With its ancient ritual, closely guarded secrets, arcane symbols and intriguing regalia, Freemasonry has fascinated for almost 300 years – but the mystery has led to myth and often misunderstanding. Drawing on some of the world’s greatest collections of Masonic material, and including many objects never before published, this book offers a uniquely accessible and comprehensive picture of the organization. It covers the origins and history of the Order; the philosophy behind the Degree rituals; the ever-changing relationship between Freemasonry and wider society (including the role of women in Freemasonry and opposition to Masonry); the puzzles and mysteries associated with Freemasons; and finally a survey of the most prominent Brothers over time.
The picture is completed with in-depth coverage of the various Higher Degrees and affiliated organizations around the world, including the Holy Royal Arch, Mark Masonry, Knights Templar, and Scottish and York Rites.
With stunning colour illustrations and profound insights, this book separates fact from fiction, and opens our eyes to new, more fundamental, mysteries.