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Catherine Sforza - the author of the VMS?!?!?

Hi everyone,

Here's a page that describes Caterina Sforza's secret potions and recipes, though in Italian (my Italian is basically tourist-oriented, so be warned):-


	Pubblicato sulla rivista Historia, n. 416, ottobre 1992 col titolo:
	"Belletti, veleni e cannoni"

This article refers to "Liber de experimentiis Catherinae Sfortiae", some of which was in a Greek-looking cipher, written in a neat precise hand by Caterina Sforza herself. The recipes are written in apparently random order, and comprise cosmetics, alchemy, magic and medicine.

This seems to cover the entire area I mentioned in recent emails, plus a few more besides:
to make faces beautiful
to regrow hair
help cope with sciatica
get rid of worms (?)
toothpaste (made from verbena, "betony" [?], apple, and *live frogs*!)
depilatory creams
avoid the plague (sulphur, "armenico bolus" [?], pepper, cinnamon, white wine)

Here's another page that comes ever closer to describing what she produced:-


	Caterina Sforza, in spite of compiling one of the great herbals
	of the quattrocento, probably had a greater reputation as a
	poisoner than Lucrezia Borgia during her lifetime, but then
	again, Caterina did include the most famous of all Renaissance
	poison recipes in her book and above all, she was unique
	amongst Renaissance women for growing poisonous plants
	in her own garden and employing technicians to make up her

So: despite not being mentioned on the list to date,
- her dates match our best guesstimates extremely closely (b. 1463?)
- she compiled a (famous? though I haven't seen other references to it) herbal
- many items of which had a very women's health-and-beauty kind of agenda
- baths were part of her culture
- she had her own private garden
- poison (ie deadly nightshade and others) features in her collection
- she lived in a time and context of political intrigue
- she was rich and powerful enough to commission her own private maiolica
- she used a private cipher in her notebooks
- she (like Tristano Sforza) was rich enough to commission her own codes

I think Catherine Sforza is the most likely author of the VMS - and when we compare the VMS with "Liber de experimentiis Catherinae Sfortiae", I expect that we should be looking at least at some of its plaintext.

Can anyone please tell me where this manuscript is located? I have a plane to catch... :-))))

Cheers, .....Nick Pelling......