masonic books on freemasonry, history, knights templar






Masonic books

Masonic Books

---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].

Featured Books

Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia           

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. 

Born In Blood                                        

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.

Sworn in Secret                                     

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."

All Books

10,000 Famous Freemasons

by William R. Denslow  (1957)

Book availability

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.

Book availability

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.

Book availability

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.

Book availability

Builders, The

by Joseph Fort Newton  (1914)

Book availability

Clergy and the Craft, The

by Forrest D. Haggard  (1970)

Book availability

Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia

by Henry Wilson Coil  (1961)

Highly regarded encyclopedia with over 1750 short entries describing intricate details within Freemasonry.

Available from

Masonic Library and Museum of Pennsylvania

and Macoy Publishing and Masonic Supply

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.

Book availability

Comprehensive View of Freemasonry, A

by Henry Wilson Coil  (1973)

Book availability

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.

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Craft and Its Symbols, The

by Allen E. Roberts  (1974)

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Dictionary of Freemasonry, A

by Robert Macoy  (ca. 1890)

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Early Masonic Catechisms, The

by Douglas Knoop, G.P. Jones and Douglas Hamer  (1953)

Book not available

Freemason at Work, The

by Harry Carr  (1976)

Book availability

Freemasonry: A Celebration of the Craft

by John Hamill and R.A. Gilbert  (1992)

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Freemasonry: A Journey Through Ritual and Symbol

by W. Kirk MacNulty  (1991)

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Freemasonry in American History

by Allen E. Roberts  (1985)

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Freemasonry Through Six Centuries

by Henry Wilson Coil  (1966)

Book not available

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.

Limited availability

Freemasons for Dummies

by Christopher Hodapp  (2005)

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Freemason's Guide and Compendium

by Bernard E. Jones  (1950)

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History of Freemasonry, The

by Robert Freke Gould  (1882)

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Holy Blood, Holy Grail

by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, Henry Lincoln  (1982)

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House Undivided

by Allen E. Roberts  (1961)

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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.

Book availability

Key to Freemasonry's Growth

by Allen E. Roberts  (1969)

Book availability

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.

Book availability

Lodge of the Double Headed Eagle: Two Centuries of Scottish Rite Freemasonry in America's Southern Jurisdiction

by William L. Fox  (1997)

Book availability

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.

Book availability

Masonic Membership of the Founding Fathers

by Ronald E Heaton  (1965)

Available at SCRL

Masonic Trivia & Facts

by Allen E. Roberts  (1994)

Book availability

Masonic World Guide

by Kent Henderson  (1984)

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Master's Book, The

by Carl H. Claudy  (1935)

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Meaning of Masonry, The

by W.L. Wilmshurst  (1922)

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Miracle at Philadelphia

by Catherine Drinker Bowen  (1966)

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Mystic Tie, The

by Allen E. Roberts  (1991)

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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.

Book availability

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.

Book availability

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.

Book availability

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.

Book availability

Phoenicians: Lebanon's Epic Heritage

by Sanford Holst  (2021)

King Hiram and Hiram Abiff were Phoenicians from the city of Tyre who played major roles in the building of Solomon's Temple. Freemasons will immediately notice similarities between Phoenician society and the practices of Freemasonry.

Book availability

Pilgrim's Path, A

by John J. Robinson  (1993)

Book availability

Pocket History of Freemasonry, The

by Fred L. Pick and G. Norman Knight  (1953)

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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.

Book availability

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.

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Rise and Development of Organized Freemasonry, The

by Roy A Well  (1986)

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Rosslyn Hoax? The

by Robert L.D. Cooper  (2006)

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Secret Architecture of Our Nation's Capitol, The

by David Ovason  (2002)

Book availability

Secret Power of Masonic Symbols, The

by Robert Lomas  (2011)

Investigates the properties of symbols found in Masonry.

Solomon's Builders

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.

Book availability

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.

Book availability

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. 

Book availability

Tied to Masonic Apron Strings

by Stewart M.L. Pollard  (1969)

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Trial of the Templars, The

by Malcolm Barber  (1978)

Book availability

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.

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Valley of the Craftsmen, A Pictorial History: Scottish Rite Freemasonry in America's Southern Jurisdiction, 1801-2001

by William L. Fox  (2001)

Book availability

Whither Are We Traveling?

by Dwight L. Smith  (1962)

Book availability

William Preston and His Work

by Colin Dyer  (1987)

Book availability

Workman Unashamed

by Christopher Haffner  (1989)

Book availability

World Freemasonry: An Illustrated History

by John Hamill and R.A. Gilbert  (1991)

Book availability

Masonic Books on Freemasonry

Books on Freemasonry

Masonic Books


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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