by Thomas Marryat Edited by Stephen Dafoe and Randy Williams
Esoteric Odyssey was first published by Thomas Marryat in 1790 under the title The Philosophy of Masons in Several Epistles from Egypt to a Nobleman and has been a lost treasure for two centuries. This truly unique book, a work of fiction, provides a fascinating glimpse at a transitional era that was poised directly between the revival of interest in alchemy that characterized the mid-1700s and the revolutionary beginnings of modern science at that century’s end. It combines non-mainstream 18th-century philosophy and science with unorthodox ideas about esoteric knowledge, history, religion and Freemasonry. Many of Marryat’s concepts are controversial, even by today’s standards; they were nearly heretical at the time of the book’s original publication. Filled with offbeat humor and rich with unique insights, Esoteric Odyssey transports us back to a pivotal period for Western Civilization and immerses us in the underground stream of knowledge which informed that time.The 2010 edition has been thoroughly researched and edited for modern readers by Stephen Dafoe and Randy Williams. It features many period illustrations, as well as extensive annotation and a new introductory essay written by the editors.