There is a category for a text that borrows heavily from reality, without itself being real: It is the category of fiction. “I think it’s fantasy,” SantaColoma says. He noticed another thing: The cylinders, which other scholars called “jars,” were actually quite similar to early microscopes—long, leather encased cylinders with glass on either side, and details along the leather. These microscopes were being created in the 17th-century, a time when there was also a resurgence of utopian, i.e., fantasy, writing. In fact, SantaColoma sees in the Voynich many similarities to Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis, a 17th-century utopian tract about a fantasy island where Bacon’s ideal college is described: the unknown plants, the grafting, the code, books on velum, and new types of animals, as well as a bath full of naked ladies.
“If you took a group of artists and gave them New Atlantis and asked them to draw a book from that place,” SantaColoma said, “it would probably look a lot like the Voynich.” As for why someone would do such a thing, SantaColoma said he didn’t know. “Maybe as a tribute, or a gift.” His theory resembles Friedman’s “artificial or universal language,” which a colleague heard Friedman compare to “the form of a philosophical classification of ideas by Bishop Wilkins in 1667 and Dalgarno a little later.”
(via The Quest To Unlock the Mysteries of a Bizarre Manuscript Known as Voynich – Tablet Magazine)