Just a short note to say that I’ve today decided to stop selling physical copies of “The Curse of the Voynich”. I first published it at the end of 2006 (the front page says “v1.0: Emma Vine (Broceto)“, if you want to try decrypting that), and it’s now time for me to leave it to the book collectors and move on. 🙂

Thanks very much to everyone reading this who bought a copy along the way – this helped recoup me some of the money I lost during the six months I worked part-time while I did the research for it. And for those who bought their copy direct from Compelling Press, I really hope you enjoyed your anagrammatic dedication – finding nice anagrams of people’s names was always something I enjoyed doing.

Incidentally, second-hand copies of “Curse” are on sale through bookfinder.com, though at prices ranging from £47 to £2500 (!): I expect the lowest price will rise to around £200 before very long, so anyone here who already has a copy is arguably now a little bit better off. Which is nice (if you’re an accountant). 🙂

Finally: for anyone who would like a copy of “Curse” in the future, please note that I plan to make an ebook version available before long (hopefully later this year). I’ll do my best, but don’t hold your breath waiting for it in the ultra-short term, because publication rights for pictures and quotations always take longer to clear than you’d like. *sigh*.

11 thoughts on ““The Curse of the Voynich”, now *not* on sale…

  1. Emma May Smith on April 29, 2017 at 4:26 pm said:

    Thanks for writing it, Nick. I disagreed with many of your conclusions, but it is by far one of the better books written about the Voynich. The information on codicology was particularly good.

    I will keep my copy safe in hope of future gains!

  2. Mark: on April 29, 2017 at 5:44 pm said:

    Nick: Thank god I bought my copy when I did! When you said you were running out I didn’t expect it would be quite so soon. Yes definitely it would be great if you make an ebook available. I think is very important that people have access to your research.

    Thanks Again!

  3. SirHubert on April 29, 2017 at 6:41 pm said:

    eMMa VIne? And Broceto would be Brocemet in fifteenth century Occitan?

  4. Emma May Smith: conclusions are always there to be disagreed with, I don’t mind. For me, though, the starting point of the book was that if you listened to the best-in-class physical observations we had back then, they placed the Voynich Manuscript firmly in the middle of the fifteenth century. This was something that – in those pre-radiocarbon dating days – almost nobody else had argued (and is indeed something many still loudly deny, *sigh*): and the whole Averlino thing was just a (probabilistic) cherry on top of that basic dating cake.

    Incidentally, one time when I accidentally stopped listing Curse on Amazon for a few weeks, the price shot up close to £200 very quickly, so I’d broadly expect that kind of figure before too long. 🙂

  5. SirHubert: you are correct about Emma Vine, but “Brocemet” evades me. :-/

  6. SirHubert on April 29, 2017 at 7:03 pm said:

    Curse p.23, first column of the table, tenth line.

  7. Sir Hubert: ah, you mean brocēet. 🙂

  8. Emma May Smith on April 29, 2017 at 8:21 pm said:

    Nick, I forget that. Your dating was to within a few decades, so praise for that too.

  9. There are other ancient texts that face midern curses because the raw texts has been misread by academics that unfairly declare the subjects of the text are closed.

    The most important in my math world is Chace’s 1927 transliteration and additive under valuing of Ahmes’ 1660 BCE papyrus that was predicated on 50 member 2/n table that scholars oddly declare multiplication and division were not inverse operations to one another, an ancient Egyptian, Greek, Hellene, medieval and midern foundation of number theory.

    Our US education once studied this text, and in 1980 NCTM, the national council of the teachers of mathematics sold Chace’s early attempt to decode 87 problems that were written in Ahmes’ scaled rational number system. Rational numbers were written in five unit fractions or less by choosing an optimizing, but not necessarily an optimal LCM m thought of as m/m such that rational number n/p was first scald to mm/mp, before the best divisors of mp were summed, in red, to numerator mn.

    Today, the NCTM has taken the Chace transliteration out of print. Chace humbly reported that several problems, like the bird feeding rate, that fattened domustaced fowls over 30 days, and sold to absentee landlord company stores, inversely to the amount of grain that each bird consumed., would never to understood. The scribal hieratic shorthand was too garbled, and impossible to,exactly translate.

    Another text the AkhmimWooden Tabket, a 1900 BCE text scaked. Fuve gallon hejat unit by LCM 64, thought of as 64/64, so that partitions by 3, 7, 10, 11, and 13 woukd exactly take place. For example 1/3 of a Hekat divided 64 by 3, meant (21/64 wuth a remainder of 1/192., gathers dust in the main Cairo,museum, placed there by Georges Daressy in 1900′ the year of the museum’s founding. By 1906 Darseey proved that three of the problems were exact, leaving the n= 11 and 13 cases to be solved by Hana Vymazalova, a Charkes U, grad student in 2001. But even Vymazalova had not seen the entire number theory that scaled remainders R by LCM 5, thought of as 5/5, so that all remainders woukd be recirded in 1/320’of a Hekat units. Completing the division by 3 problem, quotient 21/64 was written as (16 + 4 + 1)64 and remainder 1/192 x 5/5 was written as 5/3 ro ( ro meany 1/320 of a hekat, the extent of Peet!’s 1923 awkward transliteration.
    The AWT scribe recorded 1/3 of a hekat as ((1/4 + 1/16 + 1/64)’+ (1 + 2/3)ro) and proved the answer correct by multiplying the two-part answer by 3, and exactly returned 64/64, a scribal idea that Vymazalova reported as a hekat unity.

    All five problems were based on applying the number theory fact that division was inverse to multiplication, and multiplication was inverse to division. Yet, Peet, Chace and all 20th century scholars oddly concluded that scribal division was only based on ‘single false position’, a medieval idea used to geometrically find roots to first degree equations.

    Scholars are slow to correct that intellectual mistakes. Sad, sad, sad.

  10. Sarah Higley on April 30, 2017 at 5:42 pm said:

    Thank you very much, Nick, for writing this book. A great many of your ideas, including the speculation about Filarete, were thought-provoking, and your erudition is admirable, as well as the close attention you gave to codicological details. I’m so glad I bought two of these, one of which went into an exhibit I sponsored at our library on codes and secret languages. Sarah Higley

  11. Sarah: thanks for your generous words.

    Ten years on, I would have written the same book more exactly and carefully, and probably with less verve and excitement: so perhaps it was for the best that I published it then. 🙂

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