masonic books on freemasonry, history, knights templar
---And Their Authors---
Many books have been produced over the years on Freemasonry, requiring the effort made here to sort through them by obtaining inputs from our readers. If a book makes this list, that means it already has a favorable rating from some readers. However tastes vary and needs differ, so select from the list those books where comments suggest your desires are most likely to be met. After you read a book, feel free to send your own comments on the value of what was there.
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Two shorter lists are also available. One presents the best books in different Masonic categories as voted by our readers [see best books]. The other is a list of the latest books that have come out on Freemasonry [see latest books].
by Henry Wilson Coil (1961)
Hailed by many as the single greatest encyclopedia on Freemasonry ever produced, this classic work was updated by Allen E. Roberts in 1995.
by John J. Robinson (1989)
This has been a top-selling book on Freemasonry ever since it was published twenty-four years ago. It explores possible connections between Freemasonry and the Knights Templar. The author was not a Mason when he wrote the book, but later became a lodge member.
by Sanford Holst (2012)
The early secrets of Freemasonry may not be as lost as we have been told. Robinson started this work but Holst has added 17 years of exploration and discoveries -- and the results are stunning. The Scottish Rite Journal calls this book, "Thought-provoking, well researched and well written."
10,000 Famous Freemasons
by William R. Denslow (1957)
Antimasonic Party in the United States 1826-1843, The
by William Preston Vaughn (1983)
Follows the rise and fall of the antimasonic movement, as well as the political party that developed from it. Reissued in 2009.
Black Square and Compass
by Joseph A. Walkes, Jr (1981)
The formation of Prince Hall Masonry is explored in considerable detail. Updated and reissued in 1994.
Born In Blood
by John J. Robinson (1989)
Seeks to trace Freemasonry back to the Knights Templar via the 1381 Peasant's Revolt in England. Reads like a detective story. Author was not a Mason when he wrote the book, but joined a lodge later.
by Joseph Fort Newton (1914)
Clergy and the Craft, The
by Forrest D. Haggard (1970)
Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia
by Henry Wilson Coil (1961)
Highly regarded encyclopedia with over 1750 short entries describing intricate details within Freemasonry.
Complete Idiot's Guide to Freemasonry, The
by S. Brent Morris (2006)
An introduction to Freemasonry, its organization and practices, and includes illustrations. Author is the managing editor of the Scottish Rite Journal.
Comprehensive View of Freemasonry, A
by Henry Wilson Coil (1973)
Cracking the Freemasons Code
by Robert L. D. Cooper (2007)
Looks into Masonic structure, culture, connections, sites, and famous members. The author is curator of the Masonic museum and library in Scotland.
Craft and Its Symbols, The
by Allen E. Roberts (1974)
Dictionary of Freemasonry, A
by Robert Macoy (ca. 1890)
Early Masonic Catechisms, The
by Douglas Knoop, G.P. Jones and Douglas Hamer (1953)
Freemason at Work, The
by Harry Carr (1976)
Freemasonry: A Celebration of the Craft
by John Hamill and R.A. Gilbert (1992)
Freemasonry: A Journey Through Ritual and Symbol
by W. Kirk MacNulty (1991)
Freemasonry in American History
by Allen E. Roberts (1985)
Freemasonry Through Six Centuries
by Henry Wilson Coil (1966)
Freemasonry Universal: A New Guide to the Masonic World
by Kent Henderson and Tony Pope (2000)
This is a new edition of their 1985 book titled Masonic World Guide.
Freemasons for Dummies
by Christopher Hodapp (2005)
Freemason's Guide and Compendium
by Bernard E. Jones (1950)
History of Freemasonry, The
by Robert Freke Gould (1882)
Holy Blood, Holy Grail
by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, Henry Lincoln (1982)
by Allen E. Roberts (1961)
Is It True What They Say About Freemasonry?: The Methods of Anti-Masons
by Art de Hoyos and S. Brent Morris (1997)
A revised edition of this book was published in 2010.
Key to Freemasonry's Growth
by Allen E. Roberts (1969)
Living the Enlightenment: Freemasonry and Politics in Eighteenth Century Europe
by Margaret C. Jacob (1991)
A college professor seeks to trace Freemasonry as a continuation of the Enlightenment period in Europe.
Lodge of the Double Headed Eagle: Two Centuries of Scottish Rite Freemasonry in America's Southern Jurisdiction
by William L. Fox (1997)
Masonic Enlightenment: the Philosophy, History and Wisdom of Freemasonry
by Michael R. Poll, editor (2006)
A series of articles by various authors
on aspects of Freemasonry, including jurisprudence, spiritual significance, Rosicrucianism, and world peace.
