Miracle-worker or man of straw? Count Alessandro Cagliostro was a cult figure of European society in the tumultuous years leading to the French Revolution. An alchemist, healer and Freemason, he inspired both wild devotion and savage ridicule - and novels by Alexander Dumas, a drama by Goethe and Mozart's opera The Magic Flute.
Cagliostro's sincere belief in the magical powers, including immortality, conferred by his Egyptian Rite of Freemasonry won him fame, but made him dangerous enemies, too. His celebrated travels through the Middle East and the capitals of Europe ended abruptly in Rome in 1789, where he was arrested by the Inquisition and condemned to death for heresy.
The Masonic Magician tells Cagliostro's extraordinary story, complete with the first English translation of the Egyptian Rite ever published. The authors examine the case made against him, that he was an impostor as well as a heretic, and finds that the Roman Church, and history itself, have done him a terrible injustice.
This engaging account, drawing on remarkable new documentary evidence, shows that the man condemned was a genuine visionary and true champion of Freemasonry. His teachings have much to reveal to us today not just of the mysteries of Freemasonry, but of the mysterious hostility the movement continues to attract.
The authors in the Library of the The Grand Lodge of Scotland viewing the collection originally owned by the Lodge Les Neuf Sœurs
Philippa Faulks Examines the Egyptian Rite of Freemasonry
Reviews And Press Coverage
The Scottish Rite Journal
"Wow, what a ride this book is! I've always been a little uncomfortable at the ease with which writers, including some Masonic writers, have applied such terms as "quack," "fake," and "charlatan" to a man who seemed far more complex than that. It seemed a little like believing the propaganda of the enemy. Faulks and Cooper make it clear that we need to rethink Cagliostro. They are qualified for the task. Bro. Cooper is the Curator of the Grand Lodge of Scotland Museum and Library, and a fine and careful Masonic author, as his many books testify."
Michael Baigent - Freemasonry Today
"The translation of Cagliostro's Egyptian rite of Freemasony alone fully justifies the purchase of this book."
Bruno Virgilio Gazzo
editor, PS Review of FM
The authors say: "Our main concern when writing this book was to show the positive sides to a man who has long been denigrated and denounced as an imposter or charlatan. We wished to give credence to the altruist and mystic, the visionary and 'friend of humanity' -to offer an insight into the spiritual work of an Enlightenment hero who never recanted his Freemasonry or his magic."
I can assure you they have achieved that.
The Masonic Square Magazine
"The most outstanding book on Esoteric Freemasonry this decade"
SHE magazine (Philippa was featured in November Issue 2009) - Buy Philippa's latest book The Masonic Magician (Watkins, £16.99) from the SHE Bookshop
The Book Launch at Toye Kenning and Spencer, London