Wilfrid’s dedication had been unquestionable in striking at the threads of the Russian yoke and his subversive activities in the name of a free Poland eventually got him exiled to Siberia. His daring escape, after which he found his way to London, proved only to cement his convictions. He and a group of ex-patriot nationalists founded the Society of Friends for a Free Russia and sent both moral and financial support behind the lines.
With the passing of each of his fellow comrades though, he found his passions subtly growing weaker. He could never abandon his cause but it was time for younger blood to take his place. He slowly disassociated himself from the day to day plotting and scheming until eventually he found himself “settled down” and he looked forward to a quieter life. An acquaintance recommended he get into the book business.
So it was, fourteen years later, he found himself sitting in his shop looking over the thirty antiquated volumes he’d secretly purchased from the Jesuits of Villa Mondragone in Italy. There were some rare ones; some in French, most in Latin. He might make enough on them to open a second shop in New York.
But there was one he kept coming back to. It was hand-scripted on vellum, filled with lavish illustrations of... what, he couldn’t tell. Impossible plants. Cosmological charts. Parades of bathing women. What was most confounding though was the language. Despite having become an authority on old manuscripts, he could make no sense of it. Unexpectedly, he’d stumbled upon a new passion, and like the old one, it would dominate his every waking moment.
Experts today are no closer to unlocking the secrets of the mysterious 600 year old “Voynich Manuscript” than Wilfrid Voynich was when he died on March 19, 1930.