Some of these references are positive, some are negative, some are amusing; most are merely fictional and therefore marginalize Freemasonry and detract from the good work it does. The following list of references is not definitive, nor are all entries confirmed. Please forward additional references, with details, to our editor.
Masonic references in 20th century prose
The appearances of Freemasonry in fiction range from the unremarked use of symbols such as the square and compasses, to the actual inclusion of masonic ritual. The following list of references is not definitive, nor are all entries confirmed. Please forward additional references, with details, to our editor.
N O V E L S
Frederick Arthur [pseud: Frederick Arthur Heygate Lambert], The Mysterious Monsieur Dumont.
Chapter 5: "the Meeting of the Templars" describes the death of de Molay and introduces Dumont, Grand Master of the Templars during the French Revolution who saves people frnm the guillotine. He gains admission to a meeting in London with a triple knock and a sign, where he meets two "Freemasons of the 33rd Degree." Later the Templars are identified with the Illuminati. When Dumont is later killed, he is discovered to be a woman. [AQC xciii 4-5]
London : John Murray, 1912. xii. 320p ; 8o.
Robert Asprin, Linda Evans, Time Scout.
In a series of novels taking place in the near-future when time warps have opened up, and time travel to the past is a tourist industry, one character, Malcolm Moore, is a freemason. Subsequent novels in the series, Wagers of Sin and The House that Jack Built do not contain any masonic references although the Whitechapel Murders are a major sub-plot. Ripping Time, also about the Whitechapel Murders, disparagingly notes the so-called Royal Conspiracy Theory which implicates the freemasons.
Time Scout, Robert Asprin, Linda Evans. Riverdale, New York : Baen Publishing Enterprises, 1999 [first printing, 1995] ISBN: 0671876988. pp. 185, 191. Ripping Time, A Time Scout Novel, Robert Asprin, Linda Evans. Riverdale, N.Y. : Baen Publishing Enterprises, 2000. 0671578677 pb 472p. p. 143.
J. G. Ballard (1930- ), The Complete Short Stories.
"For ten thousand dollars I can go back on probation. Here I thought there would be a freemasonry of sorts. But then you've been kind enough, Doctor."
"The Time Tombs," (Worlds of If 1963). London : Flamingo, An Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 2001. hc 1186p. p. 461.
John Berendt (1939- ), Midnight in the garden of good and evil : a Savannah story.
Referring to Mercer House, where Jim Williams shot Danny Hansford: "The most recent occupants of the house, the Shriners, had used it as the Alee Temple. They had hung a neon-lit scimitar over the front door and driven around inside on motorcycles." [p. 7.]
"[Judge George Oliver] had gone there in the forties and fifties, when the house was the Shriners' Alee Temple." [p. 213.]
New York : Random House, 1994. ISBN : 0679429220, 388 p. ; 25 cm. Also note entry for Clint Eastwood's 1997 movie of the same name.
Dan Brown (1964- ), Angels and Demons.
There is no historical connection between the Illuminati, English Freemasonry and the eye and pyramid symbol. Nor is USA president George Bush a freemason. Angels and Demons, while based on earlier books making such claims, at least makes no claim itself to be anything other than fiction.
New York : Pocket Books, 2000. ISBN 0-671-02736-0. 569p.
Joe David Brown (1915 - 1976), Addie Pray.
Moses Pray passes himself off as a freemason.
New York : Simon and Schuster [1971-06-01] hc. 313 p. 22 cm. ISBN: 0671209620. pp. 27-28. Cf. Paper Moon, 1973.
John Buchan (1875-1940), Mr. Standfast.
"red masons and anarchists"
London : Hodder & Stoughton, 1919 [AQC xciii 10]
John Buchan (1875-1940), The Runagates Club.
There are three references in this collection of short stories, the first, in "The Wind in the Portico" refering to an understanding between academics:". . . . An insult to our freemasonry. . . . Thats how I should regard it." The second, in "'Divus' Johnston", refers to a South Seas shipwreaks treatment by the natives: "Then they shaved my chin, and painted on my forehead a mark like a freemasons." The third, in "Sing a Song of Sixpence", is made by President Pelem, a recipient of "the ribbon of the Gold Star
of Bolivar": "...I had against me all the gentry who call themselves liberators. Red Masons, anarchists, communists, that sort of crew."
John Buchan, The Three Hostages.
The Marquis de la Tour du Pin "had loathed the Boche, freemasons, and communists... and the Deputies of his own land [France]." [AQC xciii 10]
London : Hodder and Stoughton, 1924, 319 p ; 20 cm
Michael Burt, The Case of the Fast Young Lady.
A murder leads to an extended reference to Freemasonry and the physical penalties. A Scotland Yard investigator muses that the "melodramatic farrago seemed to border on the ridiculous when mentally associated with portly and benevolent English gentlemen dolled up in little blue aprons and sashes and what-not," but that it would be wrong to "overlook the possibility of other, less savoury, secret societies imposing oaths modelled on similar lines." [AQC xciii 11]
London : Ward, Lock & Co, 1942. 384 p ; 19 cm
Truman Capote, In Cold Blood
'"Anybody wearing the fraternity pin," he added, and touched a blue dot tattooed under his left eyean insigne, a visible password, by which certain former prison inmates could identify him.'
While in the book Richard Hickock says this to Perry Smith, in the movie he says something slightly different to a police interrogator
New York : Random House, 1965. LCCN: 65-11257. p. 24. [343 p hc]
John le Carré, Absolute Friends.
"In the same period the Herr Pastor also rose to rank and influence among the fascistic elite of Schleswig-Holstein. From the politics of the pulpit, he had moved to the politics of the pduedo-liberal ballot box. He joined secret right-wing societies and was admitted to certain very select Masonic committees.
Toronto : Penguin Books Canada, Limited, 2005. 0-14-301694-6. p. 215.
John le Carré, A Perfect Spy.
A British secret agent decides to quit the game. See notes at freemasonry.bcy.ca/fiction/carre.html
Penguin Books Ltd., England: 1986. ISBN: 0140092293
John le Carré (1931-), The Secret Pilgrim.
Ned, a retired British Intelligence officer, recalls a conversation from his training days. His best friend and fellow student, Ben, has been assigned to Berlin, the most coveted post in the early days of the Cold War. Ned, still in London, is out on his first surveillance assignment when a member of his team asks:
"You a Freemason, College?"
