Cryptomenysis Patefacta: or the Art of Secret Information disclosed without a Key. Containing, Plain and Demonstrative Rules, for Decyphering all Manner of Secret Writing. With Exact Methods, for Resolving Secret Intimations by Signs or Gestures, or in Speech. As also an Inquiry into the Secret ways of Conveying Written Messages: and the Several Mysterious Proposals for Secret Information, mentioned by Trithemius, &c.
by F[ALCONER], J[ohn].
By J. F. Title within rules. 13 p.l. (the first & 8th are blank), 180 pp. 8vo, cont. speckled calf (carefully rebacked with the orig. spine laid-down by Trevor Lloyd, some marginal worming), spine gilt, red morocco lettering piece on spine. London: D. Brown, 1685. First edition of one of the major 17th-century works on cryptography. In this work, Falconer presents a broad view of the subject including enciphering and decrypting. He disparages Wilkins's writings on the subject, suggesting that many of the proposed ciphers could be easily broken. The first four chapters discuss various aspects of cryptography and the fifth chapter provides a favorable discussion of the work of Tritheim, the author of the first printed book on the subject. Falconer discusses the use of permutations, prime factorizations, and the multiplication principle. "Falconer also gave what seems to be the earliest illustration of keyed columnar transposition, a cipher that is today the primary and most widely used transposition cipher, having served (with modifications) for French military ciphers, Japanese diplomatic superencipherments, and Soviet spy ciphers."-Leeuw, The History of Information Security, p. 303. Fine copy from the Macclesfield library with the South Library bookplate and embossed stamp on title. ❧ Kahn, The Code Breakers, p. 156-"Up until Falconer the literature was all theory and no practice." . (Inventory #: HillBibl-5198)
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