Monday, 12 December 2011

New article on Occult Freemasons in The Square magazine


The latest edition of The Square magazine (December 2011) has a new article by Dr. David Harrison, concerning Occult Freemasons, featuring such leading Victorian Freemasons such as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Arthur Edward Waite, among many others. Here is the weblink to The Square: http://thesquaremagazine.com/latestissue.php

Monday, 7 November 2011

New Mini-Video on Masonic Symbolism

I am doing a series of mini-videos for Lewis Masonic (who published my first book 'The Genesis of Freemasonry') discussing various Masonic symbols, looking at aspects of the individual history of the symbol outside and within Freemasonry, here's a video showing the 'All-Seeing Eye' on the tower of St. Mary's Church in Newchurch, Pendle, location of the infamous Witch trials of the 17th century, which was placed there to ward off the Witches!

Monday, 17 October 2011

New article by Dr David Harrison in Ashlar Magazine


There is a new article by Dr. David Harrison in the new edition of Ashlar Magazine (No. 44). The article, inspired by the author's latest book The Transformation of Freemasonry looks at the Victorian Astronomer and Occultist Lord Lindsay. Lindsay split his time between his Balcarres estate in Scotland and Haigh Hall in Wigan, where he founded his own lodge in 1870, called the Lindsay Lodge. Check out the link for a copy of the Ashlar, which is Scotland's foremost Masonic magazine: http://circlepublications.com/

Saturday, 15 October 2011

New article in Freemasonry Today by David Harrison


Freemasonry Today - the official Grand Lodge of England magazine features a new article by David Harrison tracing the history of the Authors' Lodge, a lodge based in London which has just celebrated its centenary. Rudyard Kipling was an honorary member and when the lodge was consecrated, letters of goodwill were received by renowned Freemasons and writers such as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Jerome K. Jerome. The article can be see via the Freemasonry Today website: www.freemasonrytoday.com

Sunday, 9 October 2011

New reviews at Goodreads

The Transformation of FreemasonryThe Transformation of Freemasonry by David Harrison

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


The Transformation of Freemasonry is a worthy follow on from Harrison's first book The Genesis of Freemasonry. It continues the Masonic historical journey and looks at how Freemasonry developed in the 19th century, discussing Masonic rebellions, Victorian writers and occultists who were Masons, and various Freemasons' involvement in slavery. Like his first work, this book is done in an academic aproach with everything referenced and primary sources used, but it's easy to read and understand. An excellent work and if you have read his first book, then this is a must to complete Harrison's fascinating journey through English Masonic history.



View all my reviews

Sunday, 28 August 2011

New article by Dr David Harrison published in Knight Templar Magazine





Dr. David Harrison continues to delve into the origin of the Royal Arch in an article serialised in the September issue of the US based Knight Templar Magazine: http://issuu.com/gektusa/docs/0911

The article is taken from a chapter in his second book The Transformation of Freemasonry which can be purchased from www.arimapublishing.co.uk

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

From Elias Ashmole to Arthur Edward Waite: The Search for Hidden Knowledge



The photo reveals the memorial window at St. Mary's church in Norfolk for Henry Rider-Haggard - showing various symbols from his works and beliefs. Rider Haggard was a Freemason who, like Arthur Conan Doyle and Arthur Edward Waite had an interest in the occult. His works included 'King Solomon's Mines' which displayed Masonic themes, notably the search for lost knowledge in relation to King Solomon who features heavily in the Masonic ritual. Another work by Rider Haggard called 'She' displays themes of death and rebirth - similar themes found within Freemasonry. My second book The Transformation of Freemasonry discusses Rider Haggard and other occult Freemasons, exploring how they searched for hidden knowledge and found inspiration within Freemasonry. The book can be purchased from www.arimapublishing.co.uk or from Amazon.

Sunday, 31 July 2011

New excellent review of The Transformation of Freemasonry in the new US edition of Kinght Templar Magazine




I have had a number of articles published over the years in the US based Knight Templar Magazine and in this months issue they have an excellent review of my book The Transformation of Freemasonry along with an article taken from a chapter in the book: http://issuu.com/gektusa/docs/0811a

Saturday, 14 May 2011

New Limited Edition hardback of The Transformation of Freemasonry is out now



The new limited edition hardback of The Transformation of Freemasonry is now out through Arima Publishing; it has been re-edited with additional discussions in certain chapters, all color prints (with additional prints in certain sections) and an extended index and bibliography. It has been designed to look like my first book The Genesis of Freemasonry (published by Lewis Masonic www.lewismasonic.com) for book collectors and collectors of Masonic works.
The first 50 are signed by the author and the book is available direct from Arima Publishing www.arimapublishing.co.uk or telephone (UK) 01284 700321. This is only a limited edition so hurry while stocks last.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

