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Posted October 27, 2001
Ignoring Yate's The Rosicrucian Enlightenment, whose arguments and scope were comparatively narrow, A.E. Waite's two volumes on the Rosicrucian phenomena (Real History...(1887) and The Brotherhood of the Rosy Cross (1924) remain the only substantial general histories of the Rosicrucian furore in the English language. Of Waite's two volumes, this is the least useful, but remains significant for its sustained analysis and argument based on source documents. While occassionally impeded by chronic verbosity and a predilection towards mysticism, Waite nevertheless weaves some intelligent and plausible arguments around a slippery subject in this volume, although note that his opinions concerning Andreae's authorship of the manifestos changed dramatically upon his 1924 revisitation of the material. While the weight of recent research based on painstaking bibliographical enterprise renders much of this study obsolete, as in the works of Roland Edighoffer, Richard van Dulmen, and in particular Carlos Gilly, this is still an interesting and useful English language introduction to the major texts, characters and ideas of the Rosicrucian furore.
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