"To preserve the reputation of the Fraternity unsullied must be your constant care."


Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Masonic Book Fair in Paris 11/17-18

In the U.S., most Masons are blissfully (or deliberately) unaware of obediences outside of those that are declared regular and are recognized by their own grand lodges. In this country, that's pretty easy to do. If you're in a mainstream lodge, you probably don't think very much about it. If you're in a Prince Hall lodge, it's sometimes a tighter circle, but you're still probably at least aware of what the mainstream world is doing, and in all but nine states, you also have options to intervisit. But virtually no one in these two largest Masonic bodies in America have any idea what goes on in the other various independent, female or mixed Masonic obediences here, and all of our paths cross so infrequently (apart from online, perhaps) that the subject almost never arises at all.

That's not the case when it comes to France.

While U.S. grand lodges only recognize the Grande Loge National Françcaise, there are no less than sixteen substantial grand bodies and obediences of Freemasons at work in that country – male, female and mixed, regular and irregular. But instead of deliberately ignoring each other and pretending that the others don't exist, French Masons tend to be far more cordial and laissez faire than we are. There are numerous cultural and historical reasons for that which simply don't exist elsewhere in the Masonic world.

Case in point: If you've ever visited a Masonic bookstore in that country, you know that the French have an insatiable appetite for books about Freemasonry. Albert Mackey once lamented that American Freemasons don't read. French Masons aren't afflicted with that character quirk. Consequently, each year, the Institut Maçonnique de France (Masonic Institute of France) hosts an enormous book fair in Paris for the purpose of promoting Masonic literature throughout the entire French speaking Masonic community. 

It's a shame that we don't have anything similar in this country.

The Salon Maçonnique du Livre de Paris (Masonic Salon of the Book in Paris) on November 16-17 will be its 16th year. This year's venue will be at La Bellevilloise at 19 Rue Boyer, in Paris' 20th Arrondissement.

From their press release:
Organized by the Institut Maçonnique de France,  this event is a unique opportunity for all audiences to discover Freemasonry by the prism of culture and literature in contact: from a village composed of the 16 main persuasions of French Masonry of over 60 authors and designers of many publishers of books, magazines, comics.
To answer all your questions, you will be able to meet and attend and participate in ten roundtables, three conferences, as well as the many signing sessions.
Seven Literary awards from the Institut Maçonnique de France including the coveted humanism prize, will be delivered on Sunday, 18 November 2017, in the
Visitors will also be able to win books during a raffle organized Sunday November 18 at the closing of the salon.
The 16th Masonic Salon of the Paris book is:
- free and free entry for any public- 16 French persuasions present- 10 round tables- 3 conferences- dozens of book publishers, magazines and comics- more than 60 authors confirmed- books to win- catering on site and many restaurants and breweries nearby
For lunch at the exhibit hall's restaurant, reservations are mandatory by e-mail. Contact: Eric Algrain, Salon Commissioner ea.imf@orange.fr
Information about the Institut Maçonnique de France can be found at http://www.i-m-f.fr

A video of the 2015 event can be viewed on the GLNF Facebook page HERE.

By the way, don't be put off by La Bellevilloise as a venue. Paris is a very big and very old city, and they tend to reuse old buildings instead of tearing them down as we do in the U.S. The historic building has been home to several different organizations over the decades, which explains the hammer and sickle of the Communist Party over the door. And no, if you cruised in here looking for dirt, it doesn't mean that Freemasons are Communists...


  1. At least seven of those presenting books are also speakers next June at the world conference on fraternalism and freemasonry next June in Paris --

  2. Regular Freemasons can check out Lunchtimers.org for reliable information about mixed gender Masonic lodges.

    From the above website: "Lunchtimers was formed in London on 3rd March 1995 and exists.... to extend the hand of welcome and fellowship to all those with a genuine and positive interest in Freemasonry regardless of sex, creed or any other limitation".

    There are other Masonic Lunchtimer groups outside of Great Britain but the London group is the first and (I think) most successful. The London group enjoyed the Patronage of Lord Northampton when he was Pro Grand Master (UGLE).

    The links are all working and offer a wealth of information.

    Tom-London lunchtimer.


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