New TV interview with Dr. David Harrison talking about his two book The Genesis of Freemasonry and The Transformation of Freemasonry



Dr. David Harrison, English Masonic historian is interviewed by host Andrew Selwyn-Crome on the history of Freemasonry, and discusses the themes for the search for lost knowledge within Freemasonry which appear in his two best selling books The Genesis of Freemasonry and The Transformation of Freemasonry.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

From Elias Ashmole to Arthur Edward Waite: The Search for Lost Knowledge within Freemasonry - Part 4


Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

The Freemason Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was an avid researcher into the occult; he was interested in spiritualism and investigated the supernatural, an example being his work on the Cottingley Fairies. More famous now for his Sherlock Holmes Adventure - in which he frequently referred to Freemasonry and gentlemen's clubs (such as the enigmatic fictional Diogenes Club), his writings often reflected Masonic themes in a similar way to fellow Freemasons Rudyad Kipling and Henry Rider-Haggard. Haggard was also reputedly a member of The Golden Dawn - an Order founded by Freemasons. These Masonic Occultists are discussed in my second book The Transformation of Freemasonry, along with other prominent Freemasons from the period such as Arthur Edward Waite, searched for hidden knowledge in a similar ways to some of their predecessors like Elias Ashmole; they delved into more esoteric aspects of nature, Waite for example co-designing a Tarot Deck, some of the cards mirroring Masonic themes. Part 5 of the series will be published shortly and conclude the articles.

From Elias Ashmole to Arthur Edward Waite: The Search for Lost Knowledge - Part 3



'...the Sun is always at its meridian with respect to Freemasonry.'




Dr John Theophilus Desaguliers was the father of Modern Freemasonry, and in my first book The Genesis of Freemasonry, I put forward how he modernised the ritual of Freemasonry during the 1720s and created the 'three degrees'. Desaguliers was a natural philosopher, poet, Minister and Freemason, and he he was also a 'disciple' of Sir Isaac Newton. He was certainly interested in Newton's work - an aspect of which was Newton's search for the true dimensions of Solomon's Temple. Desaguliers was also a Fellow of the Royal Society, following the footsteps of other illustrious Freemasons such as Elias Ashmole, Sir Robert Moray and Sir Christopher Wren.
Along with Dr James Anderson, Desaguliers reconstructed the Masonic ritual, creating the three degrees which project the themes of the search for lost knowledge, and the moralistic and majestic story of Hiram Abiff. Part 4 of my posts will look at how Victorian Freemasons also searched for lost knowledge.




From Elias Ashmole to Arthur Edward Waite: The Search for Lost Knowledge - Part 5



Arthur Edward Waite was a Freemason, Occultist and was the co-designer for the famous Rider-Waite Tarot Deck. He was a member of the Golden Dawn and wrote many works on Freemasonry and mysticism. My second book The Transformation of Freemasonry discusses his career; his desire to search for lost knowledge being similar to other Freemasons of the late Victorian period and mirroring the work by earlier Masons such as Elias Ashmole and Robert Moray. Waite's Tarot designs incorporated Masonic symbolism and Masonic themes - his Masonic interests being revealed on the High Priestess card for example, with the 'B' and 'J' on the two pillars standing for 'Boaz' and 'Jachin' - the two pillars of Solomon's Temple, and in the Wheel of Fortune card - which is described in the Fellowcraft degree in English Emulation ritual.
Esoteric Freemasons such as Waite wanted to explore all aspects of the Craft, they wanted to search for that what which was lost by looking deeper into the history, the symbolism and the philosophy of Masonry, and their search should be an example to us today.



From Elias Ashmole to Arthur Edward Waite: The Search for Lost Knowledge within Freemasonry - Part 2

Sir Christopher Wren by Godfrey Kneller - Wren can be seen holding a compass over the plans for St. Paul's Cathedral



Sir Christopher Wren was an early Freemason who, like Elias Ashmole, searched constantly for lost knowledge, especially concentrating on the divinity of architecture. Like Sir Isaac Newton (who was also a Fellow of the Royal Society), Wren searched for the true measurement of Solomon's Temple, working on a design for the Temple. This search for the true dimensions of the Temple and his interest in classical architecture influenced his work on St Paul's Cathedral in London, the building of which attracted many renowned 'operative' Freemasons of the period such as the Stone and the Strong family. My first book The Genesis of Freemasonry discusses Wren's work and presents evidence of him being a Freemason, and also puts forward how the Cathedral became a symbolic representation of Solomon's Temple in London, which was seen as a new Jerusalem. The search for the divine cubit influenced one particular Freemason to re-design the Masonic ritual and create the 'three degree' ritual of Modern Freemasonry - he is discussed - along with the evidence presented in The Genesis of Freemasonry, and I will feature him in part 3 of the blog post.







