Monday, 3 October 2016

On The Origin Of Free-Masonry by Thomas Paine


On the Origin of Free-Masonry by Thomas Paine
Probably written as part of The Age Of Reason in 1807 and first published posthumously in 1810. Republished by ForgottenBooks in June 2012.

Where to buy this book:
Buy from independent booksellers via Abebooks
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How I got this book:
Downloaded the ebook as one of ForgottenBooks' free daily downloads

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

'English-born Thomas Paine left behind hearth and home for adventures on the high seas at nineteen. Upon returning to shore, he became a tax officer, and it was this job that inspired him to write The Case of the Officers of Excise in 1772. Paine then immigrated to Philadelphia, and in 1776 he published Common Sense, a defense of American independence from England. After returning to Europe, Paine wrote his famous Rights of Man as a response to criticism of the French Revolution. He was subsequently labeled as an outlaw, leading him to flee to France where he joined the National Convention. However, in 1793 Paine was imprisoned, and during this time he wrote the first part of The Age of Reason, an anti-church text which would go on to be his most famous work. After his release, Paine returned to America where he passed away in 1809.'

I downloaded On The Origin Of Free-Masonry by Thomas Paine as much to read something by its illustrious author as to gain any insights into the famously secretive organisation. This turned out to be fortunate as Paine doesn't actually give much away! In the thirty-page pamphlet, originally published posthumously in 1810, he briefly discusses Masonry's orientation of Lodges, the sun worship and the Druidic roots of the religious practices, and explains the probable cause of the Masonic famously fanatical secrecy. This isn't a great book to actually learn much, but as a historical curiosity I found it interesting.


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Books by Thomas Paine / History / Books from England

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