A rare item in the bibliography of Voynich studies.

I am immensely grateful to a person living in the northern hemisphere who has very kindly sent me a copy of an article mentioned in Jim Reed’s bibliography for Voynich studies, but of which Jim knew nothing in detail, and of which no copy seemed to exist. Not even the Vatican bibliography for the article’s author refers to it. As best I can discover, the Franciscan journal in which the article was published in 1937 ceased publication about sixty years ago.

However – the article is:

Wenceslas Sebastian (O.F.M), ‘The Voynich Manuscript, its history and cipher’ published in Nos Cahiers, Vol. II, No.1, 1937. Montreal. (pp. 47-69).

Having read it, I must say it is a most lucid and thoughtful summary of the state of Voynich studies to the time it was written. I found especially interesting the respectful treatment of Newbold’s work, with a better explanation of it, and more details given than I’ve ever read elsewhere.

Writing in 1937, the author could hardly be expected to consider opinions and assumptions which later directed study of this manuscript, and deserves no criticism for any lack of clairvoyance.

If any of my readers feels the completist’s need to add this article to their files, do email me at the address shown in the right-hand bar.  I’m happy to have been able to fill this gap in the Vatican’s catalogue of Franciscan authors, and I’m sure that there will be no objection to my sharing the article with others.  Not only because it is out of copyright, but because those who have heard of the author would be glad to see his name, and this thoughtful essay, remain known.



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