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The Voynich Manuscript

4.39  ·  Rating details ·  235 ratings  ·  33 reviews
The first authorized copy of this mysterious, much-speculated-upon, one-of-a-kind, centuries-old puzzle. The Voynich Manuscript is produced from new photographs of the entire original and accompanied by expert essays that invite anyone to understand and explore the enigma.

Many call the fifteenth-century codex, commonly known as the “Voynich Manuscript,” the world’s most m
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published November 1st 2016 by Yale University Press
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Nostalgia Reader I like the images in the this book better. The essays in this one are shorter, but more all encompassing for a general audience.

The essays in the Skin…more
I like the images in the this book better. The essays in this one are shorter, but more all encompassing for a general audience.

The essays in the Skinner book are much more detailed, and cover a lot more of the individual theories about the manuscript. The Skinner book also has small diagrams of each quarto on the pages of the manuscript so you can really see how it all goes together (in terms of binding).

Honestly, I'd recommend both!(less)

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Oct 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A nice high-quality art book with lovely facsimile images of all of the Voynich Manuscript's 234 pages, supplemented with a number of essays telling you everything you'd ever want to know about Wilfrid Voynich, the physical construction of the book, how they determined when it was written, even clinical, forensic details about how ink was made during the Middle Ages. Having said that, the essay dealing with cryptographic attempts to crack the Manuscript proved a little too short and vague for my ...more
Wade Duvall
Oct 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: medival
Since I can't really "read" the Voynich MS, this review will be slightly different. I want to talk about three points: 1. the presentation of the entire book 2. the introductory and supplemental essays and 3. why you would even want to own this. My rating will be based on 1 and 2, as 3 ultimately comes down to personal tastes.

The Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale has done a wonderful job with this book. Book is hard cover (which frankly I generally dislike, but, for what is effec
Ivan Irizarry
Mar 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Simbología y misterio
Jan 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I feel guilty recording this as finished, especially in light of my goal of 28 books for the year, as I really was unable to "read" much of the 300-some-odd pages of this document. Of course, if you are familiar with the mystery that is the Voynich Manuscript, you will know that that is only to be expected. The Voynich manuscript is reproduced beautifully in this printing, and it is one of the finest volumes I have ever seen. The essays included give an overview of the various attempts to "solve ...more
Brian Clegg
Jan 22, 2017 rated it liked it
With its strange appearance, botanical illustrations and some-time alleged connection to Roger Bacon, the Voynich manuscript is of interest to those who like illustrated medieval manuscripts, history of science and puzzles. If you haven't come across it, the Voynich manuscript is a heavily illustrated (with a mix of botanical and really weird images) book, written in an unknown script that has never been deciphered. Some believe that the book is a genuine work, others that the writing can't be d ...more
Jan 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It's strange to list a book like this as "read" when it is an unreadable manuscript, but the accompanying essays are a fascinating study on the most mysterious book ever written. Very enjoyable!
Dec 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
The Voynich Manuscript has remained a mystery for centuries. First off, it's written in an unknown script by an unknown author. It might be a hitherto unknown language, a cipher, or just plain nonsense. It features images of unknown plants, possible star charts featuring zodiac-like imagery, and pictures of naked women bathing in pools connected by tubes which may be balneological (relating to healing baths). Several pages are missing from it.

The Yale edition includes several essays providing ba
Carl Waluconis
Feb 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
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 reproduce ...more
Elizabeth Morgan
This is a beautiful coffee table book. The essays are short (10-minute) reads, delving into how to investigate an unreadable medieval manuscript. The background on Voynich was new, and therefore particularly interesting, to me. All in all, I do recommend having a flick through this if you come across it.

If you’re interested in medieval manuscripts (as a student or layperson), I definitely recommend picking this up and having a proper look. The reproduction of the MS is amazingly detailed, and i
Aug 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Dire che ho terminato la lettura di questo libro è, ovviamente, un eufemismo.
Ciò che mi ha spinta ad acquistarlo non è di certo la presunzione di poter decifrare il manoscritto (anche se nella mia fantasia sono in grado di farlo), quanto piuttosto saperne di più della sua storia e del suo contorno, dal suo ritrovamento, agli studi che ne sono nati, alle congetture, alle "conclusioni", alle speculazioni e alle derive fantastiche che negli anni sono state create. Da questo punto di vista il libro
Feb 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: people who enjoy a good mystery
OK, so who isn't fascinated by the Voynich Manuscript once they hear about it? Silly me, I've been fascinated on and off for years and it never occurred to me that there might actually be a book about it.

