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Les Chevaliers de la Jubilation: Maçonnerie ou libertinage? A propos de quelques publications de Margaret C. Jacob

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Between 1970 and 1981 Mrs. Jacob published a variety of books and articles on the subject of the Knights of Jubilation and their clandestine influence on both political and cultural life in the early decades of the eighteenth century. Mrs. Jacob sees the Knights of Jubilation as the first Continental Lodge, founded by John Toland in the United Provinces in about 1710. According to this thesis, Freemasonry on the Continent would be a quarter of a century older than historians have hitherto supposed (viz. 1710 instead of 1734). However, if one reads the texts on which Mrs. Jacob bases this assertion carefully and in their cultural context - they are published here complete and in the original language so that everyone may do just that-it seems to me that her conclusions are somewhat premature. The resonance of these texts goes back to the French libertinage and the burlesque tradition of Rabelais, rather than that they herald the era of Continental Freemasonry.


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