Sunday, February 3, 2013

Book Review: La Masonería by Pedro González Blanco

The Gonzalez brothers are natives of Luanco (Asturias). Pedro Gonzaléz Blanco wrote a book entitled Freemasonry in 1933. It is being republished by the journal FREEMASONRY, presented by the Club del Diario La Nueva España de Gijon, on Thursday February 7, 2013.

Why this book?

Maybe the best justification for this book being reissued is that Pedro Gonzaléz Blanco, both a writer and translator, belongs to a famous family of writers born in Gijon (Asturias). After his university studies and adventures in Madrid he commenced a random existential journey through Latin America. He then settled again in Spain to begin his Masonic career (1930-1939), joining the Lodge of the Worshipful Union of the Grand Orient of Spain (GOE), located in the valley of Madrid.

Along with Brothers Serradel, Benlliure, etc ... and others he co-founded and launched other lodges within the GOE and the Spanish Grand Lodge (GLE).  He wrote this brief work FREEMASONRY , a synthesis of his thinking about Freemasonry and its historiographical developments for Latomia magazine, along with several other successful titles.
Perhaps his work is best explained in his own words :

"Más anda tan pobre la bibliografía masónica por tierras de España, que aumentarla con esta poquedad más, no me parecido del todo desconcertado.
Lean estas páginas los que conocen del arte real, advertidos de lo poco que valen. Y si los enterados sacan de ellas alguna sugestión, o siquiera alguna noticia, se dará por harto satisfecho"

(Masonic literature treats little on matters in Spain, which if that makes this small contribution of value, I will not feel entirely embarrassed.
Read these pages concerning the royal art, aware of their limited value. And if aware of this, you still receive some ideas, or even any wisdom, I will be satisfied)

It has been Victor Guerra's intention with this expanded edition of this book "Masonry" to make available the works of a renouned Asturian Mason, Pedro Gonzalez Blanco (1879-1961) from Luonco, who besides having an eventful life, has been an illustrious Masonic thinker who contributed significantly to the magazine Latomia (1932-1934) and this book.

But Pedro González Blanco is more than just a standard writer of bland matters of Masonic obligations and advice, the sort of pablum filled with down home and folksy commentary that all to often in the US at least passes for philosophy. He went far further and if you scan the covers of the Masonic magazine  Latomia,  in which he published several papers, you will note one in particular,  Historical Corrections, it is clear that his views were not appreciated in some circles, which of course make them all the more valuable. According to Pedro Gonzalez:

"No branch of history more needed to rectify its mistakes than that of the history of Freemasonry. The secrecy that the brotherhood required and the disappearance of far too many files had been fertile ground for all sorts of fantasies and invective: Diaz Perez, the so-called "Jhon Truth", Morayta, los modernos Usero, Suárez, Guillén y Díaiz did not contribute more work than copying Thory, specifically Fidel and Clavel,. Without Acta Latomorun Truht and Pérez Díaz would have written nothing and Morayta most of the time consulted nothing, attributing to Masonry features which often didn't exist. Other authors cited that revolve around these three or four 'historians.'"

Without going into greater detail, it may be some small consolation to North American freemasons to realize that they are not alone in the world in having problems in producing real history. We in North America are not the only masons to have fallen into the trap of producing fiction instead of history. Let us take a look at those works and those masons who were willing, where ever we may find them, to produce an accurate and critical examination of masonic history, as opposed to books full of wishful thinking and fantasy.

Pedro Gonzaléz Blanco, was one such masonic historian.

To find and order this book (we do not yet have it available in English) visit:

All thanks due to Victor Guerra who produced a solid introduction to this new edition.

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