[Grand Lodge]
[Calendar] [Search] [Resources] [History] [Links] [Sitemap]
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 21st 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.
1701-1800 | 1801-1900 | 1901-2000 | 2001 - | POETRY | DRAMA | ALLUSIONS

Pieter Aspe (Pierre Aspeslag, 1953- ), From Bruges with Love.
In this installment in a series of detective stories starring inspector Pieter Van In, he makes the observation that: "A woozy sergeant was about as useful as a priest at a freemason's deathbed."
New York : Open Road, 2015. p. 84.
Dan Brown (1964- ), The Da Vinci code : a novel.
The purported antiquity of the Priory of Sion has been effectively debunked and there continues to be no documentation of a clear link between the Knights Templar and Freemasonry. The Da Vinci Code, while based on earlier books making such claims, at least makes no claim itself to be anything other than fiction.
New York : Doubleday, 2003. 454 p. ; 25 cm. ISBN: 0385504209 (alk. paper)
John le Carré (1931-), The Mission Song.
Bruno Salvador is a professional interpreter whose specialty in African languages brings part-time work from British Intelligence. His boss and confidant in the Service is Bob Anderson. Anderson is explaining Salvador's next assignment to him when an offhand mention of the Bible prompts Salvador to reminisce that:
"I had never identified, and have not to this day, Mr Anderson's religious affiliations which I suspect were largely Masonic."
There are no other masonic references in the novel.
New York : Little, Brown & Company, 2006. ISBN 0316016748. 339pp. p. 50.
Lafitte's Treasurer cover
Joe Corso (1931-), Lafitte's Treasure.
Joseph D'Albert, of J. Dewey Hawkins Lodge No. 299, Hollywood, Florida has written a number of novels under the pen name of Joe Corso, the most recent (2014) being a piece of historical fiction about the nineteenth century French pirate and privateer, Jean Lafitte, entitled Lafitte's Treasure. Seen here is the cover art displaying a detailed masonic square and compasses.
Ellen Crosby (1953-), The Angel's Share.
Crosby has taken advantage of the current interest in Freemasonry to use masonic membership as a red herring in solving the murder of wealthy newspaper owner who is murdered in the opening chapter. From an early reference to a keypad combination, HTWSSTKS, to a final description of one suspect wearing cufflinks with the masonic square and compasses emblem—described as "a compass and a carpenter's square"—there are almost thirty references to masonic practices and beliefs, some closer to reality than others. All in all, she treats the freemasons fairly, talking about their philanthropy and community involvement, but also wanders into conspiracy territory with references to claims that Francis Bacon was a freemason and had written some of Shakespeare's plays, or that freemasons planned the foundation of the USA.
New York : Minotaur Books, 2019. ISBN 9781250164858. hc 353pp.
Thomas M. Disch, The Prisoner.
While the 1960s British TV show this novel is based on had no specific masonic references, there is one specific and two obscure references:
'When the steward had left them, she continued: "Is that what you'd call a Masonic ring?" '[p. 6.]
'The waiter with the Hapsburg lip replaced the china on the table according to a strict and clandestine geometry.' [p. 9.]
'The two identical Hartmann Knocabouts stood, already packed, beneath the false mirror in the foyer, like a demonstration of one of the less obvious axioms devised by the Alexandrian geometers.' [p. 10.]
New York : ibooks, inc., 2001. ISBN: 0-7434-4504-X [p. 137]. pb. 242p.
Michael Flynn, In the Country of the Blind.
'Isaac leaned over and tapped his briefcase with his index finger. 'But this is.' he said. 'This is. Tell me square, Brady, and on the level. Is it what we expected?' [p. 4.]
'...There are millions of people out there today who've only heard vague, secondhand rumours about a secret cabal controlling the course of history. Who? Why the Jews, of course. Or the Masons. Or the Vatican. Or the Trilateral Commission. You can fill in your favorite whipping boy. The World Trade Organization.' [pp. 180-81.]
William Gibson, Pattern Recognition.
"Damien maintains, half-seriously, that followers of the footage comprise the first true freemasonry of the new century."
New York : G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 2003. ISBN: 0-399-14986-4 [p. 20.]. hc. 356p.
New York : A Tor Book Published by Tom Doherty Associates, LLC, 2001. ISBN: 0-765-34498-X. pb. 549p.
Dean Koontz, The Good Guy.
In a video promotion for this murder mystery, the main character, Timothy Carrier, says "I'm a mason, not a murderer." Employed as a stone mason, there is no indication that he is a freemason.
New York : Bantom, 2007.
O. Henry, The Snow Man.
"...where she had expected the frank freemasonry of the West, she found the subtle tangle of two men's minds....
O. Henry (William Sydney Porter), "The Snow Man", Hampton's Magazine. New York : Broadway Magazine, Incorporated, 1910.
Alex Marcoux, A Matter of Degree.
A thinly-veiled anti-masonic attack masquarading as fiction, Freemasonry is a major theme in this fantasy involving reincarnation, alien invasion and one-world government.
