The Voynich Manuscript

Brand: Deborah E Harkness Raymond Clemens
Manufacturer: Yale University Press
ISBN 9780300217230
Category: Home & Office
List Price: $50.00
Price: $36.99  (113 customer reviews)
You Save: $13.01 (26%)
Dimension: 12.00 x 9.00 x 1.25 inches
Shipping Wt: 3.95 pounds. FREE Shipping (Details)
Availability: In Stock.
Average Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars
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Product Description

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 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 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 “invites the reader to join us at the heart of the mystery.”
 

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  • The Voynich Manuscript

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Top Reviews

A Treat for Lovers of the Esoteric!
by RDD (5 out of 5 stars)
March 5, 2017

This oversized, hardcover reprint of Beinecke MS 408, commonly known as the Voynich Manuscript after Wilfrid Voynich who purchased it in 1912, makes for a nice addition to anyone's collection. As Raymond Clemens writes in the preface, "This facsimile strives to reproduce as much of the experience of leafing through the original as possible. Each photograph in the facsimile section is reproduced at roughly the same size as the original page in the Voynich Manuscript" (pg. xvi). The essays following the enigmatic fifteenth century manuscript examine the earliest owners, Voynich the buyer, physical findings, cryptographic attempts, alchemical traditions, and the world's most mysterious manuscript, along with a chronology of the document. Deborah Hakrness, author of the introduction, writes, "This collections of essays, and the facsimile of the Voynich Manuscript that accompanies it, do not attempt to arrive at definitive answers to the many perplexing questions that remain about the text. Instead, they invite the reader to join us at the heart of the mystery as we strive to better understand this complex book and its history" (pg. ix). Those interested in the esoteric or bizarre will find this a great addition to their collection.
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The Definitive Facsimile of The Voynich Manuscript
by Joel Morell (5 out of 5 stars)
October 7, 2016

Of this enigmatic manuscript's many reprintings, this is the highest quality I have seen. It is an authorized copy published by the Yale University Press. (Yale University's Beinecke Library is the current owner of the manuscript) This volume contains detailed, 1:1 scale, photographic reproductions of every page of the manuscript. The foldouts from the original are printed at full scale on special foldout pages. I was pleased to discover that the binding is folio stitched, rather than the loose leaf pages common in many reproductions.

In addition to the facsimile, the book contains six chapters dedicated to the history of the manuscript and the attempts that have been made to decipher it. While these chapters contain little new information, they are well researched, and cover what can be known about the manuscript without straying into the realm of unprovable hypothesis.

In conclusion, if you ever wanted to page through The Voynich Manuscript on something other than a computer screen... this is as good an opportunity as you will ever find.
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Beautiful reproduction
by J. Daugherty (5 out of 5 stars)
December 25, 2016

I found a fabulous recipe for elbow softening, and the ladies' bath cure sounds nice. -- No seriously, this is a beautiful reproduction of an enigmatic manuscript, and my favorite book I can't actually read. I like that it's a life sized copy of the pages, and that it includes information about how it's bound, photos of even the top and bottom, etc. The white borders didn't bother me; the alternative would be a smaller book to keep the scale 1:1. Personally I think the border sets it off well, but you can see for yourself in the photo. Paper is thick and not too glossy (bleed-through you can see in photos is just on the original pages, of course), and the fold-outs feel sturdy. My camera's old, so I apologize for the quality, but thought I'd add since there aren't other photos up (at the moment).
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Must have for any Voynichese enthusiast!
by Zoe Wyatt (5 out of 5 stars)
March 31, 2017

This is absolutely amazing. I have always held a curious obsession with the Voynich Manuscript, and have generally used PDF copies of the pages to satisfy my intrigue. This copy, however, is priceless to an avid lover of the manuscript. The pages are in 1:1 ratio, which may seem small on the pages of this copy, but it really gives the full experience of truly holding the real thing. The essays accompanying the vivid and crisp images of the manuscript really add to the knowledge wrapped up in this release. The book itself is sturdy and well made. If you are a lover of the voynich manuscript don't hesitate to pick up a copy. This thing is well worth the money (but if you can get it on sale it's even better)!
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Outstanding. A far cry from the downloadable PDFs that are available free online and worth the expen
by Ryan (5 out of 5 stars)
October 31, 2016

A bevy of insight from experts in the field accompanies high-resolution scans of the admittedly impenetrable manuscript, complete with fold-out sections that mirror the fold-out sections found in the original. The entire work is exquisitely bound and encased in a translucent vellum jacket.

Set aside a few hours to get lost in the mystery of the Voynich for a while, and then leave it somewhere in the house (a coffee table, likely) for someone else to find. You've got an excellent conversation piece for years to come.
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Weird and Wonderful Book!
by Deborah S. (5 out of 5 stars)
November 17, 2017

I have wanted to see the original manuscript since the first day I heard of it many years ago, but, alas, since such rare manuscripts are not readily available to the general public, I have had to content myself with looking at grainy photos and isolated bits and pieces of it on the internet.

