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Friday, March 27, 2009

Masonic Books: Cornerstone Book Publishers

A book that regularly shows up in the top of Amazon's Freemasonry list is Masonic Enlightenment - The Philosophy, History and Wisdom of Freemasonry, edited by Brother Mike Poll. Mike is one of the unsung heroes of Masonic education in the US, as a publisher of dozens of titles of interest to the Craft. His Cornerstone Book Publishers is a labor of love, because no one gets rich in the Masonic publishing business. Much of Cornerstone's list is made up of reprints of long out of print classics and Masonic authors from the past. But Mike publishes new authors as well. In fact, two new books likely would have had a tough time getting published without Mike.

News has come that Stephen Dafoe's new book, Morgan: The Scandal That Shook Freemasonry, will be published by Cornerstone soon. Stephen has unearthed previously unpublished information on the long unsolved case of William Morgan's disappearance, and the book is a major expansion of his recent paper in the Scottish Rite Research Society's Heredom. According to Stephen,

It is a book I thought would never see print. Masonic publishers did not want to touch it, afraid to publish something that suggested Freemasons might be guilty of murder, and non-Masonic publishers were reluctant to touch it for fear of alienating the Freemasons who might buy their books.

Look for it before summer.

Many Internet Masons are familiar with Karen Kidd (Imakegarb) from several Masonic forums. Karen is a member of an American female observance Masonic lodge, and was a winner of Britain's Internet Lodge No. 9659 short essay contest, sponsored by the United Grand Lodge of England's former Pro-Grand Master, Lord Northampton last year.

Cornerstone will soon be publishing Karen's new book, Haunted Chambers: the Lives of Early Women Freemasons.

"Haunted Chambers", for the first time ever, presents not only the most complete list of early women Freemasons but also as much detail about their lives as can still be found. Here are their stories, long suppressed, ignored and marginalized. They include medieval women stone cutters; so-called "adoptive" women Freemasons; an aritocrat; a countess; an early New Brunswick settler; a war hero; a writer of women rights; an immigrant Irish girl; the famed sculptress of Abraham Lincoln's statue in the US Capitol Rotundra and many whose names are now lost.

Some will find this book a challenge. Some would rather it never had been written, let alone published. "Haunted Chambers" is highly recommended to anyone who wants the actual history of these early women Freemasons and aren't afraid to read it.

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