So comprehensive a title as the one selected for the present work would be a vain assumption if the author’s object was not really to embrace in a series of studies the whole cycle of Masonic history and science. Anything short of this would not entitle the work to be called THE HISTORY OF FREEMASONRY.
Freemasonry as a society of long standing, has of course its history, and the age of the institution has necessarily led to the mixing in this history of authentic facts and of mere traditions or legends.
We are thus led in the very beginning of our labors to divide our historical studies into two classes. The one embraces the Legendary History of Freemasonry, and the other its authentic annals.
The fraternal order of Freemasons has been a mysterious organization since its origins centuries ago. Many historical figures such as Voltaire, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, George Washington, and Benjamin Franklin were Freemasons and made the society all the more intriguing. This classic text illuminates the society’s origins as well as the philosophical and ritual foundations on which it is built. Readers can explore the mythical tales about Freemasonry and learn how they relate to the historical truth. Included are excerpts from rare sacred documents along with explanations of their significance, plus black and white illustrations.