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About a Girl is a new podcast about the women behind musical legends, the ones who inspired, loved, supported and challenged these icons on their way to greatness. These are 12 incredible influential women without whom the landscape of popular music might be very different. It's hosted by me, Eleanor Wells and executive produced by Jake Brennan of Disgraced Land 27 Club and Blood on the Tracks, some scattered now near heart radio app, Apple podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.


Are you a music fan? Do you need more music talk in your life than you should be listening to record store Society of Music talk show podcast on the I Heart Radio Network.


Record Store Society is a virtual trip to your local record store hosted by me, Terry Davis and me, Sir Nicholas Johnson.


Every Friday you'll find Seth I behind the counter at your favorite record store, dispensing recommendations, making lists and talking to our customers about anything and everything music related. So listen to record store society on the I Heart radio app, Apple podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. Welcome to stuff you missed in History Class, A production of I Heart Radio. Hello and welcome to the podcast. I'm Holly Fry. And I'm Tracy B. Wilson. Oh, Tracy, how many times have we talked about the Voynich manuscript?


So many quadrillion. Is that a number? It is today. People often seem to think they have cracked it. That happens pretty regularly. So in addition to the episodes specifically about the Voynich manuscript that we've done, it has come up on unearthed many times. But of course, those have never turned out to actually be anyone decoding the cipher. But the man for whom the manuscript is named has his own fascinating story, which I have always been really into exploring and finally decided it was time.


And as you probably know, if you've listened to our other episodes about the Voynich manuscript or have studied it even passingly or like read an article somewhere, you know, that it was named for the rare book dealer who brought it into the public eye in the early 1980s and pointed his path to that career is pretty circuitous. It's kind of interesting. I, I wanted to talk about his life because he was in his own right, a very interesting person.


But we're not going to talk about the manuscript a whole lot today just to give everyone a level set. I don't want anyone to think that we're going to delve into the many attempts to decode it. It obviously comes up because it does become somewhat important to his life story, but we've covered that elsewhere.


So today we are just talking about Wilfred Voynich is the life Voynich was born, Michael Högberg, Voynich and what is now tell say Lithuania is born October 31st, 1865, pointed to his family was Polish nobility, according to his accounts, although his father worked in a low level government job. And this is a good time as any to just go ahead and get it out there that what we know about Voynich, his early life is largely unsubstantiated, which I feel like it's kind of a theme recently.


This comes from his own accounts, which are really not consistent if you compare what he told to different people. Yeah, we've talked about that happening on this show before. That's not necessarily a nefarious thing. People, as their lives go on, their stories may shift a little. They don't even realize they're doing it. It's not a conscious effort to deceive, but it just happens. And some of this, too, is like what he told his wife later on and then she relayed.


So it's all pretty like we're third hand at that point. But we do know that after attending school in Savchuk Poland, his university studies were done in a number of different places. He took college courses at universities in Warsaw, St. Petersburg and Moscow. And Moscow is where he completed his schooling and he graduated with a degree in chemistry. And while he became a licensed pharmacist as a result of this education, his real interest at this point in his life lay in politics.


During the last 30 years of the 18th century, Russia, Prussia and Austria had carved up what had been Poland into territories that were governed by each of these countries. This was called the partitions of Poland. Poland is a self-governing state, had ceased to exist during all of this. In 1815, Russian Tsar Alexander the first expanded Russia's footprint into what had been Poland gaining more land than had originally been apportioned. Taking control of that under the control of the czar.


Polish resistance to Russian rule had been happening in various forms throughout the 19th century.


Yeah, that is a whole story in and of itself that would be cool to get into at one point.


But for Voynich, when he was 20, he moved back to Warsaw and there he joined the proletariat party that had been started by socialist revolutionary Ludwig Varinsky, who was imprisoned at that point in awaiting trial.


This was 1885 and early 1886. Socialist revolutionaries Peter Berdovsky and Stanislav Carnegie were awaiting execution at the Warsaw Citadel. This is the prison complex that had been built by Tsar Nicholas, the first in the 1930s. Voynich, along with other activists, was part of a plan to try to free them from that citadel.


