Hodder & Stoughton has netted an “enthralling” book on freemasonry and its influence from John Dickie.
Non-fiction publisher Rupert Lancaster acquired British Commonwealth rights, including serial, from Catherine Clarke at Felicity Bryan Associates. The Craft: How Freemasons Made the Modern World will be published in June 2020.
The synopsis states: “The Craft is an enthralling exploration of an organisation that not only helped to forge modern society, but still has substantial contemporary influence. With 400,000 members in Britain, over a million in the USA, and around six million across the world, understanding the role of Freemasonry is as important now as it has ever been.”
Dickie, professor of Italian studies at University College London, is the author of 2004 book Cosa Nostra: A History of the Sicilian Mafia, which was translated into 21 languages and won the CWA Golden Dagger for Non-Fiction. Hodder also published his books Delizia! The Epic History of Italian Food, Mafia Brotherhoods and Mafia Republic.
He said: “The history of Freemasonry contains every shade of light and dark. It’s a truly international story – the journey takes us from America to Australia, Italy to India. I have come to recognise how much the Freemasons have contributed to making us who we are, for good and ill. There is an extraordinary story waiting to be told in the Masonic archives and libraries of the world. My challenge as a writer and historian is to help the reader sympathise with the Masons, while never losing sight of their eccentricity, their sexism, and the many more dubious sides to their story.”
Lancaster added: “A new book from John is always an event. He has a tremendous ability to combine academic rigour and in-depth research with all the skills of a born storyteller. Freemasonry is the perfect subject for him and we’re very proud to be the publisher of such an important book.”