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Re: VMs: new revelations

Hi Rafal,

> I believe that Voynich wanted credibility as a rare book-dealer, but
> without having to continually do clandestine deals to place MS that perhaps
> should have stayed put (such as that which I imagine him to have brokered
> with the SJ)... which is what he saw in the VMS' shattered mirror, but
> never achieved.

At that time he had already been internationally recognized
- but I am still buffled by the number of catalogues
he issued at the turn of the centuries, with probably hundreds
of "otherwise unknown" incunabula and MSS.

A thought has been germinating at the back of my head
which I tried to suppress... but one of Voynich's cypher
letters says: "I will bring you 250 books and also have
a real passport factory here".

Is that the thought you suppressed this: that Voynich probably originally made his money selling faked manuscripts, which were produced by his European network of forger buddies? This would be consistent with pretty much everything we know about him, so we shouldn't be *too* surprised.

Just a book dealer? That's OK.
Part-time spy? That's OK too.
Ex-revolutionary? That's OK as well.
Sender of cipher letters? That's... interesting.
Forger? That's starting to smell bad...
A seller of books forged to order? Ouch, don't like this at all. :-(

I think that placing some of Voynich's turn-of-the-century sales in a cyclotron might produce a nice light display... that perhaps their current owners might not find entertaining at all. :-(

But that leaves us back here with the VMS... hmmm.... if it _is_ (against all odds) the "real deal" as many of us consider it to be, then all of this could be viewed as a real problem. :-o

My opinion? I still believe that the VMS is probably genuine, and that Voynich, having simply chanced upon it, saw an opportunity to give all his former (dodgy) manuscripts the kind of credibility (by association) "halo" that only comes from a major international find.

Personally, I think it would have taken a real master to forge the VMS, and - if considered as a work of performance art rather than as a historical object - it probably is worth the fortune he thought it was.

However, I really wish Voynich's own provenance hadn't been even more flaky than his eponymous manuscript's - it makes everything even more difficult, don't you think we've got a hard enough job as it is? :-o


Cheers, .....Nick Pelling.....

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