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Product Description

The first authorized copy of this mysterious, much-speculated-upon, one-of-a-kind, centuries-old puzzle

"For the first time, a complete reproduction [of] The Voynich Manuscript, has been published, featuring essays exploring what is known about the book and extra-wide margins so readers can record their responses to its beguiling, beautiful strangeness."—Nina Maclaughlin,  Boston Globe

“For people who like a good historical mystery, this . . .  fifteenth- or sixteenth-century Voynich Manuscript will fascinate.”—Rebecca Onion, Slate
 
Many call the fifteenth-century codex, commonly known as the “Voynich Manuscript,” the world’s most mysterious book. Written in an unknown script by an unknown author, the manuscript has no clearer purpose now than when it was rediscovered in 1912 by rare books dealer Wilfrid Voynich. The manuscript appears and disappears throughout history, from the library of the Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II to a secret sale of books in 1903 by the Society of Jesus in Rome. The book’s language has eluded decipherment, and its elaborate illustrations remain as baffling as they are beautiful. For the first time, this facsimile, complete with elaborate folding sections, allows readers to explore this enigma in all its stunning detail, from its one-of-a-kind “Voynichese” text to its illustrations of otherworldly plants, unfamiliar constellations, and naked women swimming though fantastical tubes and green baths.
 
The essays that accompany the manuscript explain what we have learned about this work—from alchemical, cryptographic, forensic, and historical perspectives—but they provide few definitive answers. Instead, as New York Times best-selling author Deborah Harkness says in her introduction, the book “invites the reader to join us at the heart of the mystery.” 

Review

"For the first time, a complete reproduction [of] The Voynich Manuscript, has been published, featuring essays exploring what is known about the book and extra-wide margins so readers can record their responses to its beguiling, beautiful strangeness."—Nina Maclaughlin,  Boston Globe

"For people who like a good historical mystery, this first authorized publication of the fifteenth- or sixteenth-century Voynich Manuscript will fascinate."—Rebecca Onion, Slate

“The Voynich MS has inspired generations of enthusiasts dedicated to deciphering it . . . This beautiful facsimile will make it available for many more people to become enticed and entranced by it.”—David V. Barrett, Fortean Times

“Handsome and well-produced. . . This fascimilie and the accompanying series of essays give a clear sense of the current state of knowledge on the manuscript and reveal the findings of new research.”—H.R. Woud Huysen, Times Literary Supplement

"The publication by Yale University Press of an actual-size colored facsimile, with an informative set of specialist essays on the manuscript’s history, materials, cryptological puzzles, and public impact, will no doubt encourage wider engagement with its enigmas and set off a multitude of amateur as well as professional attempts to decipher it."—Eamon Duffy, New York Review of Books

"Bibliophiles rejoice—one of the book world’s most fascinating and enduring riddles is now available for all to examine. The so-called ''Voynich Manuscript'' is proof that, even in our increasingly demystified world, mystery is still alive. . . . For the first time, Yale has reprinted the manuscript in full, in a gorgeous new edition coupled with scholarly essays on the book. All told, the new edition should continue to stoke interest in the eternally mysterious artifact."— New Criterion

"A mouthwatering facsimile of the incunabulum, complete with foldout pages — one origamied into six folios — and a handful of scholarly interrogations."—Peter Lewis,  Minneapolis Star-Tribune

“[A] very high-quality reproduction of the manuscript . . . [and] the essays are valuable additions to the facsimile.”—Jesse Siragan Arlen, Comitatus

“This volume sets out clearly and succinctly the current state of knowledge about this remarkable manuscript.”—Toby Burrows, Parergon


"This new book, reproducing the entire Voynich Manuscript, is a godsend. While the essays offer valid clues to the manuscript’s age and relation to late medieval science, the manuscript itself stubbornly refuses to yield its secrets."—Roger S. Wieck, Department of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts, The Morgan Library & Museum

"A book worthy of its subject in every way. Clemens and his collaborators have done an extraordinary job teasing out some of the secrets and wonders of the enigmatic Voynich Manuscript in ways that will make this volume an invaluable resource for many years to come."—Bruce Holsinger, author of A Burnable Book

"Many hands have held Voynich’s now-eponymous book over the centuries . . . yet none of them have managed convincingly to solve its mysteries."—Deborah Harkness, from the Introduction

About the Author

Raymond Clemens is Curator of Early Books and Manuscripts at the Yale University Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library and coauthor of Introduction to Manuscript Studies.

