'Prisoners, Lovers, and Spies' reveals the secrets of invisible ink

Kristie Macrakis uncovers the nearly 3,000-year history of hidden messages

By Bryan Bello, 11:28 AM June 13, 2014

Prisoners, Lovers, and Spies: The Story of Invisible Ink from Herodotus to al-Qaeda 
Kristie Macrakis
Yale Univ., $27.95

Pig’s bladder, gypsum, fig sap, alum and onion juice — there’s no eye of newt among invisible ink recipes, but blood of dormouse is fair game. By the end of science historian Macrakis’ nearly 3,000-year accounting of secret messages, she’s all but thrown in the kitchen sink (and the cauldron).

If you’re asking whether it’s science or sorcery chronicled in these pages, there’s a...

Source URL: https://www.sciencenews.org/article/prisoners-lovers-and-spies-reveals-secrets-invisible-ink