New York : Harrington Park Press, 2006. ISBN : 1560236116 pb. 299pp. (Mystery/Thriller).
Brad Meltzer, The Book of Fate.
"Trying to figure out what really happened on the worst day of his life will lead Wes on a chase that takes him back to that long-ago July 4th, back to a decade-old presidential crossword puzzle, back to ancient Masonic symbols hidden in the street plan of Washington, DC, and even back to a two-hundred year old secret code invented by Thomas Jefferson." [www.bradmeltzer.com/fate.php]
New York : Warner Books, (September 5, 2006). hc: 528 p. ISBN: 0446530999 (Mystery/Thriller).
Robert Rankin, The Brightonomicon.
The use of masonic references is ambiquous and intended for comic effect. Also see Twentieth Century References.
London : Gollancz, 2005. ISBN: 0 575 07668 2. tp. 359p.
Robert Rankin, Knees up Mother Earth.
The use of masonic references is ambiquous and intended for comic effect. Also see Twentieth Century References.
London : Gollancz, 2004. ISBN: 0 575 07315 2. hc. 376p.
Robert Rankin, The Witches of Chiswick.
The use of masonic references is ambiquous and intended for comic effect.
London : Gollancz, 2003. ISBN: 0 575 07314 4. hc. 357p.
Kathy Reichs, Devil Bones.
In this novel about a murder investigation involving Wicca and a fear of Satanism, several references, unrelated to the story, are made about Freemasonry. In describing a cemetery:
"I recognized common funerary symbols: lambs and cherubs for children, blooming roses for young adults, the Orthodox cross for Greeks, the compass and square for Masons." [p. 156.]
Describing the interred in the cemetery:
"...Caesar Blake, Imperial Potentate of the Ancient Egyptian Arabic Order and leader of Negro Shriners throughout the nineteen-twenties." [p. 157.]
A Wiccan describes public perceptions:
"There are so many misconceptions about us. We're linked to Satanism, vampirism, Freemasonry. Some say we engage in group sex and human sacrifice. It's all madness, based on ignorance." [p. 205.]
J. G. Sandom, The God Machine.
The cover to this work of fiction trumpets: "The Church insisted it didn't exist. They lied. They said it was just a Masonic legend. It wasn't. A two-thousand-year-old secret. Revealed."
The God Machine,. Bantam : May 2009. ISBN : 978-0-553-58997-9.
Neal Stephenson, Zodiac : the eco-thriller.
Then, what the hell, he gave me a ride to the damn place. Dropped me off in the parking lot. Drove me in his cadillac Seville with the Masonic calipers welded to the trunk lid. The guy was a goddamn former executive. With an obvious grudge."
New York : Atlantic Monthly Press, c1988. 1st ed. 283 p. ; 23 cm. ISBN : 0871131811 (pbk.) p. 63.
John Wilkins refers to the Invisible College as a forerunner of the Royal Society [p. 116.] and "...sorcerers, alchemists, Templars and Satan-worshippers" are referred to [p. 738.]. References to an undefined group that may be the Royal Society, or alchemists and rosicrucians, include: "secret brethren [p. 739.] ; "...those two belong to a common sect, or something—they know and recognize each other. They dislike each other and work at cross-purposes but betrayal, corruption, any straying from whatever common path they have chosen, these are inconceivable." [p. 745.] ; "For I know they are to be found in every Court, Church and College, and that they know each other by signs and code-words," [p. 756.] ; "...but the motives of the esoteric brotherhood are occult to me...." [p. 872.] ; "...their Brotherhood was somehow above such petty squabbles...." [p. 877.].
New York : HarperCollins Publishers Inc., 2003. ISBN: 0 380 97742-7. hc. 927p.
Jon Stewart, America (the book).
An illustration by eBoy (Steffen Sauerteig, Svend Smital, Peter Stemmler and Kai Vermehr) of a political graveyard for third parties gives centre spot to the Anti-Masonic Party with the epithet: "Fine, don't teach us the handshake." [pp. 110-11.] Later, on a faux voter registration form, the question is asked : "If you are a Freemason, please enter the name under which your second "bonus" vote will be cast." [p. 123.]
New York : Time Warner Book Group, 2004. ISBN : 0-446-53268-1. hc 227p.
Tad Williams, Otherland.
Volume Four: Sea of Silver Light. "Sellars was asking him to believe in something that made the worst pamphleteering nonsense about Freemasons and Rosicrucians seem unambitious."
New York : Daw Books Inc., 2001. ISBN: 0-88677-977-4 [p. 137].

S H O R T......S T O R I E S
Christopher Buckley, Royal Pain.
In a humourous story about the Prince of Wales' attempt to hire an American PR flack.
"I'll tell Lord Sir Knatchbull. Speaking of which—is he on the level?
"On the level? Do you mean a Mason?
"No. Is he on our side?
"Royal Pain, Further adventures of Rick Renard." A short story by Christopher Buckley. The Atlantic Monthly, April 2004 vol. 293 no. 3 p. 98.

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. "The Man Who Would be King." Illustration reproduced from the frontispiece to Rudyard Kipling’s Complete Works of Prose and Verse 1907. No artist credited.


© 1871-2023 Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon A.F. & A.M. Updated: 2023/05/04