That effort was betrayed, though police had placed a mole in the revolutionary group and Voynich and his co-conspirators were arrested. Wilfred Voynich was incarcerated in the Citadel and placed in solitary confinement. His colleagues were all executed over a period of time. And the story goes that seeing one of his friends shot to death motivated him to find a way out. And he did manage to escape. Although the details about that are a little bit bare, it's possible as well that he may have been saved from execution during this incarceration because of the high standing of his family.


But that also is unclear whether he was nobility or not. He did get tuberculosis while he was in prison and became quite ill. That affected his health and his posture specifically for the rest of his life. It prevented him from ever standing up straight after he got out of the Warsaw Citadel.


Voynich didn't flee the country. Instead, he kept working with revolutionary groups to fight against Russian rule of Poland. And this resulted in another arrest. And this time after another 18 months in the Citadel, he was sent to Siberia to work in a salt mine as his sentence. While he was in Siberia, he met a family by the name of Karloff.


They were sympathetic to the revolutionary cause and the Karloff's encouraged Voynich to escape and to get away from Russia entirely. The advice they gave him was to go to London. At that point, the revolutionary Sergius Stefaniuk had already fled to England, and they gave Voynich his address, as well as the name of another contact in London, Lily Boulle, with a request that he contact Miss Boulle and relay their regards to her. Voynich took this urging to heart he had tried to escape the salt mine twice without being successful on his third attempt, though, he was successful and he escaped on June 12th, 1890.


Several months later, on October 5th, he was in London and to get there, he had first moved west until he got to Hamburg, Germany. He had gone under disguise. As he went in Hamburg. He had sold what little he had, which included his coat and his glasses to get enough money for food and a ticket on a cargo ship that was headed to England. There is another version of this story that is hilarious and has since been discounted where he goes the opposite direction and ends up on this wild adventure for a long time.


But it's really pretty straightforward. He just tried to take the shortest route possible to London, but even once he got to London, things were kind of rough going. He was pretty gifted at picking up languages, but he did not speak English. Yet at this point, he also had no money. He was malnourished. He had been on a boat at this point for a while. He had a piece of paper with an address on it, but he didn't know the city at all to find that address.


So he just started showing that piece of paper with the address to people on the street. And eventually he had the good fortune to show it to a student who spoke a little bit of Russian. And that young man helped him find his way to Sergius Stepney ex residents. According to Stepney Access Account, he opened his door to find this young man who looked just awful. He was grimy and exhausted. Voynich explained that he was a pole who had fled Siberia.


And in connecting with Stefaniuk, Voynich was joining an already established group of expatriates in London who had all left Russian ruled Poland. Voynich didn't use his real name when he first got to London. Instead, he went by Ivan Kaletsky. This name change was not so much to protect himself, but actually to protect his family. His parents and his sister still lived back home, and when Wellford had escaped, it was during a prisoner transfer and he had been confused with another prisoner who had gotten killed while he was also trying to escape.


So Voynich was reported as being dead, which kind of made things very smooth for him to be able to vanish from the country. But if word got out that he was in fact alive and had joined up with revolutionaries in England, his family back home would have been endangered. Along with Stefaniuk and his circle, Voynich continued his dedication to the cause immediately. The day after he got to London, Voynich is said to have been handing out anti's czarist literature in the city.


Stefaniuk circle of friends, including Voynich, set up the Society of Friends of Russian Freedom and under that umbrella, the Russian Free Press Fund in 1891. This is an initiative that paid for translation and distribution of propaganda back in Russia, as well as a monthly newsletter titled Free Russia in England. Voynich left the project several years later because he wanted to have a greater say and influence and the revolutionary message that they were promoting. But he didn't get it.


He started his own version of the group, which was the booksellers union shortly thereafter. But that really never got off the ground. And we're going to talk about that woman that was mentioned to Voynich when he was still in Siberia, Lilly Boulle. We're going to do that in just a moment. But first, we're going to pause for a sponsor break. Friends Dancing with the Stars, partners, and now podcast hosts Backstreet Boys, A.J. McLean and Cheryl Burke bring you pretty messed up.


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So in Stepney Circle of Friends in London was the young woman Voynich had been asked to look up when he got there. Lily Boulle, Lily's full name was Ethel Lillian Boulle. She was born in Ireland to English parents. As a consequence, you will sometimes see her listed as Irish and sometimes listed as English. There is also a really fun connection here with Ethel Boulle for any math buffs in the crowd. Her father was George Boole, for whom Boolean Algebra is named.