Monday, 28 February 2011

From Elias Ashmole to Arthur Edward Waite: The Search for Lost Knowledge within Freemasonry - Part 1

'[William Backhouse] told me in Syllables the true matter of the philosophers stone...'
Elias Ashmole

The search for lost knowledge is a theme that resounds throughout Freemasonry, from its earliest moments - with the alchemist Elias Ashmole, who became a Freemason in Warrington in 1646, to the late Victorian period when 'occultists' and Freemasons such as Arthur Edward Waite, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Frederick Bligh Bond also explored spiritualism and the supernatural.

In my first book The Genesis of Freemasonry the early influences on the foundation of Freemasonry are put forward, and the theme of the search for lost knowledge is discussed to create a new picture of the origins of Freemasonry. My second book The Transformation of Freemasonry completes the story, and continues to discuss this theme. I also discuss this in a new paper which appears in the latest edition of Philalethes: The Journal of Masonic Letters http://www.freemasonry.org/journal.php


Sunday, 27 February 2011

The Sky TV Interview with Dr. David Harrison

Another chance to see the Sky TV interview with Dr. David Harrison regarding his book 'The Genesis of Freemasonry'. More interviews on the way.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=66nd7f7uZ5g

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Book signing - The Transformation of Freemasonry



Above is a feature from the Runcorn Weekly News regarding the book signing at the Curiosity Book shop in Runcorn, Cheshire. The shop is a popular attraction for readers and researchers in local history, and it has a variety of books which concentrate on Runcorn's bygone days as an important port on the River Mersey. The Transformation of Freemasonry looks at how the port of Runcorn played a part in Masonic history, and how another port - Liverpool, also played an important part in the history of Freemasonry, with Freemasons involved in the slave trade. I will be giving a number of talks this year about the book, especially in Liverpool, and will be concentrating on the Liverpool Masons who were involved in the slave trade and the Liverpool Masonic Rebellion - both popular topics in the city. For information on the forthcoming talks keep an eye out on the blog. Some signed copies are still available in the Curiosity Book Shop, to enquire check out the link: http://www.curiositybookshop.com/

The news fearture is also available online: http://www.runcornandwidnesweeklynews.co.uk/runcorn-widnes-news/runcorn-widnes-breaking-news/2011/02/02/merseyside-author-releases-second-book-about-runcorn-s-impact-on-freemasonry-55368-28101206/

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Selected Photos from The Transformation of Freemasonry


This is a photo of The Masonic pub in Runcorn, Cheshire, which actually features in my first book The Genesis of Freemasonry, but is also discussed as an early Masonic Hall in the second book as well. It was built in 1863 and is a beautiful building; displaying numerous Masonic symbols on the front. It was the location of the local Ellesmere Lodge from 1863-1932, and the lodge still meets in Runcorn today. The pub had an additional level but it was altered a few decades ago.

Signed copies of both books are available in the excellent independent Curiosity Book Shop in Runcon, for details check the link: http://www.curiositybookshop.com/

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Selected photos from The Transformation of Freemasonry


This is a photo of the Egyptian Suite in the Masonic Hall at Hope Street, Liverpool. It is a Chapter Room which reveals the imagery associated with the Royal Arch Ritual. The photo features in my book The Transformation of Freemasonry, and will be available as a colour photo in the hard back special edition of the book which is published later this month, which will have colour plates as opposed to the black and white photos available in the current soft back edition.
The book discusses how Masonic Hall's became popular with lodges during the later half of the nineteenth century, and also discusses how the Royal Arch ritual developed - a ritual which was considered as a fourth degree by the 'Antient's' Grand Lodge and by the Liverpool Masonic Rebels and the Wigan Grand Lodge.
I will be posting information on the special edition soon, which is also being sold as a unique limited edition package with the first edition of my first book 'The Genesis of Freemasonry'. For information on the current edition which is currently at No.2 on the US Arima chart, check out the link for Arima Publishing: http://www.arimapublishing.co.uk/bookshopuk/bookinfo/book_184549437