Connoisseurs of esoteric books – and who isn’t when you can get them for free? – should be delighted by this double treasure. The Voynich Manuscript and Codex Seraphinianus are two of the most bizarre, mysterious, and visually ravishing arcane tomes around. And the Holybooks website has both of them in (admittedly huge) PDFs, for free download.
The Voynich Manuscript, held at Yale University, is one of the most baffling enigmas in the history of cryptography. Written in the early 15th century in a completely unknown script, it has defied successive efforts to unscramble its text. Its 240 pages and herbal, astronomical, and other illustrations, however, are delights in themselves (see above). And if you want to pit your mind against some of the world’s greatest linguists and cryptographers, you can download the PDF and take a shot at it yourself.
Codex Seraphinianus, meanwhile, is a far more modern work, published in 1981 by Italian artist and architect Luigi Serafini. Its writing system, although far more modern and the creation of a living writer, has proven just as difficult to crack, though Serafini himself has said that there is no hidden meaning in the text and he composed it by a process similar to automatic writing. Its images, presented as illustrations to an encyclopedia of an imaginary world, are just as enigmatic and probably far more disturbing than those of the Voynich Manuscript. And once again, despite its relatively recent publication date, you can access it for free at the Holybooks website.
That should satisfy all your esoteric ebook needs for quite some time to come. Only, TeleRead accepts no responsibility for mystical experiences, fugue states, or occult manifestations experienced during the perusal of these volumes …