Ethel's father died when she was still a baby and her childhood was not especially pleasant. Her mother had to raise Ethel and her sister on a really tiny pension, eventually got a bacterial skin infection and had to go live with her older brother on the coast for the sake of her health. She was really miserable there. When she turned 18, she gained access to her inheritance and in the process also gained the freedom to do as she pleased. And Ethel first met up with Russian revolutionaries when she was studying music in Germany and she was drawn to their cause.


So when she got home to London, she wanted to learn Russian and her tutor was exiled. Pole Sergei is stepping back and he encouraged her to spend some time in Russia and learn about it, which she did. She stayed with Stefaniuk sister while she was there, and that is how she came to be connected to this whole group that Voynich had also joined up with. Ethel was multilingual and she actually translated a lot of Stepney writing into English for distribution in England.


The story goes that when Voynich first saw Ethel, he asked her if she had been in Warsaw in 1887, which she had to. The Citadel is part of an effort on her part to learn about what was going on in Warsaw under Russian rule. Voynich said he had been incarcerated at the time and had seen her outside that day from a window. That may have been true, maybe not. Either way, very romantic idea, it is one thing that always comes up when you read descriptions of Wilfred Voynich is that he was incredibly charming and sort of magnetic and could really connect with people.


And I love the fact that he would have at this point still been kind of a mess. He had just arrived in London, yet he saw this young woman that he thought was pretty and managed to turn on the charm instantly. It's like I haven't eaten a good meal in weeks, but hi. Were you in Warsaw in 1886?


By the time Voynich left the Russian Free Press Fund and the rest of Stepney Circle, he and Lily had actually become a couple. They were living as husband and wife as early as 1892. He had actually written to a friend in New York to tell him that he was married.


Lily had started to go by the initials E Elvie and correspondence, having taken the name Voynich, although the two of them were not legally married at the time, they were married by deed poll, sort of a unilaterally binding agreement.


It's not an actual marriage certificate.


Yeah, it's kind of a work around.


Yeah, Ethel simply changed her name to make it less stigmatized for the two of them to be living together. They lived with Ethel's mother for several years and a few years into the relationship. Their involvement with the revolutionary cause came to a close after Sergius, Stefaniuk was struck by a train and killed. There was, during this time, a romantic rival in the picture, though the Voyages met a man in the 90s who at the time was going by the name Sigismund Rosenblum.


He would later become more well known as Sydney Rilly. And for more than a century there was this rumour that Ethel in Sydney began an affair and traveled to Italy together, where he eventually left her in Florence. That story from Ethel side was that she had gone to Italy to write, and she did indeed turn out a novel titled The Gadfly in 1897, based on the work she had done there, that became a very, very popular novel and eventually also a film and a stage play.


Ryley later claimed that the gadfly was based on his life and that he had told Ethel his life story during their time together in Italy.


This rumour gained a level of substantiation in recent years when a book about the boule family written by Gerry Kennedy included information that the affair was corroborated that happening by two members of British intelligence, George Hill and Sir Paul Dukes. The reason British intelligence agents were the ones who could confirm it was that Sydney Reilly was a double agent who came to be known as the ace of spies.


So, yes, that could be a whole other episode, whether he had purposely initiated his relationship with Ethel to see what political effort she and her husband might be involved in or if their affair was incidental, that's really unclear.


Yeah, he he at one point, I believe, had mentioned, like having starting this affair when he was in London and then them meeting up in Italy. But he was kind of bored by that point. But I don't it's unclear whether or not that was because he had realised they were not involved in any revolutionary cause anymore, or if he had just legitimately been romantically interested in her and then kind of was not anymore. But while they were living in London, Voynich had also become friends with a man named Richard Garnette, who worked at the British Museum Library as the keeper of printed books.


Gurnett had suggested that a career in antiquarian books would be a perfect path for Voynich, advising him that he just needed to travel and acquire such volumes and then return home and sell them to buyers in London. And Voynich actually found this to be a pretty appealing idea. The first rare book catalogue that Voynich produced, along with a partner named Charles Edgel, came out in 1898, and this contained a fair number of Inken Abdula. These are books that were printed before 1500 and it also made use of Proctor numbers, which had just been introduced that year in the book index to the early printed books in the British Museum from the invention of printing to the year end with notes to those in the Bodleian Library.


