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An afternoon at Beinecke...

Dear all,

After long delays and much frustration I was able to spend an afternoon at
Beinecke in the company of the VMS. I don't know what to say at this
time except that it was an intense experience and now I have a throbbing
headache. :) Upon first glance it is indeed the "ugly duckling" that
Voynich himself described when he first found the book in the library at
Frascati, but once opened the wonders do not cease! I will say that the
colors are much brighter and more vibrant than indicated by the scans on
the Beinecke website, and also that the several fold-outs are showing
great wear along both the creases and margins; this is especially true of
the three-way foldout folio containing six of the nine astrological
diagrams (folio 72 : Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra). I am
convinced of the necessity of a good reproduction of the VMS to minimize
further damage to the original.  Because my background is in botany I was
most interested in the botanical folios, and I will say also that I am in
agreement with Rene Zandbergen that the plant depicted on folio 9 verso is
a violet (Viola), and also with Dana Scott that the larger leaf depicted
on folio 42 recto is probably Rumex acetosa, called "green sorrel" in
English (interestingly, the smaller leaf alongside it appears to be
an Oxalis, of the other genus commonly called "sorrel" in English,
although the plants are not related). This is all I am willing to say until
I have a chance to look at the manuscript again later this week.

-Philip Marshall

Philip Marshall
MESc Candidate
Yale University
School of Forestry & Environmental Studies

tel: +1 203.436.2137
email: philip.marshall@xxxxxxxx or pmm8@xxxxxxxxxxx

"The pig was not merely a pig but a creature bound among other things to
the fence, the dandelion, and a very special definition of property."
					-William Cronon