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  1. #1
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    The Mystery of the Voynich Manuscript

    Tons online about this rather well-known mystery. (The mystery is well-known; not so the answer.) One of those things one hears of and thinks of then forgets, then hears of and thinks again of for years. This is a good introduction to the mystery, from The New Yorker's Reed Johnson, published online 09 July 2013:

    The Unread: the Mystery of the Voynich Manuscript
    Stored away in the rare-book library at Yale University is a late-medieval manuscript written in a cramped but punctilious script and illustrated with lively line drawings that have been painted over, at times crudely, with washes of color. These illustrations range from the fanciful (legions of heavy-headed flowers that bear no relation to any earthly variety) to the bizarre (naked and possibly pregnant women, frolicking in what look like amusement-park waterslides from the fifteenth century). With their distended bellies, stick-like arms and legs, and earnest expressions, the naked figures have a whimsical quality, though their anatomy is frankly rendered—something unusual for the period. The manuscript’s botanical drawings are no less strange: the plants appear to be chimerical, combining incompatible parts from different species, even different kingdoms. Tentacled balls of roots take the forms of animals, or of human organs—in one case, sprouting two disembodied heads with vexed expressions. But perhaps the oddest thing about this book is that no one has ever read it.

    That’s because the book—called the Voynich manuscript after the rare-book dealer who stumbled upon it a century ago—is written in an unknown script, with an alphabet that appears nowhere other than in its pages
    ---
    first paragraph+; much more follows at the link, with pictures

  2. #2
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    May 2013
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    Great. I'd never heard of this before. I'm sure you know what that means.

    “Evil begins when you begin to treat people as things.” -- Terry Pratchett

  3. #3
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    Nov 2011
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    This has always intrigued me. It's absolutely fascinating.

  4. #4
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    This "expert" I do wonder about; still, Voynich in the news is good, and for other reasons too. Interesting article, many pictures, Daily Mail:

    Is the Voynich manuscript a hoax? 'The world's most mysterious book' may not contain a secret code after all

  5. #5
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    Jun 2012
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    I am a bit fascinated with this manuscript after I ran across this article a few weeks ago. I've put the new printing on my Christmas list!

    http://yalebooks.com/book/9780300217...ich-manuscript

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by MamaJoJo View Post
    I am a bit fascinated with this manuscript after I ran across this article a few weeks ago. I've put the new printing on my Christmas list!

    http://yalebooks.com/book/9780300217...ich-manuscript
    Yes! Santa's more than welcome to bring me one as well.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    2,856
    OOooh, yes, slightly larger than a paperback would fit into my stocking nicely.

    Thanks for the find!



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