I assured him I was not.
"Well, you'd best hurry up and join then, hadn't you? Haven't you noticed the saucy way Personnel shakes your hand? You'll never get to Berlin if you're not a Mason, College."
London : Penguin Books, 1991. ISBN 0-14-014841-8. pb 352pp., p. 50.
Robert Carter, Courage.
A British Naval officer, Sir William Sidney Smith, falls in love with the daughter of a French aristocrat during the French Revolutionary period. Chapter six [pp. 261-274] is a fictionalized account of Smiths initiation into a lodge of Knights Templars in London. It is noteworthy that although a great number of masonic reference are made and the cover art includes a square and compasses, Freemasonry is never mentioned by name.
Orion Books Ltd., London: 1985. ISBN: 0752803476 [585 p pb]
John Case, The Genesis Code.
A private investigator uncovers a series of murders orchestrated by the charismatic leader of a fictional Catholic lay society "Umbra Domini"
Ballentine Publishing Group, New York: 1998. ISBN: 0345422317
Michael Chabon, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay.
Describing an escape artist's show : " Two Shriners in fezzes drape him with chains and help him into a heavy canvas mailbag."
New York : Random House, Inc., 2000. hc. ISBN : 0-679-45004-1639pp. p. 129.
Vera Chapman, Blaedud the Birdman.
During the erection of a temple at Bath, the Master in charge carves an all-seeing eye within a triangle. Blaedud discovers that he has travelled from the east and is going to the west, they exchange a word, the Master calls him brother, and the suggestion of a trip to Jerusalem is made. Blaedud visits Jerusalem where he meets Prince Zerubbabel and Pythagoras. [AQC xciii 12]
London : Collings, 1978. xi, 147p ; 23cm. ISBN: 0860360806
Susan Conant, Black Ribbon ("A Dog Lovers Mystery").
Comparing the freemasonry of dog fanciers to various masonic and non-masonic fraternal orders in the form of asides throughout the book.
Doubleday. ISBN: 0385474156
Norbert Coulehan, Quadrantus Rex.
In the year 2 BCE in Rome, Titus tells a good friend that his wife Vipsania has joined a womens masonic lodge called the "Good Goddess". His friend comments, "That damned female masonic cult again. I hope it never spreads to our sex, Titus." [AQC xciii 15]
London : Macmillan ; New York : St. Martins Press, 1959. 297 p 20 cm
Avram Davidson and Ward Moore, Joyleg. (1962)
This is the story of 214 year old Isachar Z. Joyleg of Rabbit Notch, Tennessee, born 4 July 1748; a marine under John Paul Jones, a leader in the Whiskey Rebellion and by implication a founding member of Freemasonry in the short-lived State of Franklin. In explaining where he found his deed to some property, he says: "Twas hid beneath the charter of the Grand Lodge of Franklin Freemasons."
New York : Walker Publishing Company, Inc., 1971 (Fantastic, March and April 1962). SBN: 0802755364. hc. 233p. 15 x 22 cm. p. 213.
Avram Davidson (1923/03/23 - 1993/05/09), Masters of the Maze (1965)
Extended masonic references are made, including the journey of one of the characters to become a freemason. It is from the ranks of Freemasonry that a small and very select group of men are chosen to protect an interdimensional pathway. There is also discussion of the founding of the Grand Lodge of England and considerable reference to Elias Ashmole.
New York : Pyramid Books, 1965.
Avram Davidson (1923/03/23 - 1993/05/09), Peregrine : Primus (1971)
"If need, then need. I have not after all sworn by the length of yon cable-tow to keep silence, nor to hele, conceal, and never reveal...."
New York : Walker Publishing Company, Inc., 1971. SBN: 0802755461. hc. 174p. 15 x 22 cm. p. 94
August Derleth (1909/02/24-1971/07/04), The Trail of Cthulhu (1962)
"I was beside him when he prowled down along that wrecked waterfront with its sinister ruinsand I saw where he paused, before that disguised refinery, and later at that one-time Masonic hall which now bore over its doorway the curious legend: Esoteric Order of Dagon."
New York : Ballantine Books, 1976 [c. 1962]. ISBN: 0-345-25017-6-150. pb. 216p. p. 56
Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes
Creator of the Sherlock Holmes detective stories, Doyle makes seven distinct and several other oblique references to Freemasonry in his fiction.
Paul De Filippo, The Steampunk Trilogy.
"During the late eighteenth-century, one Martines de Pasqually, resident of Bordeaux, had established a Masonic offshoot organization called The Order of the Elect Cohens." ["Hottentots," p. 106.]
"Here is buried Prince Hall, a black soldier of the Revolution." ["Hottentots," p. 146.]
"Msieu Agassiz, permit me. I am Josef Maria Hoene-Wronski, and this is Alphonse Louis Constant." ["Hottentots," p. 157.]
New York/London : Four Walls Eight Windows, Inc., April 1995, ISBN: 1-56858-028-2 [352 p hc]
Don DeLillo, Libra.
A fictionalized Jack Ruby is preoccupied with being initiated into Masonry:
"A dozen years ago he had a fight of a total animal nature with a guitar player at the Silver Spur, which Jack was running at the time. The guitarist bit off part of his left index finger. It was a single, sustained and determined head-wagging bite in the course of a stretch of wrestling and it left the top part of the finger hanging, beyond repair. This was harmful to Jack's public image because he wanted to join the Masons, the Freemasons, whatever they're called, for the business contacts and the fellowship. But the Masons would not accept a man who was missing part of his anatomy. This was an ancient bylaw that they kept in the books."
Libra, Don DeLillo (1936- ). New York : Viking Adult/ Grossman Publishers, 1988, 456 p. 8vo 24 cm. hc. ISBN : 0-670-82317-1 p. 349.
Charles De Vet, Return Journey.
"A stray mongrel dog followed them up the street past the Masonic Lodge as they started out."
Dr. Robert S. Easter, The Sword of Solomon : a historical novel.
Abner, a captain in King Solomons guard, accompanies a mission to King Hiram of Tyre and befriends Hiram Abif. [AQC xciii 12]
New York : Macoy Pub. & Masonic Supply Co., c1962. vii, 256 p. 21cm
Umberto Eco, Foucaults Pendulum.