So Procter numbers were created by bibliographer and author of the book. We just mentioned. Robert Proctor, working as the title says, with the collection of the British Museum in this cataloging system is pretty interesting because it classifies pre 1500 books by the printer that printed them, as well as the physical location of their printing and the countries where printing had been established. So this creates this really unique chronological history of printing and it's spread as well as notating the specific title at hand.


This kind of became the gold standard for identifying in King Abdullah and embracing the system. Voynich was establishing himself as someone who didn't just sell rare books but really cared about their provenance and their place in publishing history. Re The next step in Voynich is rare books career was the opening of his shop in Soho Square, more carefully annotated catalogues followed and Voynich started, including a section for books that were, quote, unknown, lost or undescribed. What he meant was books that weren't in any known bibliography and had no record of having been part of any library's collection.


And since Voynich was urged into this career by Richard Garnett, it is probably no surprise that one of his primary clients was the British Museum. Over the years, the British Museum bought 3800 books from Wilfred Voynich and he was able to make a pretty nice living traveling around Europe, particularly to convents and monasteries, and acquiring valuable pieces from their collection and then selling them to not just the British Museum but other museums and occasional private collectors in London. He was not, by most accounts, entirely fair when he made some of these business deals.


He was often trading modern books of little to no value in exchange for books that he knew were valuable because of their age, condition and rarity. In some cases, though, I think it's worth noting that these were in collections where he was like, I know you're not comfortable handling this book because it is old. I will give you a copy that is essentially the same content that you can just thumb through whenever it is a little more sturdy. In an exchange, you give me the rare beautiful when they were getting a useful book, but it wasn't valuable.


That's better than how I had interpreted this was, which was that he was just sort of a weasel bilking people with inferior substitutes.


There are, depending on what account you read, you will get everywhere on the spectrum and every flavor of nuance regarding people's assessment of those deals.


So these unknown, lost or undescribed books became very popular with these buyers. So much so that when he produced the eighth catalogue in June of 1982, this consisted only of unknown books. The British Museum made Voynich an offer to purchase the entire catalog for the sum of eight hundred pounds. That was a large offer, but Voynich wanted twice as much. But also he wanted the books to go to the museum. Yeah, he did seem to have a vested interest in making sure these books got put into museums so they would be cared for.


And this is where he pulled off what to me reads like a fairly epic business deal. Voynich, knowing the British Museum would not meet his quote, reached out to a number of the private collectors that he did business with. And he made the suggestion to them that they could purchase the books at his asking price, of course, and then donate them to the British Museum so they would be preserved and cared for.


This completely worked. The museum got their books. Voynich got the price he wanted for them. These collectors got to feel like they were contributing important things to the museum. Theoretically, everybody wins. It's another one of those cases where there's a little nuance in the mix about how much of this was strictly for self benefit and how much of it was. No, this really is the best solution for all of us.


In 1982, Voynich formally married Ethel Lillian Boulle, although they had been living as spouses for a decade. At that point, Ethel had changed her name, but they had never actually married. He had also been going by the anglicised version of his name, Wilfred Michael Voynich, for years. But it didn't legally become his name until two years later, when he changed it at the same time as he became a naturalised British subject. So we're going to talk a little bit more about Voynich, his rare book business, in just a moment, including when he finds the Voynich manuscript.


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So in the early nineteen hundreds, business was going really, really well for Wilfred Voynich and in nineteen eighty eight he expanded his enterprise by acquiring an already established shop in Florence known for its amazing collection of Ink and Abdula, he made a catalogue of the books available in the Florence location, titled A Catalogue of rare books printed in the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries not to be found in the British Museum. He also upgraded his London location at this time to a new shop on Shaftesbury Avenue.


The end of the first decade of the 20th century marked a shift in Voynich, his focus as well, and a refinement of how he looked for interesting finds. He started to pursue and sell illuminated manuscripts rather than just pieces that were produced on presses. And he started examining bindings of books to see if there were any treasures tucked inside. Something we've mentioned happening on previous episodes of the show, particularly previous installments of Unearthed.


