Here are some piquant canapes to twingle your Voynich tastebuds, a bit like “Space Dust for researchers”.
(1) Gerry Kennedy has discovered that a deathmask of Wilfrid Voynich was taken, and that it still exists.
(2) Jackie Speel tells me that “in 1916 Wilfrid Voynich was involved in a friendly law case with the Lincoln Cathedral authorities over the ownership of one of their books he had acquired in good faith from another American dealer (The Times May 11, 1916 pg 4 refers). In the event he donated the book back to the cathedral.”
(3) Jackie also notes that Wilfrid Voynich’s British Museum (i.e. what is now the British Library) “ticket/renewal details still survive – he first joined on 19 October 1895 and the ticket was last renewed 29 November 1907.”
(4) Diane O’Donovan points out that “Chinese inks are high carbon”.
(5) While Ludi Price concurs that f1r’s “glyph 3 does look uncannily like yuan, the [Chinese] character for ‘first'”, the key problem with VMs Chinese theories is that “(spoken) Chinese in the 14th/15th century was completely different to modern Mandarin Chinese. It had more tones, more glutteral stops, and was more akin to modern day Cantonese than it is today. People who want to tackle a VMS as Chinese theory would need to approach it from a Classical Chinese standpoint, not a modern one.”
(6) Henry Berg has just published his own breathtakingly syncretic Voynich theory, and hacked it on as a link to the bottom of the Wikipedia page (shame on him). It’s a heady mix of Francis Bacon, William Shakespeare (Hamlet in particular), Athanasius Kircher, Isaac Voss and even Shugborough Hall (no, I kid you not), with 17th century conspiracies and disinformation aplenty. Great fun for the the next Voynich pub meet: but little genuine chance of being a workable hypothesis, alas.
(7) On the diametrically opposite side of the color wheel, here’s a reasonably balanced (but, even so, frequently wrong) view of the VMs’ ciphertext, courtesy of Sravana Reddy and Kevin Knight, hot off the presses. Enjoy!