The Real History Of The Rosicruciansby Arthur Edward Waite
Originally published in 1888, this book is considered a fair and objective review of Rosicrucian history. From the author: "Beneath the broad tide of human history there flow the stealthy undercurrents of the secret societies, which frequently determine in the depths the changes that take place upon the surface. These societies have existed in all ages and among all nations, and tradition has invariably ascribed to them the possession of important knowledge in the religious scientific or political order according to the various characters of their pretensions. The mystery which encompasses them has invested them with a magical glamour and charm that to some extent will account for the extravagant growth of legend about the Ancient Mysteries, the Templars, the Freemasons, and the Rosicrucians, above all, who were the most singular in the nature of their ostensible claims and in the uncertainty which envelopes them."
- Stone Guild Publishing
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- 7.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.92(d)
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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.