Masonic Membership of the Founding Fathers
by Ronald E Heaton (1965)
Masonic Trivia & Facts
by Allen E. Roberts (1994)
Masonic World Guide
by Kent Henderson (1984)
Master's Book, The
by Carl H. Claudy (1935)
Meaning of Masonry, The
by W.L. Wilmshurst (1922)
Miracle at Philadelphia
by Catherine Drinker Bowen (1966)
Mystic Tie, The
by Allen E. Roberts (1991)
New Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, A
by Arthur Edward Waite (1921)
This is a far-ranging and detailed look at Freemasonry and its traditions, including some obscure areas not usually examined. It originally appeared in two volumes, but has now been reprinted in one book of 1024 pages. The author was a Mason, and formed the Fellowship of the Rosy Cross.
New Knighthood, The
by Malcolm Barber (1995)
Covers the history of the Knights Templar at a good level of detail from their origin to the end of the Order. Author also wrote The Trial of the Templars.
Origin of the Templars
by Sanford Holst (2017)
The Knights Templar are an important part of York Rite Masonry, so these insights into the acts of brotherhood that gave rise to the original Templar Order is especially valuable to today's Masons.
Origins of Freemasonry: Scotland's Century, The
by David Stevenson (1990)
Presents activities in Scotland during the 1600's which may have been linked to Freemasonry. Author also wrote The Scottish Revolution 1637-1644.
by Sanford Holst (2011)
King Hiram and Hiram Abiff were Phoenicians from the city of Tyre who played major roles in the building of Solomon's Temple. Free- masons will immediately notice similarities between Phoenician society and the practices of Freemasonry.
Pilgrim's Path, A
by John J. Robinson (1993)
Pocket History of Freemasonry, The
by Fred L. Pick and G. Norman Knight (1953)
Prince Hall Masonic Quiz Book, A
by Joseph A Walkes, Jr (1997)
Follows the development and survival of Prince Hall Masonry and the experiences of its members.
Revolutionary Brotherhood: Freemasonry and the Transformation of the American Social Order, 1730-1840
by Steven C. Bullock (1996)
A college professor attempts to follow the role of Freemasonry during the formation of the United States.
Rise and Development of Organized Freemasonry, The
by Roy A Well (1986)
Rosslyn Hoax? The
by Robert L.D. Cooper (2006)
Secret Architecture of Our Nation's Capitol, The
by David Ovason (2002)
Secret Power of Masonic Symbols, The
by Robert Lomas (2011)
Investigates the properties of symbols found in Masonry.
by Christopher Hodapp (2006)
Follows Freemasonry through the American Revolution, the Founding Fathers and the design of Washington, DC. Author also wrote Freemasons for Dummies.
Sworn in Secret
by Sanford Holst (2012)
An historian and Mason's look into the rich history of Freemasonry, discovering the things that drove it to be the oldest and largest fraternal organization in the world. Insightful and relevant to Masonry today.
Temple and the Lodge, The
by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh (1989)
Looks for links between the Knights Templar and Freemasons, via Robert the Bruce, Scots Guard, and Rosslyn Chapel. The authors wrote Holy Blood, Holy Grail.
Tied to Masonic Apron Strings
by Stewart M.L. Pollard (1969)
Trial of the Templars, The
by Malcolm Barber (1978)
Turning the Templar Key
by Robert Lomas (2007)
Follows a proposed path from Knights Templar to Freemasons, but that route did not produce evidence of connection. Author also wrote Freemasonry and the Birth of Modern Science.
Valley of the Craftsmen, A Pictorial History: Scottish Rite Freemasonry in America's Southern Jurisdiction, 1801-2001
by William L. Fox (2001)
Whither Are We Traveling?
by Dwight L. Smith (1962)
William Preston and His Work
by Colin Dyer (1987)
by Christopher Haffner (1989)
World Freemasonry: An Illustrated History
by John Hamill and R.A. Gilbert (1991)
Masonic Books on Freemasonry
Books on Freemasonry
Great books. One of the best is The Craft and Its Symbols.
-- Mike C, Ohio
Albert Gallatin Mackey wrote his "History of Freemasonry" in 1898, but it's still an excellent book, with lots of good information. Some parts are a little dated, of course, but well recommended.
-- Jack C, San Francisco
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