Deborah Harkness is a historian of science, professor at the University of Southern California, and the author of the New York Times best-selling All Souls trilogy.

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4.8 out of 54.8 out of 5
964 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Joel Morell
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
The Definitive Facsimile of The Voynich Manuscript
Reviewed in the United States on October 7, 2016
Of this enigmatic manuscript''s many reprintings, this is the highest quality I have seen. It is an authorized copy published by the Yale University Press. (Yale University''s Beinecke Library is the current owner of the manuscript) This volume contains detailed, 1:1 scale,... See more
Of this enigmatic manuscript''s many reprintings, this is the highest quality I have seen. It is an authorized copy published by the Yale University Press. (Yale University''s Beinecke Library is the current owner of the manuscript) This volume contains detailed, 1:1 scale, photographic reproductions of every page of the manuscript. The foldouts from the original are printed at full scale on special foldout pages. I was pleased to discover that the binding is folio stitched, rather than the loose leaf pages common in many reproductions.

In addition to the facsimile, the book contains six chapters dedicated to the history of the manuscript and the attempts that have been made to decipher it. While these chapters contain little new information, they are well researched, and cover what can be known about the manuscript without straying into the realm of unprovable hypothesis.

In conclusion, if you ever wanted to page through The Voynich Manuscript on something other than a computer screen... this is as good an opportunity as you will ever find.
211 people found this helpful
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J. Daugherty
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Beautiful reproduction
Reviewed in the United States on December 25, 2016
I found a fabulous recipe for elbow softening, and the ladies'' bath cure sounds nice. -- No seriously, this is a beautiful reproduction of an enigmatic manuscript, and my favorite book I can''t actually read. I like that it''s a life sized copy of the pages, and that it... See more
I found a fabulous recipe for elbow softening, and the ladies'' bath cure sounds nice. -- No seriously, this is a beautiful reproduction of an enigmatic manuscript, and my favorite book I can''t actually read. I like that it''s a life sized copy of the pages, and that it includes information about how it''s bound, photos of even the top and bottom, etc. The white borders didn''t bother me; the alternative would be a smaller book to keep the scale 1:1. Personally I think the border sets it off well, but you can see for yourself in the photo. Paper is thick and not too glossy (bleed-through you can see in photos is just on the original pages, of course), and the fold-outs feel sturdy. My camera''s old, so I apologize for the quality, but thought I''d add since there aren''t other photos up (at the moment).
163 people found this helpful
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Zoe Wyatt
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Must have for any Voynichese enthusiast!
Reviewed in the United States on March 31, 2017
This is absolutely amazing. I have always held a curious obsession with the Voynich Manuscript, and have generally used PDF copies of the pages to satisfy my intrigue. This copy, however, is priceless to an avid lover of the manuscript. The pages are in 1:1 ratio, which may... See more
This is absolutely amazing. I have always held a curious obsession with the Voynich Manuscript, and have generally used PDF copies of the pages to satisfy my intrigue. This copy, however, is priceless to an avid lover of the manuscript. The pages are in 1:1 ratio, which may seem small on the pages of this copy, but it really gives the full experience of truly holding the real thing. The essays accompanying the vivid and crisp images of the manuscript really add to the knowledge wrapped up in this release. The book itself is sturdy and well made. If you are a lover of the voynich manuscript don''t hesitate to pick up a copy. This thing is well worth the money (but if you can get it on sale it''s even better)!
53 people found this helpful
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Andy
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
The Voynich manuscript
Reviewed in the United States on November 30, 2020
Voynich Manuscript is considered one of the biggest mysteries to this day. Currently is located at Yale University. I have been working on deciphering this work for almost 7 years. My name is Irena Hanzikova and I was able to decoded famous Voynich Manuscript. My decoding... See more
Voynich Manuscript is considered one of the biggest mysteries to this day. Currently is located at Yale University. I have been working on deciphering this work for almost 7 years. My name is Irena Hanzikova and I was able to decoded famous Voynich Manuscript. My decoding activity and research began on December 6th 2012. it took me about three months to find a code to the first word of this absolutely beautiful and mysterious book. I tried many ways and combinations of deciphering. l have avoided all that could have possibly distracted my focus on the way to understand what is shared at this wonderful work. I have stopped watching TV, listening to radio, working on computer. All that to support my intention and focus to understand and decode this original manuscript work. Herbarium shows author’s delicate confession to uncover his inner thoughts, depths of his soul, love for God and respect to the life in general. Today, I am sure that Voynich Manuscript is written in Czech language and it is focused mainly on spirituality. This spiritual work has been hiding its secret for 600 years. i was reviled to that big change is coming to human kind. This change will affect the whole world. Jesus Christ will come back to live on Earth in a chosen soul, whose love will wash away all the injustice and wrong doing, caused by people in the past. Jesus Christ himself will open a gate of happiness and will bring the light to the whole human kind. This light will come in a form of person in whom the Savior lives. The light will fill the whole world, break shield of all evil and will place love in hearts of all the people.The fact that these texts have a very personal character made me hesitate whether to share my research with public. Realizing that messages in codes are God messages address to all people and giving hope for Savior coming back to us. Many texts describe mercy, love and kindness. This lead me to decision to make my research and the whole decoded work public. .by Irena Honzikova from CZECH Republic.
10 people found this helpful
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Ryan
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Outstanding. A far cry from the downloadable PDFs that are available free online and worth the expense.
Reviewed in the United States on October 31, 2016
A bevy of insight from experts in the field accompanies high-resolution scans of the admittedly impenetrable manuscript, complete with fold-out sections that mirror the fold-out sections found in the original. The entire work is exquisitely bound and encased in a... See more
A bevy of insight from experts in the field accompanies high-resolution scans of the admittedly impenetrable manuscript, complete with fold-out sections that mirror the fold-out sections found in the original. The entire work is exquisitely bound and encased in a translucent vellum jacket.

