I’m going to keep this week’s article short and sweet so we can get to the fun stuff.
Shortly after I started The Mason’s Lady, I found myself quickly grasping at straws to find any information that was about Freemasonry, for specifically for the significant other of a Mason. Let’s just say we won’t be making a “best of” list anytime soon for books in that category. I can’t remember if it was through deep Googling, or someone mentioning it on Reddit, but eventually I stumbled across a book; I ordered it as soon as I saw the title, A Handbook for the Freemason’s Wife. I was even lucky enough to find a used copy that was signed by one of the authors.
A Handbook for the Freemason’s Wife by Philippa Faulks and Cheryl Skidmore, though made for a UK audience, is a wonderful companion for any Mason’s lady. The first half of the book goes over general information and commonly asked questions about Freemasonry. It’s is in a nice question and answer format, similar to what I do here on occasion. This part of the book covers all of the basics of Masonry, the officers, the uniforms, the accessories, etc, but also offers some insightful advice, such as how much time Masonry actually takes up, and some tips on how you can be accepting of your significant other becoming, or being a Freemason. This section also includes a short Masonic dictionary (at the very front for easy access), as well as some beautiful poems and songs regarding Masonry that I have not seen anywhere else. The only fault I have with the book, is that some of the information is ordered a little oddly, for instance, not all of the descriptions of the various Lodge officers are in the same chapter, but it does make sense within context; this is also saved by the concise index at the back of the book.
The turning section in the book is the chapter about hosting a Ladies Night, which may happen only in the UK (or only just not in T’s Lodge), which seems to be kind of a Ladies at the table kind of event combined with a fun night and charity event. The second half of the book is sadly (for me at least) very UK/Europe specific. It covers all of the charities that Masons in the area have and donate to, and gives a lengthy description of each, as well as information specific to Masonic wives and widows.It also includes information for all of the appendant Masonic bodies, including women’s and youth groups. contact information for the appendant bodies of Masonry, and the Grand Lodges of the area.
One of the authors of the book, Philippa Faulks, has actually had a really awesome interview pertaining to this book if you want to check it out. It also has some great Masonic information; you can tell she really feels passionate about the subject, and is also very knowledgeable.
Overall, I would say that A Handbook for the Freemason’s Wife is a must have for anyone interested in Masonry, whether they are the significant other of a recently joined Mason, or a not so recently joined Mason, or even a Mason himself. It really begs itself for a sequel, perhaps for the wife of the established Mason. This is the kind of book that I hope to write some day for a US audience, and I only hope that it will be half as awesome.
And now for the fun stuff!
Philippa Faulks was actually on the /r/freemasonry subReddit the other day, and I told her that her book, A Handbook for the Freemason’s Wife really inspired me and helped me form The Mason’s Lady into what it is today. She and her publisher were kind enough to offer me a couple of signed copies to give away to my readers!
I have two copies of the book to give away. In order to keep it simple, I will ask anyone who may be interested in a copy to comment on this post with either their favorite thing about Freemasonry, or a question that they have about Freemasonry. I will keep the giveaway open until I post next week’s article (usually 9:30pm Central time), and the winners will be randomly chosen using a handy dandy random number generator. Winners will be contacted privately for their contact information. Please only comment once, and do not make multiple accounts in order to add more comments, in order to keep the giveaway fair for everyone.
If you aren’t comfortable with the giveaway, or want to buy directly, you can find it here – but note that because this book comes from the UK, there will be significant shipping charges.
Have a great week!