And yet there are several. This one provides not only learned articles about the manuscript but reproduces the entire manuscript itself. What an amazing joy! The reproduction is excellent (he say, having never seen the original) and incredibly fascinating. That's the reason I checked this book o
Karla Baldeon
Jun 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Review on spanish.
Creo que es latin o italiano antiguo, pero casi estoy segura que el símbolo que asemeja a un número 8 es la letra alfa en vertical y el símbolo que asemeja a un número 2 que aparece en solitario en más de una ocasión después de lo que a mis ojos no es más que una enumeración de los nombres dados a la planta de la ilustración no puede ser otro más que la conjunción "e" latina.
En fin, pasar más de una hora por ver decodificando este libro es un gustazo de por sí. Me encanta, y cr
Mar 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Perhaps the strangest book to tick 'read' because it cannot be read, since no one knows what language it is in, if it is even a language. But this book is any bibliophile's dream - wading into your own Da 'Voynich' Code moment and trying, just trying to find out what is going on here... I love the gaps and holes in the story, the shreds of certainty that don't tell us much, and the colourful biography of the book dealer whose name will be forever bound to this MS. The closest thing I'll probably ...more
Chris Larlee
Aug 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One of the most fascinating books I've ever read. It reminded me of nothing so much as "House of Leaves". If you told me that the Voynich Manuscript and its attendant scholarship had been invented as a kind of experimental storytelling that might be more believable than the truth: that despite the best efforts of countless experts over more than a century the meaning of the text remains a mystery.

The modern mind rebels at the thought that the manuscript might simply be impermeable. Indeed the fi
Joseph Carrabis
Oct 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Are you a writer wanting some background on mystery material? READ THIS BOOK! Do you enjoy Umberto Eco? READ THIS BOOK! Did The Da Vinci Code keep you reading? READ THIS BOOK!
I got a copy from the library, read the commentaries, et cetera, slowly and taking notes, now I've ordered a copy to highlight. READ THIS BOOK!
While not everyone's favorite reading material, people fascinated by mysteries, cryptography, cyphers and the like will probably enjoy it. You can also read it as an example of know
Jan 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Whether lost language, code, gibberish, or hoax, this book is beautiful. I especially liked the essay on the physical analysis of the manuscript, but I wish there had been even more about some of the speculation or hypotheses under (legitimate) consideration. Still, it’s pretty cool to have a reproduction so dedicated to recreating the feel of exploring this text.
Sep 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
I got this mostly for the essays, though looking at the facsimile was nice too. It's fascinating to read about a book no one can actually read, as the scholarship has come at its significance from pretty much every angle (short of the actual content, of course, other than speculation).
Margaret P. Clarke
Jan 20, 2020 rated it did not like it
This version is a dark copy of a copy and more irritating than anything. Best stay with the online version. ESP if you are attempting anything remotely of an hour or more engagement.
Jul 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
No idea what it says, maybe If i stare at it long enough I'll gleam some insight.
Dec 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
As beautiful in its presention as it is intriguing in its content, the mystery that surrounds the Voynich manuscript is apparent in every page. Just wish I knew what it meant!
Jul 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
The mystery still remains.
Oct 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Intrigue! Suspense! I had minimal info of what VM is about prior to this encounter and now the seed of curiosity continues to bloom.
Apr 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Handy little guide. Some parts are a little hard to understand. Good illustrations made it easier to follow the instructions. Curious what success other readers have had.
Jun 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Disclaimer: I did not actually read this since it's indecipherable. Pretty pictures, however.
Mar 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The main appeal of this book is the middle with its full colour reproductions of the entire text of the manuscript which is something I've wanted for a long time. The essays are interesting but not essential and nowhere near as interesting as the, now sadly dated, book by Kennedy and Churchill.
Ah, to flip through the pages of this strange and mysterious medieval manuscript! The legible and yet unreadable text. The weird plants and pipe-ladies bathing. All beautifully reproduced!

A series of short essays approach the manuscript in different ways: the history of alchemy, processes of book-making, how materials are dated, and so on. The parts of the story that most interested me related to how the manuscript circulated, reached Voynich, and then arrived at Yale, with so many different col
Oliver Bateman
Dec 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
nice photographs of the pages, good essays about the background of the VM (though there's only so much that can be said), and...well, that's mostly it. it's definitely a somewhat heavy thing you can put on your coffee table. the extremely gifted cryptographers who a) said it was some new universal language or b) said it was some kind of goofy made-up meaningless code devised by astrologers in order to sell a manuscript to a gullible patron are probably right. the secrets of the universe are abou ...more
Dan's Obsessions
latest citation

A mysterious manuscript has plagued historians, mathematicians, linguists, physicists, cryptologists, curators, art historians, programmers, and lay enthusiasts alike since an antiquarian and book dealer named Wilfrid Voynich first began to mention it in his correspondence in 1912. Voynich maintained that it was the work of a 13th-century English philosopher, Roger Bacon.
May 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What a beautiful book - and my favorite part is discovering that after all this time, after all of the scholarly research, we still don't have the answers to the medieval text .

We know the approximate age, what the inks were made of, how the parchment was processed, but we can't read it. We can't identify the plants depicted, and we don't understand the alchemical figures. Even the stars that look like constellations don't correlate to any known sky maps.

I love a good mystery!!
sarah thomas
rated it it was amazing
Mar 31, 2018
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VOYNICH IS NOT A MANUSCRIPT 1 6 Nov 08, 2016 11:21PM  

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