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Judith Rasoletti Emile Lancée

Published by LMB bookstore

Format: Paperback
Size: 148 x 208 mm
Pages: 232
ISBN: 978-90-5595-053-9
Published: May 2008
Price, € 32,50 inclusive music CD

Available from the publisher: LMB bookstore


This book captures moments in the life of three women Freemasons over a period of 150 years: Aimée Bothwell-Gosse, Marjorie C. Debenham and Charlotte Jones. They were honored with the 33rd Degree, the highest degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, for their merit and lifelong dedication. Yet their stories are mostly unknown. Bothwell-Gosse was a respected Masonic scholar, researcher and prolific writer, having published a quarterly magazine for over forty years and one of the few women who was an active member of operative stonemason’s lodges. Debenham’s Masonic career is equally illustrious; like her predecessor, she deepened the inquiry into the symbolism and ritual workings of the Craft through writing and teaching. Jones, in turn, focuses on safeguarding the wisdom that becomes part of the initiate’s journey as well as promoting the ideas of tolerance and respect among all human beings. Together, their contributions to the ancient Craft of Masons are countless as they were at the forefront of great changes in their society and within Freemasonry. Founders of Lodges, Grand Lodges and an international organization, the International Masonic Union CATENA, they were instrumental in preserving an ancient lineage and way of working within Freemasonry that has been transmitted throughout the centuries.

About the authors::

Judith Rasoletti Ph.D., 33dgr, Immediate Past-Master of the mixed Lodge “Elizabeth St. Leger No. 5” in Miami, Florida.

Emile Lancée, 4dgr, member of the mixed Lodge “The Rising Star No. 4” in Utrecht, The Netherlands, working under the jurisdiction of The Order of Ancient Free Masonry for Men and Women.


Complementary to the Library and Museum of Freemasonry’s exhibition recognising 100 years of Women and Freemasonry, this book celebrates the same through three leading influences from 1904 to the present time. The book is structured on masonic symbolism, ritual and universality of which the three lives, respectively, are unique exemplars.

Aimée Bothwell-Gosse (1866-1954) travelled in Egypt and South Africa before returning to university teaching in the UK. She found the connections between ancient mystery traditions and Freemasonry and wrote several books on Egypt, Knights Templars and Masonry. For forty years she edited and published the quarterly journal The Speculative Mason. She was one of few women belonging to two operative Lodges.

Marjorie Debenham (1893-1990) is of the department store family. She studied at the Sorbonne and was multi-lingual. Her life-long study was of symbolism and its role in ritual. In the many lodges she founded she insisted on the highest standards of dress, perfect memory of the words and execution of all 33 degrees (no books permitted!).

Charlotte Jones (b. 1917) was interviewed for freemasonry in 1949 by the famous suffragette, W:.Br:. Leonora Cohen, who had been imprisoned in 1913 for destroying the glass case holding the Crown Jewels! Despite Ms. Jones’ family losses in WWII, her masonic vision was to heal a broken Europe by bringing together lodges and grand lodges that would have otherwise been at a distance. At 91 she continues to be an active Sovereign Grand Commander. Recently in an address she stated that it was the duty of the elders to reach out to the younger generations. Accompanying the book is a CD of some of her masonic poems recorded by a prominent rap group communicating and connecting masonic light.

This book is sparklingly presented and illustrated. No review can begin to touch the sensitivity with which the people therein have been described, nor the extent of the layers and levels of their esoteric lodge experience, something that sadly few will ever achieve. This book is different; it is essential reading for those who want an insight into a freemasonry expanded by diversity and inclusion.

Gerald Reilly
columnist, PS Review of FM

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