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Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Freemasons An Illustrated Book Of An Ancient Brotherhood

The Freemasons An Illustrated Book Of An Ancient Brotherhood Cover

Book: The Freemasons An Illustrated Book Of An Ancient Brotherhood by Michael Johnstone

Reviewing the great buildings of Europe, such as Notre Dame Cathedral, the cathedral at Chartres, London's Westminster Hall, and King's College at Cambridge (all of which are illustrated in photo or drawing), the foundation of the Masonic Lodges is explained as places where Master Masons could give instruction to junior craftsmen and apprentices. This training could not be given where it could be seen or heard by non-lodge members, and so the lodge came to be regarded as a protected place and in time assumed a sacred character.

Modern Freemasonry was established in London in 1717, but the origins of Freemasonry date back thousands of years to pre-biblical times. In "The Freemasons: The Illustrated Book of an Ancient Brotherhood" Michael Johnstone traces possible links in the beginning between Freemasonry and the building of King Solomon's Temple, with the great philosopher Pythagoras, the Collegia, with the Ancient Mysteries, the Druids, and with the Knights Templar.

Following the founding of the English Grand Lodge in 1717, lodges were quickly formed in throughout Europe and by the 1730s Masonic Lodges had been founded in Holland, Austria, Prussia, Italy, Spain and Sweden. We also see Masonic Lodges formed in the new American Colonies, beginning with St. John's Lodge in Philadelphia, where Benjamin Franklin was initiated in 1731.

Beyond Benjamin Franklin, several other famous men are identified in "The Freemasons", including:

- Edwin `Buzz' Aldrin - Astronaut
- Sir Joseph Banks - President of the British Royal Society
- Edmund Burke - one of England's foremost political thinkers
- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - creator of Sherlock Holmes
- Robert Burns - Scotland's National Poet
- and... many other great and famous men.

Throughout "The Freemasons" we read of Masonic involvement in the "Boston Tea Party", the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the building of the Nations Capital, and the design of the Great Seal of these United States of America.

"The Freemasons" table of contents includes:

- Introduction
- In The Beginning
- Built For The Glory of God
- Emergence
- Around The World
- Crossing The Atlantic
- Rites and Rituals
- Ideals and Virtues
- Famous Freemasons
- Woman in Freemasonry
- Glossary
- Index

Lavishly illustrated, Michael Johnstone's "The Freemasons", is a worthy addition to any Freemason's library, it being a well-written, easy-to-read, history of this Ancient Craft.

This lavishly illustrated book lifts the veil of mystery and secrecy to offer a fresh look at Freemasonry. From the historical beginnings of the brotherhood and a look at its symbols and rituals to the impact Freemasons have had on science, art and history, this book is a comprehensive celebration for Freemasons themselves and for anyone else who is fascinated by the rich history of this ancient organization.

I would recommend this book for anyone interested in a general working knowledge of the Craft, although there are a couple of historical citations that may or may not be completely accurate.

Buy Michael Johnstone's book: The Freemasons An Illustrated Book Of An Ancient Brotherhood

Downloadable books (free):

Aleister Crowley - The Enochian Tablets And The Book Of The Law
John Opsopaus - Interpretationes Of Ancient Herbs
Padraic Colum - The Children Of Odin The Book Of Northern Myths