Three Milan editors, who have spent altogether too much time rewriting crackpot manuscripts on conspiracy theories and the occult, decide to write their own explanation for world events. Then the fictional world they have created takes on a life of its own.
Translated from the Italian by William Weaver. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Publishers, San Diego, New York, London : 1988. ISBN: 0151327653 [641p hb]
John H. Edge, An Irish Utopia : a story of a phase of the land problem.
Masonic references claimed but no specific references supplied. [AQC xxxii 86]
Dublin : Combridge & Co., Ltd., 1910. xxxvi, 301p ; 18cm [First edition 1905].
Steven Fink, The Hailing Sign.
London: Headline, 1988. ISBN: 0747231753 [403pp ; 18cm]. Originally published, New York: St. Martins P., 1987.
Alan Dean Foster, Cyber Way.
"'I just got a quick look at the body before the boys at forensics descended and shooed out everybody who didn't know the secret handshake.'" [p. 243.]
"The sergeant held the handshake a long time. His small fingers were like steel and Moody was conscious of the pressure of the thumb against the back of his own wrist. No doubt that meant something." [p. 43.]
His handshake was as solid as the rest of him, though Moody was quick to note that unusual pressure of the index finger along the back of the hand." [p. 93.]
New York: Ace Books, 1990. ISBN: 0441132456 [306pp ; 18cm].
Diana Gabaldon, Voyaer.
Scottish highlander, James Fraser, was made a freemason while imprisoned as a Jacobite. After fleeing prison, he seeks safe passage to Europe from a cousin who owns a vineyard in France. The cousin tests him by saying "We meet upon the level." To which Jamie replies "and we part upon the square." [p. 514.]
New York, N.Y. : Delacore Press ; 1994. ISBN: 0385302320 [870pp]
Diana Gabaldon, The Fiery Cross.
Roger MacKenzie, son-in-law to James Fraser, greets a new tenant with a handshake with the distinctive pressure against his knuckle of a masonic greeting. [p. 810.]
Roger Mackenzie is trying to get some information regarding the new tenant from a friend, Kenny Lindsay. Roger grasps Kenny by the hand, gave the squeeze, and a tap on a knuckle. [p. 820.]
Kenny describes in detail how James Fraser and all the rest of the prisoners at Ardsmuir Prison became freemasons. They form the second lodge in the prison called Ardsmuir Lodge Number 2. [pp. 824-25.]
Doubleday Canada; 2001. ISBN: 0385256655 [979pp].
Neil Gaiman, American Gods.
"Now I go and drink bad coffee with the modern assholes in a Kansas City Masonic Hall." [p. 386.] This is not a reference to freemasons but to others who are using the building.
"The cameras pulled back to show that Mr. Town was standing outside a brick building on an American street. Above the door was a set-square and compass framing the letter G." [p. 407.]
"It was a glass eye. There was a hairline crack down the middle of it, and a tiny chip gone from the front. 'We found it in the Masonic Hall, when we were cleaning up. Keep it for luck. God knows you'll need it.'" [p. 449.]
New York: HarperTorch, 2002. ISBN: 0380789035. 592p.
L. S. Gibson, The Freemasons: a novel.
A Harley Street Doctor, Dr. Lewis Angus is Master of his lodge: "the mystery of the Masonic ritual appeals to him as the mystery of the Mass appeals to the ardent Romanist." [chap. 20] [AQC xxxii 81]
London : Chatto & Windus, 1905. pp. 358. ; 8o.. [COPAC: British Library].
William Gibson, All Tomorrows Parties.
"Rydell had had an uncle who was a Mason, and this program Durius belonged to reminded him of that." [p. 24.]
New York: G.P. Putnams Sons, 1999. ISBN: 0399145796. 277p.
William Gibson, Bruce Sterling, The Difference Engine.
Although not ostensibly masonic, this alternative history novel contains several themes involving fraternities, secret societies and the All-Seeing Eye. The depiction of Benjamin Disraeli as a writer who never went into politics may be unrelated to the fact that in real life he was a proponent of the plot theory of history.
Spectra, Bantam Books, New York: February 1992, © 1991. ISBN: 055329461x [429 pp ; pb].
Cyril Arthur Edward Ranger Gull (1876-1923), Black Honey.
Describes the extermination of a supposed Society of Rosicrucians headquartered in Malta. [AQC xxxii 94; xxviii, 212]
London : Greening & Co., 1913. 320p ; 8o.
Thorne Guy, Love and the Freemason.
London : T. W. Lawrie, 1915. pp. 281. ; 8o.. pseud. [i.e. Cyril Arthur Edward Ranger Gull.]. [COPAC: British Library].
Robert A. Heinlein, The Cat Who Walks Through Walls.
Subplot dealing with a stolen Shrine fez. New York : Ace Books, The Berkley Publishing Group, 1988 . pb 388pp.
Robert A. Heinlein, I Will Fear No Evil.
Berkley Medallion Books, New York: 1970. pp. 204, 341.
Robert A. Heinlein, If this goes on.
Secret fraternity overthrows dictatorship. No mention of Freemasonry; many references to masonic ritual.
Revolt in 2100. The New American Library, Inc., New York (Signat Book): 1954. [copyright, 1939, 1940 by Street & Smith Publications, Inc.] Contents: If This Goes On, etc.<
Robert A. Heinlein, Job: A Comedy of Justice.
Ballantine Books, New York: 1984. A Del Rey Book. ISBN: 0345313577 [376pp ; hb]
Robert A. Heinlein, Space Cadet.
A junior officer refers to his commander: "It was like I was First Degree, and he was Thirty-Second Degree, but both of us from the same lodge.
Robert. A. Heinlein, Time Enough for Love.
Thee are three masonic references and several masonic allusions.
Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms.
"The Pope wants the Austrians to win the war," the major said. "He loves Franz Joseph. Thats where the money comes from. I am an atheist."
"All thinking men are atheists," the major said. " I do not believe in the Free Masons however."
"I believe in the Free Masons," the lieutenant said. "It is a noble organization."
The movie version deletes this passage but adds another, more obscure, reference based on Henrys wanting to be an architect.
A Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway. New York : Collier Books MacMillan Publishing Company, 1986. Copyright 1929. ISBN: 0020519001. 332p. pb. pp. 7-8; p. 242.
Laurence Henderson, Cage Until Tame.
"His handshake was dry and firm, with a hint of the masonic thumb across the back of the tendons...." [AQC xciii 10]
London: Harrap, 1972. London : Corgi, 1973. pb 189p ; 18cm. ISBN : 0552093106
Russell Hoban, The Lion of Boaz-Jachin and Jachin-Boaz.
"The world seemed to be owned by a freemasonry of petrol stations, monster tanks and towers and abstract structures of no human agency or purpose." London : Cape, 1971. 192p ; 21cm ISBN: 0224008315
Reginald Hill, Who Guards the Prince?
A description of an Entered Apprentice degree.
Bath, Eng. : Chivers Press ; South Yarmouth, Ma. : J. Curley, 1983. 438 p. ; 22 cm. ISBN : 0893405906 (J. Curley : lg. print)
James Hilton, Lost Horizon.
While there are no specific masonic references in this novel, it is noteworthy that a reference was added to the movie version. The only reference in the novel, "...we shall expect you to use your influence to get us a square deal." would not, on its own, warrant inclusion on this list. Copyright 1933. ISBN: 0895773619. p. 52.
James Joyce (1882-1941), Ulysses.
References noted on their own page. Also see other masonic references in the writings of Joyce. First published: Paris : Shakespeare & Company, 1922
See D. Gifford and R. J. Seidman, Notes for Joyce; Leonard Albert, "Joyce and Freemasonry", "Ulysses, Cannibals and Freemasons." [AQC xciii 13].
David Henry Keller (1880-1966), The Psychophonic Nurse
One of twenty-three short stories collected in Tales from Underwood, this is the only one to mention Freemasonry. The story is of a robot nanny, a new-born child, and her father's use of his masonic lodge meetings to conceal the time he spends with her.
"She told her husband what they said and he also smiled. Almost all the men he had met during the evening hour were Masons and he knew they could be trusted." [p. 128.]
"Teeple asked for a supper earlier than usual and at once left the house, telling his wife that the Masons were having a very special meeting and that he had promised to attend. " [p. 125.]
The deception is revealed when a sudden snowstorm traps him and his daughter outside overnight.
"The woman was alone, her husband having gone to the Masonic lodge the night before. The two of them went on to the next house, and to the next and finally in the distance they found the entire lodge brotherhood breaking their way through the snow-drifts. They had been forced to spend the entire night at the hall, but had had a pleasant time in spite of their anxiety."
The lodge brethren search the area, find the father and child and return them to their home where the mother realizes that the robot nurse is no substitute for a parent's love and in an early twentieth century morality playgives up her career as a writer to care for her husband and child.
First published November 1928 in Amazing Stories, reprinted Tales from Underwood, New York : Arkham House, Pellegrini & Cudahy, 1952 and again in Great Science Fiction about Doctors, Groff Conklin and Noah D. Fricant, ed., New York, 1963. Also presented on television on "The Pepsi-Cola Playhouse" on 5 February 1954 (Season 1, Episode 19), starring Joanne Davis and Lee Marvin with Polly Bergen as host.
Rudyard Kipling, In the Interests of the Brethren.
Kipling made numerous references to Freemasonry in his prose and poetry. Also see Freemasonry in nineteenth century fiction. The Story Teller magazine, December, 1918; Debits and Credits 1926.
Deals with an imaginary Lodge of Instruction, Faith and Works, No. 5837, EC, meeting in London to assist freemasons wounded in the War. [AQC xxxii 92]
Rudyard Kipling, The Man Who Would Be King.
"A God and a Grand Master of the Craft am I, and a Lodge in the Third Degree I will open, and we'll raise the head priests and the Chiefs of the villages."
Maughams Choice of Kiplings Best. Doubleday & Company, Inc., Garden City, New York: 1953. [p. 180.]
Katherine Kurtz, Two Crowns for America.
Includes a freemasons masterplan for the independence of the British colonies and the revival of the Jacobite crown.
Katherine Kurtz and Deborah Turner Harris, Death of an Adept.
Series of supernatural mysteries feature a police officer who is a freemason; the main character joins the Craft in the third volume.
R.A. Lafferty, Fourth Mansions.
Bart Book, New York: 1988. Copyright 1969. ISBN: 1557850488 [252pp ; pb].
Mercedes Lackey and Mark Shepherd, Wheels of Fire.
Contemporary fantasy fiction of elves who save abused children. Two gratuitous references: "They passed a Texaco, a mom and pop steakhouse, a tag office, a masonic temple and assorted city blocks of ancient brick structures that had no obvious function...." [p. 96.] "The four hundred ninety-nine volumes preceding it had been given away to Klansmen, defrocked ministers, congressmen, mayors, governors, shriners, a hundred right-wing organizations, and anyone else he thought might be interested." [p. 142.]
Baen Publishing Enterprises, Riverdale, N.Y.: 1992. ISBN: 0671721380. 389pp ; pb.
Louis L'Amour, Fair Blows the Wind.
A novel set in Elizabethan England, the protaganist, Tatton Chantry, is assisted by Jacob Binns, "a pilgrim to the shrines of knowledge"[p. 134] who introduces him to a "safe" Inn and Tavern, [pp. 137, 151-2.] and signs his notes with his name and a figure set in a triangle. [p. 144.] Chantry muses that Binns is a Freemason. [p. 177.] Bantam Books: October 1978, 1st paperback edition.
Stephen Leacock (1869-1944), Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town
But wait, just wait, if you feel anxious about the solidity of the British connection, till the twelfth of the month, when everybody is wearing an orange streamer in his coat and the Orangemen (every man in town) walk in the big procession. Allegiance! Well, perhaps you remember the address they gave to the Prince of Wales on the platform of the Mariposa station as he went through on his tour to the west. I think that pretty well settled that question. So you will easily understand that of course everybody belongs to the Knights of Pythias and the Masons and Oddfellows, just as they all belong to the Snow Shoe Club and the Girls' Friendly Society."
Chapter III: The Marine Excursion of the Knights of Pythias. London : J. Lane, 1912.
