The Story of Codes



ISBN: 9781911130895 Categories: ,

Stephen Pincock, Mark Frary


From the Bible code to the Voynich manuscript, from subtly altered hieroglyphs carved into ancient Egyptian monuments to clues hidden in Renaissance paintings, we are surrounded by mysterious codes bearing hidden messages from the past. What does it take to write a fail-safe code? What does it take to break one?

Taking in the full history of code making, from the scribes of ancient Egypt to modern-day computer programmers, The Story of Codesprovides a fascinating insight into this most secret and mysterious of crafts. It shows just how Julius Caesar obscured the meaning of vital wartime messages using a method of shifting letters and explains the way that Sir Francis Walsingham was able to use coded letter to foil plots against Elizabeth I. It gives an account of the ever-more complicated ciphers that were devised – and cracked – during the Cold War and investigates how codebreaking is being used today to fight crime and terrorism. And it shows you how to decipher codes from all periods of history, including many that are still employed today.

Additional information

Weight 710 g
Dimensions 18.3 x 25 cm
Publisher name Modern Books
Publication date 1 January 2020
Number of pages 224
Format Hardback
Dimensions 18.3 x 25 cm
Weight 710 g
Stephen Pincock is an award-winning science journalist, and an editor at Springer Nature, one of the world's leading scholarly publishers. He has written widely about the history and development of cryptology and technology, and is the author of The Intelligence Equation and the co-author of The Origins of the Universe for Dummies and Discovering Scott Reef. Mark Frary is an award-winning technology and science writer, speaker and author of De/Cipher, Freaky Science and Future Proof. He has a first class degree in astronomy and physics from University College London. He has had a lifelong interest in codes and lives close to the Second World War codebreaking centre of Bletchley Park in Bedfordshire, where he is a regular visitor.