In 1912, Voynich sold and illuminated manuscript for Augustine's City of God for twelve hundred pounds. This was a significant deal by modern estimates, which of course are always a little bit wobbly when you're trying to do currency conversion. That would be about one hundred thirty eight thousand pounds today or one hundred and eighty three thousand dollars. So he was starting to do some really substantial deals. But when it was also not particularly liquid in his assets and as his interests had shifted to more and more valuable pieces, he was often making a lot of these deals of acquiring them on credit.


And he became a little bit infamous for letting accounts lag for years. Sometimes 1912 was an important year for Wilfred Voynich. That was the year he gained possession of the manuscript that made his name famous. He wrote about this acquisition, quote, During one of my periodic visits to the continent of Europe, I came across a most remarkable collection of precious illuminated manuscripts. For many decades, these volumes had laid buried in the chest in which I found them in an ancient castle in southern Europe.


While examining the manuscripts with a view to the acquisition of at least part of the collection. My attention was especially drawn by one volume. It was such an ugly duckling compared with the others that my interest was aroused at once. I found that it was entirely written in cipher, even a necessarily brief examination of the vellum upon which it was written, the calligraphy, the drawings and the pigments suggested to me as the date of its origin, the latter part of the 13th century.


That castle was Villa Mundhra, Gony Frascati, which is not far from Rome. But that information did not come to light for decades.


Now he kept the location secret. So did Ethel. There were, we should mention, some items and deals that Voynich was involved with when he was still living in London. That kind of went a little bit fishy upon closer inspection. So we're backtracking a little bit. But in 1955, he acquired a painted parchment from another dealer in England, and that English dealer had said that the art painted on it depicted Columbus arriving in the Americas. But there was a flag in that painting that just didn't match up with the description.


It was something that wouldn't have existed until later. And whether Voynich or someone who worked for him identified this out of time flag in this problem at the time line, we don't know. But they did still think it was an old piece.


And so using that info, they came to the conclusion that it might be a painting of Cortez arriving in Mexico when it sold this parchment to the British Museum, apparently genuinely believing that it was legitimate, just misdated. But the museum asked for more details and it could only be conclusively traced to the dealer who had sold it to the dealer that Voynich had bought it from.


Years after Wellford Voynich died, it was determined to be a forgery.


That whole forgery story is also another potential story of its own. As the First World War was beginning in Europe, of course, Wilfred Voynich stopped traveling and he turned his attention from the European continent across the Atlantic. He made a trip to New York City sailing on the Lusitania in the fall of 1914, and this was the first of several trips because he had found an entirely new group of buyers in the United States. After initially working out of his hotels where he was staying, which was often the Waldorf Astoria, he finally set up an office for himself on West 40 Second Street, which is right across from Bryant Park.


Starting in early 1915, Voynich had started moving a lot of his most valuable stock to New York, and eventually North America became home to his primary office. He had. Hired a woman named and AM to serve as assistant and to help manage his New York business, he kept the shop in London, which was left in the care of Herbert Garland to manage. Ethel joined her husband permanently in New York in the early 1920s. One of the new business practices that Wilfred Voynich started in the U.S. was mounting exhibitions in various cities so he would arrange to have some of his most striking illuminated manuscripts of the collection displayed.


And this was a way to drum up interest and also make sales. He could, you know, have people come in and it was almost like a gallery and he would do this at venues in Manhattan, as well as at Princeton, at the Art Institute of Chicago, the University of Michigan, the University of Illinois. And in Buffalo at the Albert Gallery. Wilfred showed the cipher manuscript at one of these exhibits and he did want to sell it, but was also just fascinated by it, like so many people are today.


But that led to a little bit of a problem.


Two different people reported Wilfred Voynich to the US Bureau of Investigation is a possible enemy working within the United States, citing the manuscript as possible evidence. This, of course, was the precursor to the FBI. The first man that reported him was W.S. Boose. He wrote a letter to the Department of Justice, which is kind of wishy washy on whether he actually thinks Voynich may be up to something. He opens his letter with. Dear sirs, I have no reason to suppose that Mr.


W.M. Voynich is not solely occupied with his bookselling, but the enclosed letter from him to me may be worth a moment's consideration in view of your reported difficulties with spies.


