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Re: VMs: new revelations
Rene Zandbergen wrote:
> > correspondence (Baresch, Marci and Kinner's) are all
> > genuine, but the MS is a forgery made to fit the letters.
> Actually, I have heard this suggestion from both
> Stolfi and Rafal (independently) but I simply
> cannot believe it (until proven otherwise :-) ).
I don't believe it, either - but it may be counted
as a possibility with the "agrees of freedon". That is:
it cannot be convincingly DISproved.
> It is good to keep in mind that there are some
> pieces of evidence that could not have been
> 'forged' by Voynich: Marci's printed book and the
> Kircher correspondence (which is cross-referenced
> and the index includes the Baresch letter).
But this does not constitute absolute proof - that would
be either finding the copies from VMS made by Baresch
or cyclotrone test (or some equivalent) of the manuscript,
especially the ink(s).
But constructing the scenario, consider the following
- 1895 - ELV and Sidney Reilly go to Italy (Rome, Florence, Bologne);
she works in the Marucelliana Library of Florence and
other archives (Preface to _The Gadfly_); there are
3 Kircher letters to Francesco Redi in the Marucelliana
(the earliest 1668); Redi is described as "quite a linguist"
- 1898 - WMV is in Italy (meets Erla Rodakiewicz there)
- 1898-1902 - WMV publishes his catalogues and distributes
most of them free (at his own cost)
- 1920's - there was "Italian cottage industry in counterfeit books",
so it could have well flourished earlier
- modern scholars were fooled by the fake Gospel Lectionary (Berkeley)
I think the crusial thing (in this context) would be to explain
how Voynich started his business. We know that he arrived
in London penniless - and then married Ethel who was not well-off,
either, and they both gave all their enery (and whatever money
she may have had) to the Russian revolutionary cause.
_The Gadfly_ was published in mid-1897, so presumably Ethel
did not get much royalties from it by 1898. And the amount
from it could not (I assume) cover all costs of buying
extremely rare books and mss, publishing the catalogues
and renting the headquarters at Soho Square?
There are two recent books in English which might have some
information on the Voynichs in that crucial period
when they transformed from nihilist revolutionaries to
burgois book-dealers - but there are no copies in Polish
S.M. Stepniak-Kravchinskii: The London Years
(Russian Biography Series, No 33)
by Donald Senese
Newtonville, Mass.. Oriental Research Partners. 1987
iii, 125 p.,  leaves of plates. ill., ports.. 24 cm
Bibliography: p. 122-125
Trust No One: The Secret World of Sidney Reilly
by Richard B. Spence
542 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.36 x 9.30 x 6.33
Feral House; ISBN: 0922915792; (November 2002)
Spence is a professor of history at the University of Idaho and
the Amazon description says it is scholarly and detailed.
On the other hand, the Fremantle article says Ethel's affair
with Reilly was revealed in The Spectator only in 1968.
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