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Response to Review no. 517

British freemasons and their followers have long objected to my work. First the Grand Lodge denied me access to its records. Then after that embarrassing policy was lifted, they have never liked the evidence I found in Continental and other archives that shed light on early freemasonry both in Britain and on the Continent. Indeed, from Stevenson’s remarks we may conclude that they just do not much like the Continent. He imagines that British masonry is a purer, less hierarchical form of freemasonry, led of course as it has been for centuries, by aristocratic Grand Masters. Readers should consult the book – based upon essays published largely in the 1990s but in Italian, French, and Dutch sources – and make up their minds for themselves.