Harper Lee (1926-2016), Go Set a Watchman
"... you know the Klan?"
p. 229. US : HarperCollins, 2015. 278 pp.
[Harry] Sinclair Lewis (1885/02/07 - 1951/01/10), Elmer Gantry : a novel.
"Yes I know the Klan."
"Now hush a minute. Along time ago the Klan was respectable, like the Masons. Almost every man of any prominence was a member, back when Mr. Finch was young."
Elmer is noted in the novel as having joined the freemasons, but this is omitted in the movie while George F. Babbitt exclaims that he himself is a freemason.
A year he spent in Rudd Center, three years in Vulcan, and two years in Sparta. As there were 4,100 people in Rudd Center, 47,000 in Vulcan, and 129,000 in Sparta, it may be seen that the Reverend Elmer Gantry was climbing swiftly in Christian influence and character.
In Rudd Center he passed his Mizpah final examinations and received his Bachelor of Divinity degree from the seminary; in Rudd Center he discovered the art of joining, which was later to enable him to meet the more enterprising and solid men of affairsoculists and editors and manufacturers of bathtubsand enlist their practical genius in his crusades for spirituality.
He joined the Masons, the Odd Fellows, and the Maccabees. He made the Memorial Day address to the G. A. R., and he made the speech welcoming the local representative home from Congress after having won the poker championship of the Houses."
[Chap. 21.] London : J. Cape, 1927. 479 p. ; 20 cm.
H. P. Lovecraft, The Shadow Over Innsmouth
'It was called, she said, "The Esoteric Order of Dagon", and was undoubtedly a debased, quasi-pagan thing imported from the East a century before, at a time when the Innsmouth fisheries seemed to be going barren. Its persistence among a simple people was quite natural in view of the sudden and permanent return of abundantly fine fishing, and it soon came to be the greatest influence in the town, replacing Freemasonry altogether and taking up headquarters in the old Masonic Hall on New Church Green.' [written in 1931], 1936.
Andrew Macdonald [Dr. William Luther Pierce] (1933/09/11 - 2002/07/23), The Turner Diaries
"These were no soft-bellied, conservative businessmen assembled for some Masonic mumbo-jumbo...."
Second Edition. Hillsboro, WV : National Vanguard Books, 1995 (c. 1978). ISBN: 0937944025. pb. 211p. 11 x 18.4 cm. p. 203.
Ken MacLeod, The Stone Canal.
Set in the 25th century, the two references to Freemasonry are gratuitous and irrelevant to the story, occuring in a single scene with a character who only appears once.
"Pleased to meet you, Mr. Wilde." His grip was clammy, perhaps from the condensation of the glass, but his thumb pressure was firm.
The third reference is not specific to Freemasonry but appears to be a criticism of those who implicate Freemasonry in imagined conspiracy. This has nothing to do with the story.
"Jon," I said, nodding and wondering abstractly if the handshake I'd just received was masonic. [p. 113]
"This is all legit. On the square and on the level"
He realized what he was saying and laughed. "OK, old Ian is in the Craft but thats got nothing to do with it!" [p. 120]
As I pointed out in Ignoramus!, my work on the counter-conspiracy theory of history, everybody knows somebody who knows somebody who...(etc.), and its the easiest job in the world to ink-in those penciled lines; to speculate that the surprisingly few handshakes that separate the obscure from the famous are all funny handshakes.... [p. 249.]
Tom Doherty Associates, LLC: 1996, ISBN: 0812568648.
Sir George Fletcher MacMunn (1869-1952), (DDGM Punjab 1920-24), The Ghilzais wife, and other stories of East and West.
"The Craft is a wonderful thing, there is no doubt about it, quite apart fromn the truth or otherwise of its traditional foundation by Royal Solomon. At times it shows its members many a queer byway of life, and brings them up against folk whom they would otherwise pass by on the wayside. The world has many a sidelight for those who tarry a while to look, and whom the gift of human sympathy may at time illumine. If so be the onlooker is a Master Mason, then will his opportunities be doubled." [AQC xciii 2]
London : Sampson Low, Marston, [1936?], v, 282 p ; 19 cm
Gabriel García Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude.
Three slight references to Freemasonry exemplify the common beliefs about Freemasonry found in South America.
Berkeley Mathers, The Terminators.
Reference to "Children of the Widow" and mention of a tracing-board. [AQC xciii 15]
London : Collins, 1971. 255p ; 21cm. ISBN: 0002217260.
Gerald Maxwell, The Fear of Life.
Contains a description of an initiation into the Illuminati. [AQC xxxii 94]
Edinburgh and London: Blackwood & Son, 1908.
William Babington Maxwell, Hill Rise.
London : Methuen & Co., 1908. pp. 348. ; 8o.
The White Hart, the only real hotel in Medford, has a large upstairs room always used by the "Medford Ancient Lodge of Freemasons No. 8215" to which belonged many of the prominant citizens of the town, one of whom is introduced into the story "as carrying up some of the Masonic furniture to the Lodge roomits Lodge night." Several incidents of masonic pleasantry and charity are developed. [AQC xxxii 91]
Nancy Mitford (1904-1973), The Blessing.
When a Frenchwoman in England discloses that her father is "one of the top Freemasons at home", her brother chastises her: "Never again speak of Freemasons before French people. Take a lover take twoturn Lesbiansteal valuable boxes off your friends' tablesanything, anything, but don't say that your Father is a Freemason. It will need ten years of virtuous life before this is forgiven, and it will never be forgotten." [AQC xciii 10-11]
London : Hamish Hamilton, 1951. 270p ; 18.5cm ISBN: 0241900611
Lucy Maud Montgomery, Annes house of dreams.
"They liked Owen immensely and had that feeling of having known him for many years which distinguishes the freemasonry of the house of Joseph."
New York, Frederick A. Stokes Company, 1917. LCCN: 17022301.
John Mortimer, Rumpole of the Bailey
Three short stories include unsympathetic masonic characters.
Harmondsworth ; New York : Penguin Books, 1978. 208 p. ; 19 cm. ISBN : 0140046704 :
Gérard Labrunie de Nerval (1808-1855), Women of Cairo : scenes of life in the Orient.
Masonic references claimed but uncited. [AQC xciii 15]
London : G. Routledge & Sons, Ltd. [trans. 1929]. 2v ; 23 cm
Katherine Neville, The Eight.
Parallel stories in Revolutionary France and in the jetsetting 1970s describe a thousand year old struggle to secure a chess set that contains the secret of the philosophers stone and immortality. The many references to Freemasonry are irrelevent to the story and often inaccurate.
Ballantine Books, New York: 1988. ISBN: 0345366239.
Beverley Nichols (1898-1983), Laughter on the Stairs
Describing a stained-glass window: "The central figure was an elderly gentleman in red, perched on a slate cloud, and looking exceedingly resentful about the whole business. To him, through a mélange of mauve lozenges, was ascending a well-proportioned young lady with a mermaid's tail. At the base of the design were a number of mysterious symbols. There was something that might have been a spaniel; there were three ducks, one mauve, one pink, and one slate; there were several bars of music; and there were numerous signs that might have been Masonic symbols. Above the old gentleman's head, as we have already mentioned, was the inscription SPERO MELIORA"
London : Jonathan Cape, 1953. William McLaren (illustration). [The second 'Merry Hall' book] hc. 256 pages. 7 3/4" - 9 3/4". p. 18.
Irene Osgood (1875-1922), Servitude.
The Captain of the brig, Stella Marina, identifies himself as a freemason to the Algerian ruler. [AQC xciii 3]
London : Sisleys, [1908.] pp. 399. ; 8o. [American fiction V, 1906-1910 ; reel 130, no. 1240]
Boston : Dana Estes & Company, c1908 , 421p ; 20cm
Nicholas Pollotta, Shadowboxer.
"We're sure they're pirates?"
"Got a skull and crossbones on the conning tower. What else could they be, Free Masons?"
New York : ROC Published by the Penguin Group, 1997. 0-451-45600-9. p. 166.
Roger Peyrefitte, The Keys of St Peter.
Among other references: "...the procession was a rejoinder to that which, to the boos and catcalls of Freemasons and false patriots, had borne Pius IXs remains to the cemetery of Rome." [AQC xciii 11]
(trans. Les clés de Saint Pierre 1957) London : Secker & Warburg, 1957. 320p ; 21 cm
Roger Peyrefitte, Les Fils de La Lumière.
Freemasonry, indirectly implied by the title, runs through the book from the first sentence. [AQC xciii 11]
Paris : Flammarion, . 426p ; 19 cm
Charles Portis, True Grit.
"Some people will take it wrong and criticize me for not going to my fathers funeral. My answer is this: I had my fathers business to attend to. He was buried in his Masons apron by the Danville lodge." A similar line is used in the movie. [Danville Lodge No. 41]
New York : Simon and Schuster, 1968 p. 24.
David Pownall (1938 - ), The White Cutter.
The fictional life story of a thirteenth century stone mason, wherein he reveals that the freemasons, or workers in freestone, were Albigensians and that Robert Groseteste, Bishop of Lincoln; King Henry ; Sir Simon de Montfort and Master Henry de Reyns, master of the freemasons, comprise "the Four", a secret junta ruling mediaeval England, who are also the secret rulers of Robin Hoods Sherwood Forest.
New York : Viking Penguin Inc., 1989. ISBN: 0-670-82579-4. hc 320p.
Terry Pratchett, The Discworld novels.
The novels rarely mention Freemasonry by name but contain many allusions and phrases reminiscent of the Craft.
Thomas Pynchon (8 May 1937 - ), Gravity's Rainbow (1973)
Like James Joyce, non-mason Thomas Pynchon has incorporated numerous masonic references into his disjointed flow-of-consciousness narratives. Often perpetuating erroneous stereotypes, his references are visual and symbolic, with little or no significance to the story. London : Penguin Books, 1995. ISBN : 0 14 01.8859 2. tpb 760pp. p. 27.
Thomas Pynchon (8 May 1937 - ), The Crying of Lot 49 (1966)
Reference to a secret "Trystero" society. Philadelphia : J.B. Lippincott, 1966. pb. 183pp. ISBN : 0-397-00418-4
Thomas Pynchon (8 May 1937 - ), Mason & Dixon (1966)
A fictional account of astronomer Charles Mason and surveyor Jeremiah Dixon, sent by the Royal Society in London to establish the border between Maryland and Pennsylvania. There are schemes involving Freemasons, Sweden, France, the Dutch East India Company, calendar reform as well as a Jesuit maneuver to take over China. New York : Henry Holt, 1997. pb 773pp. ; 25 cm. ISBN: 0805037586
Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch [as Q] (1863-1944), The Westcotes.
About French prisoners held in England: "I rode in at once on hearing the news... and found the Lodge [La Paix desirée, formed by the prisoners] anxious to pay him something more than the full rites." [AQC xciii 3]
Bristol : Arrowsmith, 1902. 1 p. l., v-[viii], 9 -289 p ; 19 cm
Robert Rankin, Raiders of the Lost Car Park.
It is a fact, well known to those who know it well, that all policemen above the rank of sergeant are not only Freemasons, but Jesuits. [p. 96.]
London : Doubleday, 1994. ISBN: 0 385 404131. hc. 252p.
Robert Rankin, Waiting for Godalming.
"I'd only ever seen a suit like that once before and that was on the body of a businessman, who'd spilt soup on me at a Masonic maggot roast in Barking, back in '93." Also see Twenty-first Century References and Robert Rankin.
London : Doubleday, 2000. ISBN: 0385600577. hc. 264p. p. 100.
Frank Richardson, unidentified story.
A young lady and her fiancé switch bodies and she attends his lodge, signing her own name. [AQC xxxii 89]
R. Hyrum Savage, Chad Cunningham & Christopher T. Miller, Diomin: Worldbook.
Irrelevent to the theme of this role-playing game book, the square and compasses emblem is used as a map rosette.
Santa Monica : OtherWorld Creations, 2000 pb 112pp.
Robert Shea, Robert Anton Wilson, Illuminatus!
Numerous references to the Illuminati of Bavaria and over fifty references to Freemasonry, none of them complimentary. Dell Publishing Co., Inc.. New York: 1975. [3 volumes] ISBN: 0440346886.
Patrick Slater (1882-1951), The Yellow Briar
This novel about growing up as an Irish immigrant in Canada includes a tale of a child overhearing a lodge meeting.
John Mitchell [pseud. Patrick Slater] (1882-1951) The Yellow Briar, Toronto : MacMillan of Canada, 1970 .
Carmichael Smith, Atomsk, a novel of suspense.
"She started to protest, but he silenced her with a prohibitive Japanese gesture so odd that it seemed almost Masonic."
[Paul Myron Anthony Linebarger (1913-1966) AKA Cordwainer Smith]. New York : Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1949. p. 37
Christopher Stasheff, A Wizard in Bedlam.
"Hail, Grandmaster...."[p. 127].
Ace Science Fiction Book, New York: 1979. ISBN: 0441902146
Bruce Sterling, Zeitgeist.
"For the artistes 'Leggy the G-7 Manager' had to be a remote, mystifying figure, a creature of high-level deals and cryptic Masonic handshakes." [p. 38].
Bantam Spectra Book, New York: 2001. ISBN: 0553576410
Julian Sterne [Pseud: Nesta H. Webster], The secret of the zodiac.
Bolshevists and Freemasons destroy the British Empire. [A novel.] London : Boswell Publishing Co., Ltd., 1933. 320 pp.
John Steinbeck, The Winter of Our Discontent
Numerous references to a Knights Templar sword owned by the principal character, Ethan Allen Hawley: pages 68, 132, 218, 224. New York : Penguin Books, 2008. ISBN : 978-0-14303948-8.
John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath
"Beside them, little pot-bellied men in light suits and panama hats; clean, pink men with puzzled, worried eyes, with restless eyes. Worried because formulas do not work out; hungry for security and yet sensing its disappearance from the earth. In their lapels the insignia of lodges and service clubs, places where they can go and, by a weight of numbers of little worried men, reassure themselves that business is noble and not the curious ritualized thievery they know it is; that business men are intelligent in spite of the records of their stupidity; that they are kind and charitable in spite of the principles of sound business; that their lives are rich instead of the thin tiresome routines they know; and that a time is coming when they will not be afraid any more." [p. 73]
"They're workin' up a feelin' against us folks. That's what I heard. All them drum-corpse fellas an' lodges an' all that. Say they're gonna get this here fella." [p. 202].
John Steinbeck, East of Eden
The main character Adam Trask is noted as being a freemason, while there are several references to other fraternal orders.
Michael Talbot, The Delicate Dependency, A Novel of the Vampire Life.
Dr. John Gladstone (1855- ) a widowed Mayfair doctor with two daughters, Camelle and Ursula, meet the vampire in the late nineteenth century. He discovers that they are an ancient and "very clever society" [p. 134] protecting humanity from destruction.
New York : Aon, 1982. ISBN: 038077982x. rebound hc [San Jose State University Library : PS 3570.A392x D45 1982] 406p. 10cm x 17.5cm.
Guy Thorne [pseud: Cyril Arthur Edward Ranger Gull.] (1876-1923), Love and the Freemason.
Many residents of a cathedral town are freemasons. The father of Charles and Christopher Severn died in his old age, saying "I go from labour to refreshment. So mote it be." Charles' aunt, and housekeeper, had read all the books on masonic history and followed the doings of the local lodge and its members, for which she had the highest regard. Shortly after Christophers return to town from Tunis, he is initiated into the lodge with a friend. Charles is informed that a London printer is about to publish the secrets of Freemasonry and he secures the influence of a Peer of the Realm, the Pro Grand Master, to supress the book. Charles is accused of writing the book, actually the work of his brother Christopher, but proves his innocence with the help of Muriel who had concealed herself in the lodge room, is discovered and subsequently initiated. Dr. Tourtel, introduced earlier in the story while defeating a priest in argument over Freemasonry, now publishes a history of Freemasonry. The story ends with Charles and Muriel on their honeymoon in Tunis. [AQC xxxii 81-83; xxvii 115-38]
London : T. W. Lawrie, [1915.] pp. 281. ; 8o.
Harry Turtledove, (1949 - ) The Guns of the South.
New York : Ballantine Books, 1992 : ISBN 0-7394-6529-5
In this alternate-history of the American Civil War, the South defeats the North using weaponry provided by a mysterious group of time-travellers from the early 21st Century. At the inauguration of Robert E. Lee, newly-elected president of the Confederacy, "[T]he press made up the rear of the procession, behind Masons and members of other benevolent societies but ahead of the generality of citizens." [p. 407]
Evelyn Underhill, The Lost Word.
Rogers, the Cathedral Verger is "a Freemason of the more imaginative kind" who befriends young Paul Vickery who himself becomes a freemason in chap. iv. and later decides to become an architect and build the Church of Quatuor Coronati.
In an authors note: "'Lest any be offended', I think it well to state that the account of a Masonic ceremony contained in Chapter IV of this book has been obtained in no unlawful manner, but from published sources which are easily accessible to any student of speculative masonry." [AQC xciii 6]
London. William Heinemann. 1907. 1 vol. 8° 316p.
Vassilis Vassilikos, Z.
Based on the assassination of anti-fascist Greek politician, Gregoris Lambrakis (1912-1963), the novel highlights the superstitious antisemitism of the military authorities, and accuses one general responsible for the assassination of being a freemason. Unrelated to Freemasonry, three characters are noted as being employed as masons.
"'I, Epaminondas Stergion, a mason, declare that the day following the incidents, Taula, a dresssmaker whose brother works at the same stand as Yango, dropped in for a visit.'" [p. 241.]
Dennis Wheatley (1897-1977), The Prisoner in the Mask.
"And the Freemasons, do not forget them. Their network of espionage penetrates every stratum of society...." "All of them are now under orders to report any conversations they may overhear in which the Government is disparaged or respect shown for the Church."
[London] : Hutchinson, c1957. 376p 21 cm.
Edward Whittemore, Jerusalem Poker.
"Three cardplayers are the central spokes in a free-wheeling epic fantasy that is both cosmic and profane, beautiful and preposterous, and explains just about everything on earth."
Avon Books, New York: 1978. ISBN: 0380443958 [408pp ; pb].
[William] Vaughan Wilkins, Once Upon a Time.
A print in a hotel dining room is "one of Robert Burns, looking rather like Sydney Carton, being inaugurated as Poet Laureate of the Lodge Canongate Kilwinning, Edinburgh, on the first of March, 1787." [AQC xciii 9]
London : Cape, . 450p.
Tad Williams, Otherland.
Volume One: City of Golden Shadows. " ... how do you say it? Theories of Conspiracy. They are like the Bilderbergers or the Illuminati or the Masons. There are people who blame them every time the Chinese dollar drops or a hurricane disrupts line service in the Caribbean."
New York : Daw Books Inc., 1996. ISBN: 0-88677-763-1 [p. 448].
P. G. Wodehouse [Pelham Grenville] (1881-1975), Blendings Castle.
A prize sow is described as being "...to the pig world what the masonic grip is to the human."
P. G. Wodehouse [Pelham Grenville] (1881-1975), Cocktail Time.
Lord Ickenham is speaking with his old friend Bert, who has become a butler. "Don't come the heavy butler over me, Bert. This meeting is tiled. You may speak freely."
P. G. Wodehouse [Pelham Grenville] (1881-1975), The Clicking of Cuthbert.
Reference is made to the "summum bonum" and "the stone which the builders had rejected." [AQC xciii 10]
London : H. Jenkins, 1922. 256p ; 19cm
P. G. Wodehouse [Pelham Grenville] (1881-1975), Heavy Weather.
Gally Threepwood, conspiring with Beach, says "The meeting is tiled." Later: "Lady Constance gave her a masonic glance of understanding." [p. 221]
Roger Zelazny, Isle of the Dead.
Zelazny (b. May 13, 1937, Euclid, Ohio) creates a world centuries in the future where planet builders merge their personalities with a pantheon of alien gods. The sole reference to Freemasonry is gratuitous and depreciating.
H U M O U R
Scott Dekkers, Our Dumb Century.
Two references to Freemasonry and contemporary conspiracy theory linking Freemasonry with Kennedy's assassination.
Edited by Scott Dikkers, Written By Scott Dekkers et al.. New York : Three Rivers Press [Random House], 1999. The Onion Inc. pp. 35, 101. ISBN : 0-609-80461-8
Ellis Weiner, National Lampoons Doon.
"Twenty thousand of the emperors fanatical terrorist-bouncers had descended on the city of Arrucksack, disguised as a convention of Shriners from the Benevolent Planetary Order of Elkoids. At the fatal hour they had thrown off their fezzes and attacked.
Simon & Schuster, Inc., New York: 1984. p. 56.
S H O R T......S T O R I E S
W Somerset Maugham, The unconquered
"At last the door was opened by a sad-faced women in black, but when they asked to see the doctor she began to cry. He had been arrested by the Germans because he was a freemason, and was held as a hostage. A bomb had exploded in a café frequented by German officers and two had been killed and several wounded. If the quilty weren't handed over before a certain date he was to be shot."
The unconquered, W Somerset Maugham; Edward A Wilson. Springfield, Ohio : Crowell-Collier Pub. Co., 1943.
Nancy Pickard, The First Ladies' Secret.
A fictional account of Scottish stonemasons building the USA White House, a murder and a ghost, combined with Harry S Trumans factual association with Freemasonry.
The First Lady Mysteries. edited by Nancy Pickard. Pocket Books (Simon & Schuster Inc.) New York: 1999. ISBN : 0671014447.
Bruce Sterling and Lewis Shiner, Mozart in Mirrorshades.
In which time travel allows the industrial exploitation of the late 18th century. George Washington and Mozarts masonic connections are referenced; and a Freemason Liberation Front or "Masonista", a local politico-religious group, attempts both armed and passive resistance.
Mirrorshades, the cyberpunk anthology. edited by Bruce Sterling. Arbor House, New York: 1986. ISBN : 0877958688.
Vassilis Vassilikos, Z, a novel
"The General followed him, inwardly cursing the Zionist movement and its adherents." [p. 295.]
A motion to dismiss included the accusation that "one of the judges was a Mason, of lesser rank than the General in the Masonic hierarchy, and so could not possibly be objective toward his superior." [p. 331.]
In contrast, in the movie Z, one person trying to protect the politician, and who was key in bringing charges against the assassins, claims to be a mason.
Translated from the Greek by Marilyn Calmann. New York : Pantheon Books. Ballantine Books Inc. 1969. Copyright 1966 by Vassilis Vassilikos. pb. 376p.
Herbert George Wells , The Inexperienced Ghost.
Incorporating a ghost who makes use of certain hand gestures to return to the netherworld and a member of the Quatuor Coronati Lodge No. 2076, the premier Lodge of masonic research.
Twelve Stories and a Dream, 1903; The Complete Short Stories of H. G. Wells. Ernest Benn Limited, London: 1927-1974. ISBN : 0510403018. [pp. 909, 910.].
P. G. Wodehouse [Pelham Grenville] (1881-1975), Romance at Droitgate Spa.
"That is Uncle Joe, taken in the masonic regalia of a Grand Exalted Periwinkle of the Mystic Order of Whelks." A 1975 television dramatization deletes the word, "masonic", while some reprints substitute the word "lodge".
1937/02/20 Saturday Evening Post (US), 1937/08 Strand (UK), Eggs, Beans and Crumpets, London : Herbert Jenkins, 1940.
Further notes can be found in: Frederick H. Smyth, "Freemasonry in Fiction". Ars Quatuor Coronatorum xciii (1980), pp. 1-16. Also see Henry Lovegrove, "Three Masonic Novels." AQC xxxii (1919); W. B. Hextall, "A Masonic Pantomime and some other Plays", AQC xxi (1908) pp. 138-160 ; Wallace McLeod, The Quest for Light, selected Masonic addresses. Melbourne : Australian & New Zealand Masonic Research Council, 1997, ISBN : 0 646 31144 1 chapt. 8, pp. 79-92. Illustration reproduced from the frontispiece, "The Man Who Would be King." ' to Rudyard Kiplings Complete Works of Prose and Verse 1907. No artist credited.
C O M E D Y
Lenny Bruce Live at the Curran Theatre (1961)
Lenny Bruce (1925/10/13-1966/08/03) gave a three hour and seven minute concert at San Francisco's Curran Theatre less than two weeks after his 8 November 1961 arrest for obscenity. Near the beginning of his performance, he makes two references to Freemasonry. Fantasy 34201-1(1971).