The Foundations of Modern Freemasonry
Following the appointment of its first aristocratic Grand Masters in the 1720s and in the wake of its connections to the scientific Enlightenment, Free and Accepted Masonry became part of Britains national profile and the largest and most influential of Britains extensive clubs and societies. The organisation did not evolve naturally from the mediaeval guilds and religious orders that pre-dated it but was reconfigured radically by a largely self-appointed inner core at Londons most influential lodge, the Horn Tavern. Freemasonry became a vehicle for the expression of their philosophical and political views, and the Craft attracted an aspirational membership across the upper middling and gentry. Through an examination of previously unexplored primary documentation, Foundations contributes to an understanding of contemporary English political and social culture and explores how Freemasonry became a mechanism that promoted the interests of the Hanoverian establishment and connected the metropolitan and provincial elites. The book explores social networks centred on the aristocracy, parliament, the learned and professional societies, and the magistracy, and provides pen portraits of the key individuals who spread the Masonic message.
"Foundations & Schism" (Sussex Academic, 2013), have been described as the most important books on English Freemasonry published in recent times, providing a precise, social context for the invention of English Freemasonry. Bermans analysis throws a new and original light on the formation and development of what rapidly became a national and international phenomenon.