In this historical detective story the authors trace the evolution of Freemasonry, beginning with the flight after 1309 of the Knights Templar from Europe to the protection of the excommunicate Scottish king Robert the Bruce. In Scotland the Templar heritage was to take root and to be perpetuated by a network of noble families. The authors show how that heritage and the Freemasonry that arose from it, became inseparable from the Stuart cause. They chart the birth of Freemasonry through the survival of Templar traditions, through currents of European thought, through the mystery surrounding the Rosslyn Chapel and through an elite cadre of aristocrats attached to the French king. Pursuing Freemasonry through the 17th and 18th centuries, they reveal its contribution to the fostering of tolerance, progressive values and cohesion in English society and also show how Freemasonry was important in the formation of the United States of America, which they see as an embodiement of the ideal "Masonic Republic". The authors have also written "The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail".