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The Genesis of Freemasonry [Hardcover]

David Harrison
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Book Description

2 April 2009
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.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Lewis Masonic (2 April 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0853183228
  • ISBN-13: 978-0853183228
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 15.9 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 894,935 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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.

Product Description

About the Author

Dr David Harrison has written on the history of Freemasonry for a number of magazines and journals. His article on the Masonic rebellion in Liverpool recently appeared in Freemasonry Today: The Best of Ten Years--Symbols and Mysteries. He has worked as a history lecturer for ten years and researched the complex and hidden history of English Freemasonry for his PhD at the University of Liverpool, where he is currently lecturing.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A thoroughly enjoyable and compelling read.

Possibly one of the best researched books on the history and origins of Freemasonry, blowing away a number of the myths and folklore that tend to surround the subject.

If this is a subject that interests you then you'll find the book compelling and a very enjoyable read.

Highly Recommended (gets the full 5 stars)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Read.... 26 Oct 2010
The Genesis of Freemasonry a 'must read' for anyone interested in history or the true origins of this fascinating society.....

This is a well written & fully researched book that is a credit to the hard work & dedication of Dr David Harrison. It traces the very beginnings of this secret society & mentions historic Freemasons such as Elias Ashmole, Alexander Pope & Sir Christopher Wren. It talks of the influence these founding men had on the society & explores the significance behind early Masonic rituals.....

This book has inspired & sparked a curiosity within me to learn more on this most intriguing subject...

I would definately award it with 5 stars & fully recommend it to anyone.....
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book 3 Sep 2009
This book is excellent and is the best book on the history of Freemasonry to come out in years. It looks at historical records to create a true picture of how Freemasonry was formed and how the mysterious ritual was put together. Highly recommended to readers who like history or are fascinated with this mysterious secret society.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic 7 Jun 2014
As a young freemason, I have collected as many books regarding the subject as possible, there are countless numbers of books on my shelf, from explanations regarding ritual workings, explorations of the history of Irish Craft Masonry (my own particular constitution) and fantastical searches for hidden secrets lost long ago. There are however a few historical gems which stand out, one of them is David Harrison’s Genesis of Freemasonry.

I knew very little regarding the history of English Freemasonry before I picked up this book in 2009, It became a constant companion of mine through that year, within it’s pages, I discovered a hidden history, a line stretching from the Town and City Guilds to the formation of the Grand Lodges. This book also doesn’t shy away from the esoteric – it looks at the role of alchemy within the formation of the craft and also the formation of the various craft degrees.
Of particular interest to myself was the sections regarding the ‘ancients’ and the role of Dr Jean Theophilus Desaguliers in the formation of what we now see as the ‘third degree’

I recommend this book to everyone interested in Freemasonry, from those simply curious about the organisation to those considering joining and those long standing members who want to understand not only the history attached to the craft they love, but the reasons why it is so important to hold to the established traditions.
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