Set aside a few hours to get lost in the mystery of the Voynich for a while, and then leave it somewhere in the house (a coffee table, likely) for someone else to find. You''ve got an excellent conversation piece for years to come.
36 people found this helpful
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Deborah S.
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Weird and Wonderful Book!
Reviewed in the United States on November 17, 2017
I have wanted to see the original manuscript since the first day I heard of it many years ago, but, alas, since such rare manuscripts are not readily available to the general public, I have had to content myself with looking at grainy photos and isolated bits and pieces of... See more
I have wanted to see the original manuscript since the first day I heard of it many years ago, but, alas, since such rare manuscripts are not readily available to the general public, I have had to content myself with looking at grainy photos and isolated bits and pieces of it on the internet.

Now, thanks to the Yale University Press, I can finally see it in all its weird and wonderful glory! This reproduction is incredible! Every single stain, tear, and wrinkle is clearly visible--exactly as in the original--and the quality is top-notch. I can peruse it page by page to my heart''s content; ponder and speculate right along with the master linguists, cryptographers, and conspiracy theorists; and in general, have a great time.

The book includes chapters of historical notes, background, and theories, but otherwise is a faithful page-by-page full-scale reproduction of the original--including covers, flyleafs, and special foldout pages corresponding to the oversized pages in the original manuscript. It is a nicely bound, well-made book that deserves a place in the personal library of anyone who has ever loved a good puzzle or mystery.
11 people found this helpful
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Jaybird Wedbetter
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Best version of the Voynich Manuscript I''ve ever seen!!
Reviewed in the United States on September 7, 2019
I have both this version & the one titled Voynich Manuscript: Full Color Photographic Edition. This version, by Raymond Clemens, if far better than the other one. First & foremost, the photos of the book itself are better. These are high rez photos, lighter colors & can... See more
I have both this version & the one titled Voynich Manuscript: Full Color Photographic Edition. This version, by Raymond Clemens, if far better than the other one. First & foremost, the photos of the book itself are better. These are high rez photos, lighter colors & can see the pages better. The real manuscript has a bunch of pages that unfold & come out of the book. The Full Color Photographic edition puts the unfolded page onto a regular size page, thus making it look much smaller. This Clemens version actually has those pages the actual size & they unfold, like the real book. This Clemens version also has additional chapters that go into the history of the book, the history of Voynich & who he was, describes the physical properties of the manuscript itself, and ... its just bigger. This version only costs like a couple bucks more, & it is worth it, totally. The Full Color version is a beautiful reproduction of this weird manuscript ... but its just that the Clemens version is better & has alot more information.
Have fun trying to figure out what this thing was all about.
5 people found this helpful
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RDDTop Contributor: Batman
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A Treat for Lovers of the Esoteric!
Reviewed in the United States on March 5, 2017
This oversized, hardcover reprint of Beinecke MS 408, commonly known as the Voynich Manuscript after Wilfrid Voynich who purchased it in 1912, makes for a nice addition to anyone''s collection. As Raymond Clemens writes in the preface, "This facsimile strives to... See more