So the enclosed letter was one that Voynich had written to Booth, who he knew through his academic contacts. He had sent copies of the manuscript to you. In this letter, Voynich mentioned the bacon cipher. Voynich believed it to be the work of Franciscan Friar Roger Bakin, who lived in the 13th century. And Voynich mentioned that the, quote, War Department is working on the subject and I hope they will be able to transliterate it with the help of their expert readers.


It is not clear exactly what this meant, but the Department of Justice did not seem to have done much of anything with this information passed, sending a reply, acknowledging that they did get Mr. Booth's correspondence. Yeah, we don't know why he thought the war department was working on the Voynich manuscript at this point. Remember, it did not have the the reputation that it does now. We don't know if he knew someone in the military who was like, oh, that's interesting.


I would love to take a look at it or if there was actually someone doing it. That's all a little bit curious. There's a scan of this document that is after after a copy of it has been sent to the US government. And someone circles that claim and just writes, why next?


Which I found sort of charming, but because Voynich, who was a stylish and wealthy foreigner, had this strange cipher, rumors started to circulate that his book dealer facade was covering up the fact that he actually had war ciphers from the U.S. military and was possibly selling them to the Germans. This rumor got really spun up when Voynich had dinner with a German born naturalized U.S. citizen named Walter Lichtenstein. The boring truth was that Lichtenstein was the head of the library at Northwestern University, but word that Voynich had been discussing cyphers with Lichtenstein, who had been born in Germany, made it to the Bureau of Investigation, and they opened a formal file on the book dealer.


The investigation was thorough. The people who had rented Voynich his office space were questioned. His bank was visited by the authorities. His rooms were searched, and Voynich himself was questioned by an investigator named A.W. Willett.


Voynich showed all of his documents, his passport, his British citizenship papers and even the bacon manuscript to Will It. Everyone who was asked about him described him as a lovely gentleman of means. On December 27th, 1917, Captain Manley of the Cipher Bureau wrote a report to Lieutenant Strauss, which was then relayed to the Bureau of Investigation. And it made matters pretty clear. It started with, quote, There is no ground for suspicion in regard to Mr Voynich cipher manuscript.


It was written in England over 600 years ago and neither has nor can have the slightest bearing on the present situation. That report goes on to relay how Voynich was interviewed, how he was very clearly not pro German, and that the conclusion is that a personal grudge must have led Voynich to be reported as a possible insurgent.


This file was maintained through 1920, with investigations kicking up any time. He traveled or did much of anything at all, really, but it never seems to have resulted in finding anything except for a lot of bureaucratic back and forth. The letters are really funny to read where it's like, didn't you question this Voynich person? Yes, it did. He's just an antiquarian book dealer like you. It makes me laugh a little bit. So we mentioned earlier that Ethel did not move to the U.S. until the 1920s.


One of the reasons for this was that during the war she adopted a child, although there was never any legal paperwork or a formal adoption. But that girl, Winifred Eisenhower, was the daughter of a German prisoner of war. And so Ethel, for whatever reason, decided that she would take care of her. Wilfred, we should be clear, was not really ever a father figure to Winnifred, though. He wrote to a friend in 1926 about her, quote, I know her very little.


I foot the bills, but I am not taking part in her education or bringing her up. Elvie loves her and that is the end of it. Wilfred traveled to England on business in 1929 and he came down with pneumonia. While he was there, he was able to get back home to New York, but he never recovered. He had never had great health since his time in prison and he was also a lifelong smoker. Voynich died on March 19th of 1930, and at that point he had never sold the bacon.


No, he really did seem to want some academic to please, please solve it because he was really into it at that point.


And after Wilfred's death, Ethel and Ann, who remember, he had hired as kind of his assistant, she's often listed as a secretary manager, of course, has some outdated language. But the two women continued the business together and they also became each other's closest companion. They lived together for the next 30 years. They first lived in Brooklyn and then they moved into Manhattan, into an apartment, and they kept things running in the rare book trade that Voynich had established.


But neither of them was ever as gifted as Wilfred had been. At cultivating relationships with buyers and sellers, Wilfred had left the famous cipher a manuscript jointly to Ethel and and he included instructions in his will that they could sell it. But it had to go to a public institution and the price was firmly set at 100000 dollars. Ethel died in 1960 and and became the sole owner. She sold it to a private book dealer against those instructions. And Wilfred's well.


