I just finished a thriller called The Voynich Cypher by Russell Blake. I enjoyed the story, but it made me curious about the Voynich Manuscript. It turns out that it exists and is considered one of history’s great mysteries. It has been called the most-unreadable book in the world.
Wilfrid Voynich purchased a manuscript in 1912. It dates back to the early 15th Century probably from Northern Italy. It is 240 pages (some of the pages are missing) of illustrations and a text written in an undecipherable language. Some researchers have noted that it has similarities to herbal manuscripts of the time, which were used like medical reference books. The most of the plants in the Voynich Manuscript don’t match known plants.
For centuries, cryptographers have attempted to decipher the text with no luck. Codebreakers from WWI and WWII also failed in deciphering the text. Some of them (most likely out of frustration) have claimed that the book is a hoax. However, statistical analysis has shown that the manuscript seems to follow the structure and laws of language.
The Voynich Manuscript is now in the Yale University Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, but what is its origins? And who wrote it and why?