Separates myth from truth and describes the development of the society from its origins amongst the masons working upon the great cathedrals of the Middle Ages
The history of the Freemasons has often been shrouded in mystery and suspicion.
Since 1717, with the establishment of the Grand Lodge in London, the Freemasons have been a power within the nation, withstanding public disapproval and attacks, from the Catholic Church among others.
Throughout the last three hundred years, the Freemasons have been influential in some of the most important turning points in world history.
Jasper Ridley explores the role of the society in both the American and French Revolutions and whether Mozart's The Magic Flute was an expose of secret rituals. He reveals that Pushkin, Winston Churchill, Booker T. Washington, Clark Gable, Walter Scott, members of the royal family and at least sixteen US Presidents have all been Freemasons.
Although some of his revelations are surprising and perhaps controversial, his greatest service is in dispelling many of the myths and fears surrounding freemasonry. This work of popular history sheds light on a frequently obscure subject. - Book List
Jasper Ridley gave up his practice at the bar to become one of the leading historical biographers of England, and his most recent book, Lord Palmerston, was awarded the James Tait Black Prize. He has twice stood for Parliament, and his personal experience of political affairs has given him added insight into the career of the most successful of Nineteenth-century revolutionaries. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.