And then and died in 1961. Today, Voynich is catalogs of books are prized as collector's items, which probably would have tickled someone who looked for rare books for a living, that his lists of rare books then became considered rare books themselves. The Girl, Your Club on 16th Street in Manhattan, which is a book Lover Society, has a comprehensive Voynich collection documenting the antiquarian Booksellers Time in New York from 1969, and they have a complete set of Voynich catalogs.


And now, of course, the legacy is that everyone is always trying to decode that thing and sometimes saying they did it on their lunch break. That always tickles me. Yeah, Wellford Voynich, he's an interesting creature for sure. Hmm, I will I will talk an hour behind the scenes about one of the many reasons I love him in a strange way, OK? It's my own my own nostalgia. But first, I have completely unrelated listener mail from our listener, Shannon, who writes about Taro and cats.


She writes, Thank you for your awesome episode on the history of Taro. I took up. Taro is a moody teenager. My recently divorced mother took me to a New Age bookstore. What did you expect? But my passion in it has skyrocketed during quarantine, both because I needed some sort of outside guidance in these times and also because I'm helping playtest a Taro based RPG. It sounds amazing having a community of other TERU interested folks to talk over daily card pulls books and gush over beautiful Troadec has been one of the highlights of my time at home in this crazy year.


I'm attaching some pictures of some of my favorite decks for you to enjoy as well. I said on that episode, I will say it again. The art that goes into some of these decks is so delicious.


Also, please add me to the list of folks asking for an episode on Pamela Coleman Smith. She says, finally, thank you both for all of your work. I started listening to you both as a history obsessed but theater study in college kid. And ever since your voices have been a source of calm and joy no matter what is going on. Here are some pictures of my cats, Ariah, Amy and Icko as an additional show of gratitude, hoping you are staying as well as can be expected.


Shannon, Shannon, thank you so much again. Yes, kitties always. But oh, some of this Terho art that she sent is really beautiful and cool. I love it.


I, I have learned as a consequence of doing that episode, I have a number of friends who kind of similarly got more into Tiaro during the pandemic. Does this kind of a way for them to, like, learn a new thing that's small and does not require a huge investment? And like they associate it, as we talked about on the episode, with like this is kind of my daily meditation. It's like a thing I think about. And it you know, it gives me a moment of focus.


I love it. It's fascinating. I since we did that episode, the day that episode came out, my new Edgar Allan Poe tarot deck came. And then I have since acquired one that is based on the work of Guillermo del Toro, which is a beautiful name.


I barely have opened to either of them because I haven't had time.


But that art, I love art and the tiny art on cards is a fascinating and special sort of skill to have. I think the people that can convey the meanings of these cards in the smaller size, it's very cool.


Anyway, that is the scoop. If you would like to write to us, you could do so. It is, I guess. Did I hurt radio dotcom. We are also everywhere on social media as missed in history. And if you would like to subscribe to the podcast and haven't already, it is easy enough to do so. You can do that on the I Heart radio app, at Apple podcast or wherever it is you listen.


Stuff you missed in history class is the production of I Heart Radio for more podcasts from My Heart radio visit by her radio app Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to your favorite shows. I created the podcast Prodigy to find the answer to a question, can genius be created? Many believe it can because it's happened before. Was it a coincidence or is it repeatable in pursuit of the answer? I interviewed brilliant academics, social scientists, groundbreaking researchers and the prodigies themselves to gain a better understanding of intelligence, skill acquisition, expert performance and genetics disregard all simple explanations because complex questions require complex answers.


My name is Lowell Berlanti and I'm seeking the answer to a very complicated question. What is the nature of our intelligence?


Listen to Prodigy every Thursday on the I Heart radio app, Apple podcasts or ever you get your podcasts about a Girl is a new podcast about the women behind musical legends, the ones who inspired, loved, supported and challenged these icons on their way to greatness. These are 12 incredible, influential women without whom the landscape of popular music might be very different. It tested by me. Eleanor Wells, an executive produced by Jack Brennan of Disgraced Land 27 Club and Blood on the Tracks.


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