Now, thanks to the Yale University Press, I can finally see it in all its weird and wonderful glory! This reproduction is incredible! Every single stain, tear, and wrinkle is clearly visible--exactly as in the original--and the quality is top-notch. I can peruse it page by page to my heart's content; ponder and speculate right along with the master linguists, cryptographers, and conspiracy theorists; and in general, have a great time.

The book includes chapters of historical notes, background, and theories, but otherwise is a faithful page-by-page full-scale reproduction of the original--including covers, flyleafs, and special foldout pages corresponding to the oversized pages in the original manuscript. It is a nicely bound, well-made book that deserves a place in the personal library of anyone who has ever loved a good puzzle or mystery.
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A Treat for Lovers of the Esoteric!
by RDD,Top Contributor: Batman (5 out of 5 stars)
March 5, 2017

This oversized, hardcover reprint of Beinecke MS 408, commonly known as the Voynich Manuscript after Wilfrid Voynich who purchased it in 1912, makes for a nice addition to anyone's collection. As Raymond Clemens writes in the preface, "This facsimile strives to reproduce as much of the experience of leafing through the original as possible. Each photograph in the facsimile section is reproduced at roughly the same size as the original page in the Voynich Manuscript" (pg. xvi). The essays following the enigmatic fifteenth century manuscript examine the earliest owners, Voynich the buyer, physical findings, cryptographic attempts, alchemical traditions, and the world's most mysterious manuscript, along with a chronology of the document. Deborah Hakrness, author of the introduction, writes, "This collections of essays, and the facsimile of the Voynich Manuscript that accompanies it, do not attempt to arrive at definitive answers to the many perplexing questions that remain about the text. Instead, they invite the reader to join us at the heart of the mystery as we strive to better understand this complex book and its history" (pg. ix). Those interested in the esoteric or bizarre will find this a great addition to their collection.
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This amazing volume contains a complete reproduction of the Voynich manuscript
by marco ponzi (5 out of 5 stars)
October 31, 2016

This amazing volume contains a complete reproduction of the Voynich manuscript. As Raymond Clemens writes in the introduction "this facsimile strives to reproduce as much of the experience of leafing through the original as possible". This goal has been wonderfully achieved. The reproduction of the manuscript is accompanied by a set of very informative essays by outstanding scholars: they provide an excellent introduction for those new to the study of the manuscript, as well as a reliable assessment of the state of the art that will be of interest to all researchers.
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Interesting document
by Shadow N (5 out of 5 stars)
November 6, 2017

Yale university and their respective involved staff on this project made an excellent work reproducing this document from the original which is great to look if you are interested in ancient documents, but when this book really shines is when it explains how the spectography tests are conducted on ancient documents to prove their authenticity and how the different light spectrum differ from one another and a quick overview on how they are used to uncover evidence from ancient manuscripts in order to give more light regarding their contents and origins also the alchemical relation section is very interesting and give more light to the manuscript by placing it on the timeframe in which it was written (as far as it has been proven so far regarding its construction materials and drawing similarities to other texts of the time). Also the ownership chronology is very well done in order to give the reader a better perspective on who has possessed the document so far and their attempt to decipher the mystery that this document presents. Overall an interesting read.
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Best version of the Voynich Manuscript I've ever seen!!
by Jaybird Wedbetter (5 out of 5 stars)
September 7, 2019

I have both this version & the one titled Voynich Manuscript: Full Color Photographic Edition. This version, by Raymond Clemens, if far better than the other one. First & foremost, the photos of the book itself are better. These are high rez photos, lighter colors & can see the pages better. The real manuscript has a bunch of pages that unfold & come out of the book. The Full Color Photographic edition puts the unfolded page onto a regular size page, thus making it look much smaller. This Clemens version actually has those pages the actual size & they unfold, like the real book. This Clemens version also has additional chapters that go into the history of the book, the history of Voynich & who he was, describes the physical properties of the manuscript itself, and ... its just bigger. This version only costs like a couple bucks more, & it is worth it, totally. The Full Color version is a beautiful reproduction of this weird manuscript ... but its just that the Clemens version is better & has alot more information.

Have fun trying to figure out what this thing was all about.
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Outstanding reproduction of mysterious MS with good essays.
by Thomas E. Brown (5 out of 5 stars)
September 17, 2019

I had read much about this manuscript and, of course, looked at it online, but I wasn't truly prepared for seeing "the real thing" or at least as close to it as I'll ever get. Although I had read the dimensions of the original, I was amazed to experience how small the pages actually are, and how packed with text and illustrations. You do need a magnifying glass to examine it, and there is no attempt to enhance the text or pictures, if it is faded in the original, that's what you see here. The fold outs are great, they give a real sense of what this book is all about. I don't pretend that I will ever try to "decode" this, but reading along with those who are more qualified than I is something I will do. The essays look top notch as well. Yale is to be thanked for such a meticulous reproduction and for keeping the price reasonable.

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