This oversized, hardcover reprint of Beinecke MS 408, commonly known as the Voynich Manuscript after Wilfrid Voynich who purchased it in 1912, makes for a nice addition to anyone''s collection. As Raymond Clemens writes in the preface, "This facsimile strives to reproduce as much of the experience of leafing through the original as possible. Each photograph in the facsimile section is reproduced at roughly the same size as the original page in the Voynich Manuscript" (pg. xvi). The essays following the enigmatic fifteenth century manuscript examine the earliest owners, Voynich the buyer, physical findings, cryptographic attempts, alchemical traditions, and the world''s most mysterious manuscript, along with a chronology of the document. Deborah Hakrness, author of the introduction, writes, "This collections of essays, and the facsimile of the Voynich Manuscript that accompanies it, do not attempt to arrive at definitive answers to the many perplexing questions that remain about the text. Instead, they invite the reader to join us at the heart of the mystery as we strive to better understand this complex book and its history" (pg. ix). Those interested in the esoteric or bizarre will find this a great addition to their collection.
13 people found this helpful
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Top reviews from other countries

Roses
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A Present for the Geek in My Life
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 22, 2017
It was an emergency Xmas gift for my partner who requested it, when someone else bought him the very gift I''d intended. The book arrived earlier than expected and my partner loves it. I''ve only flicked through it. The paper and print quality is excellent (and smells great....See more
It was an emergency Xmas gift for my partner who requested it, when someone else bought him the very gift I''d intended. The book arrived earlier than expected and my partner loves it. I''ve only flicked through it. The paper and print quality is excellent (and smells great. I''m a book sniffer). There are fold out sections and clear scans of the actual manuscript as well as essays in the back. It got me lots of brownie points.
16 people found this helpful
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cat darby
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
WOW!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 5, 2016
WOW! Without doubt one of the nicest, if not THE nicest books I''ve ever owned. The quality, composition and long-awaited publication of The Voynich Manuscript is stunning! A must buy for any free-thinking folk, into the curious!
18 people found this helpful
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Apollonia.
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Highly recommended and a MUST for VM
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 19, 2016
Took a bit longer to arrive but worth it. I have ''deciphered'' at least 35% of the astronomy/astrology/cosmology section.....this book will help me to continue without losing my eyesight ! It is an incentive to carry on because each page is clear enough to study. For those...See more
Took a bit longer to arrive but worth it. I have ''deciphered'' at least 35% of the astronomy/astrology/cosmology section.....this book will help me to continue without losing my eyesight ! It is an incentive to carry on because each page is clear enough to study. For those who are curious regarding the VM, this is THE must book of it.
12 people found this helpful
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Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
I wished I hadn''t wasted my money but was pleased to satisfy my curiosity about the content.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 21, 2020
I liked looking through this good quality book but couldn''t make head nor tail of it.
One person found this helpful
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Anna S.
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Great gift for my boyfriend
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 1, 2019
I got this for my boyfriend for Christmas, who studies classics and loves manuscript kind of things, and I haven''t ever seen something of its type as good. The pages are the size of the ones in the real manuscript, it is sumptuously and beautifully produced and even has a...See more
I got this for my boyfriend for Christmas, who studies classics and loves manuscript kind of things, and I haven''t ever seen something of its type as good. The pages are the size of the ones in the real manuscript, it is sumptuously and beautifully produced and even has a couple of pop ups.
2 people found this helpful
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