Shelf:Life - Links to what's new in the world of old, rare, and collectable books, insights into book collecting, the news stories that matter, and occasional comments by TheBookGuide.  Archived Stories.

December 2016

The name's Bottome... Phyliss Bottome!
A BBC radio programme suggests that Ian Fleming may have based his dashing hero on another fictional spy in a book by his late novelist friend and mentor, Phyllis Bottome ... more  Add a comment

Gun that wounded French poet Rimbaud sold at auction
The gun that wounded French poet Arthur Rimbaud has been sold for £370,000 at an auction in the capital Paris. It was used by Rimbaud's lover, fellow French poet Paul Verlaine, during a heated argument between the pair in Brussels on 10 July 1873 ... more  Add a comment

The unsolvable mysteries of the Voynich Manuscript
The Voynich Manuscript is a special kind of original. We know, thanks to carbon dating, that it was put together in the early fifteenth century. But no living person has ever, as far as we know, understood it. Nobody can decode the language the book is written in. It has no title and no author. A new facsimile, edited by Raymond Clemens and published by Yale University Press, draws attention to the way that we think about truth now: the book invites guesses, conspiracy theory, spiritualism, cryptography. The Voynich Manuscript has charisma, and charisma has lately held a monopoly on our attentions ... more  Add a comment

Is this the first written mention of Jesus?
An ancient set of lead tablets showing the earliest portrait of Jesus Christ have proved to be around 2,000 years old, according to experts. The metal 'pages', held together like a ring binder, were found in Jordan in around 2008 by an Jordanian Bedouin and make reference to Christ and his disciples ... more  Add a comment

Ancient Irish manuscript links Irish church to Egypt
In 2006 an Irish worker discovered an amazing find while digging in a bog with his backhoe at Fadden More. Sticking out of the earth was an ancient manuscript, miraculously intact after more than a thousand years. Archeologists were quickly notified and carefully retrieved the manuscript and began at once investigating it and putting the pieces together ... more  Add a comment