The Invisible College Corgi edition of The Invisible College

The Royal Society, Freemasonry and the Birth of Modern Science

Published in the UK by Corgi

In 1660, within a few months of the restoration of Charles II, a group of twelve men, including Robert Boyle and Christopher Wren, met in London to set up a society to study the mechanisms of nature. At a time when superstition and magic governed reason, the repressive dogma of Christian belief silenced many, and were post-war loyalties ruined careers, these men forbade the discussion of religion and politics at their meetings. The Royal Society was born and with it modern, experimental science.

This situation seems unlikely enough, but the fact that the founder members came from both sides of a brutal Civil War makes its origins all the more astonishing. The Invisible College is a fascinating study of the turbulent political, economic and religious background to the formation of the Royal Society - an era of war against the Dutch, the Great Plague and the Great Fire of London. In particular, it reveals the hidden motives of one man, Sir Robert Moray, the key driving force behind the society, even though he was not a scientist. Building on his detailed experience of another organisation and the principles on which it was based, Moray was able to structure and gain finance for the Royal Society. This other organisation, the 'Invisible College' as Boyle called it, is known today by the name of Freemasonry.

The Invisible College will make you reassess many of the key events of this period and will show how Freemasonry, supported by Charles II, was the guiding force behind the birth of modern science, under the cover of the Royal Society.

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