Sad News- Stephen Bax

As many in the Voynich Community know, Stephen Bax passed away suddenly and too soon, on the 22nd November 2017.

Our father Stephen was a man with many passions and interests, but the Voynich Manuscript was one of his central focuses in recent years.

We will be keeping this website ( open in his honour so that those interested can continue to theorise, debate and even decipher the Voynich manuscript. Having a space for all Voynich related discussion was, after all, a main reason he created this website. His work on the Voynich will now be continued by all of you.

RenĂ© Zandbergen , a close Voynich collaborator of my Father’s will be the best person for more technical questions.

To read more about Stephen’s life, his obituary can be found in the Times Higher Education .

Another legacy of his, Text Inspector, will also be continued by friends and collegues.

Over to you now.

Andrew & Michael Bax

p.s We look forward to comments on how we can help you all get to the bottom of this mysterious manuscript!


  1. Dear Andrew and Michael,
    Your father will be much missed in the Voynich community. His ideas inspired much good debate and simulated intellectual discussion.
    I feel privileged to have been able to discuss some of these ideas with him, and will always remember him as he was the last time I met him in Burgos, a charming and intelligent man.
    My fellow mods at the Voynich. Ninja have asked me to pass on our little community’s thanks for your initiative, and our regards and best wishes to your family.

  2. Dear Andrew and Michael,

    many thanks for this initiative!

  3. MarcoP

    Dear Andrew and Michael,
    I would like to express my deepest sympathies to you and your family. I greatly miss Stephen. I discovered the Voynich manuscript thanks to the paper he published in 2014. Since then, I have spent many wonderful hours following Stephen’s ideas and looking for related evidence in ancient texts and diagrams. I am grateful for your initiative to keep this site active: I often come back to it to reread Stephen’s insights and to enjoy once again the clarity and kindness that permeate everything he wrote.

  4. D.N. O'Donovan

    I’d like to express my gratitude for your father’s generosity to those interested in Beinecke MS 408, and for yours in keeping this site open. I trust that whoever takes on the difficult task of deciding what information, and what comments are to appear will be as fair-minded as he was.

    For what it is worth, I felt that his sense of the text as being in a Persian-related dialect was very probably correct, although I do wish he had been able to explore further the Persian-related dialects of which we know. I doubt there is anyone else at present with the same skills, or the same degree of dispassionate scholarly interest in the manuscript’s language – his willingness to consider all possibilities suggested by the evidence and to give theory-spinning a much lower priority than evidence itself was of enormous value, and its being so suddenly removed from the discussion will surely set back this study by decades. There is simply no-one else with the requisite intelligence, training, natural ability or disposition who is able to take his place.

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