This book is a revealing but thoroughly enjoyable journey through the intricate history of English Freemasonry. Historian Dr David Harrison reconstructs the hidden history of the movement, tracing its roots through a mixture of mediaeval guild societies, alchemy and necromancy. He examines the earliest known Freemasons and their obsessions with Solomon's Temple, alchemy and prophecy to the formation of the Grand Lodge in London, which in turn led to rebellions within the Craft throughout England, especially in York and with the formation of the antients. Harrison also analyses the role of French immigrant Dr Jean Theophilus Desaguliers in the development of English Freemasonry, focussing on his involvement with the formation of the mysterious modern Masonic ritual. All Freemasons and more general readers will find much of interest in this fascinating exploration of the very beginnings of Freemasonry, still one of the most mysterious brotherhoods in the world.
Dr. David Harrison is a UK based Masonic historian who has so far written five books on the history of English Freemasonry and has contributed articles on the subject to various magazines which deal with the topic of Freemasonry around the world, such as the UK based Freemasonry Today, MQ Magazine, the Square, the US based Knight Templar Magazine, Philalethes and the Australian based New Dawn Magazine. Harrison has also appeared on TV and radio discussing his work.
Having gained his PhD from the University of Liverpool in 2008 which focused on the development of English Freemasonry, the thesis was subsequently published in March 2009 entitled The Genesis of Freemasonry by Lewis Masonic, and his second work entitled The Transformation of Freemasonry was published by Arima Publishing the following year. Both works received critical acclaim. His work on The Liverpool Masonic Rebellion and the Wigan Grand Lodge was published by Arima in 2012, which was followed by A Quick Guide to Freemasonry, which was published by Lewis Masonic in September 2013. A new work on the history of the York Grand Lodge was published in 2014.