ISSUE 19, October 2006
Editorial
Historic: Rabbi and Mason
Travel: Morocco's exotic charm
Quarterly Communication: Address by the Pro Grand Master and Report of the Board of General Purposes
Working with Youngsters: The Grand Master goes fishing
Community Relations: Saying it with flowers
International: Spanish Freemasonry under the microscope
   Events: Grand Lodge Award; Royal Masonic Variety Show
Specialist Lodges: Masonry on the canal
Freemasonry and Society: A Churchman's view of Masonry
Education: Toast of the town and Events
Young Masons: The Universities Scheme
Library & Museum: The Freemasons's Tontine
Masonic Charities: The Grand Charity and NMSF and RMTGB and RMBI
Letters
Book reviews
Gardening

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   Thames and Hudson £24.95
ISBN 10 0 500 513023
ISBN 13 978 0 500 513026

Stunning is the only word to describe this new book of 320 pages with 386 illustrations, many of them published for the first time. But this is not just a picture book, it is a new concept in publishing (outside art and photography books) in which text and illustrations have equal importance in giving the reader an understanding of the subject under consideration. The illustrations combine with Kirk MacNulty’s lucid text to give the reader, be they Mason or not, an easily digested overview of the history, traditions, culture, symbolism, principles and practices of Freemasonry worldwide and its place both in wider society and in the history of the transmission of philosophical ideas and ideals.
    The author brings 40 years’ experience as a thinking Freemason to his task and leads the reader gently through the complexities of the origins and possible early influences on Freemasonry, the establishment of the Grand Lodge system and development of additional degrees and the spread of Freemasonry around the globe.
    He then turns to the inner meanings of Craft Freemasonry – defining it as a system of personal growth and self-knowledge – and a basic guide to the symbols which decorate many of the artefacts, documents and items of regalia which form the illustrations in the book.
    Nor does he shirk the complex concepts of Masonic secrecy and regularity, or the problem areas of conspiracy theory, anti- Masonry, public misperceptions of Freemasonry and the place of women in Freemasonry. He ends with a gallery of well-known historical figures who have been Freemasons.
    The superb quality of the illustrations, many of them specially commissioned photographs by Painton Cowen, makes the book a visual delight. It is an old cliché that a picture is worth a thousand words. In this case it is a very true statement. The pictures enhance and visually expand the author’s text and add much to our understanding of what he has to say, making the book a feast for both the brain and the eye.
    The author, designer and publisher are to be congratulated on producing one of the best books on Freemasonry I have seen in 35 years involvement with Masonic literature. How they have managed to produce it for less than the price of most Festive Boards in London is one of the secrets of publishing! If someone wants to buy you a present – this should be top of your list.

John Hamill is Director of Communications, United Grand Lodge of England


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