The Masonic Magician: The Life and Death of Count Cagliostro and His Egyptian Rite by Philippa Faulks and Robert L D Cooper, from Watkins Publishing, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.
“Miracle worker of 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—as well as novels by Alexandre 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 on 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—including the charge that he was an imposter as well as a heretic—and finds that the Roman Church, and history itself, have done him a terrible injustice.
Drawing on remarkable new documentary evidence, this engaging account shows that the man condemned was a genuine visionary and true champion of Freemasonry—and that his teachings have much to reveal to us today.” — back cover