Indians had no right to live here just because they were born here
- The Mexican War Suggests Ukraine May End Up Conceding Crimea. World War I Suggests the Price May Be Tragic if it Doesn't
- The Vietnam War Crimes You Never Heard Of