The Voynich Manuscript: Decoded After 100 Years
In book 1 of my The Invisible College Trilogy, the main protagonists, teenagers Emily and Peter, discover a ‘book of mysteries’, which contains, amongst other things, a transcription of a document written in an indecipherable text, accompanied by illustrations, also not understood. I based this upon the Voynich manuscript.
For over a hundred years the Voynich manuscript has defied translation by numerous scholars, cryptographers and even AI engineers, both individually and in collaboration. Theories as to its meaning and purpose range from magic and alchemy, to religious and political conspiracies, through to alien communication.
The manuscript is named after a Polish antiquarian book dealer, Wilfrid Voynich, who purchased it in 1912. The vellum has been carbon-dated to between 1404-38.
Unsuccessful attempts to interpret it have been made by Alan Turing and the codebreakers of Bletchley Park and the FBI. Now, a British academic, Dr Gerard Cheshire, a linguistics associate at the University of Bristol, claims to have cracked the code and in doing so has uncovered the only known example of a proto-Romance language.