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About the Book
Symbolical Masonry is a treasure-house of Masonic lore, including discussions of key concepts of the first three degrees, along with an extensive study guide. Haywood goes into details about such mysteries as the Letter 'G', the two pillars, and the legend of Hiram Abiff. Not merely a rote discussion of the rituals and regalia of the lodge, Haywood attempts to get the reader to think critically about the background of these topics, enhancing their understanding of the rich history of Freemasonry.
Shortly after taking my degrees in Masonry I asked my friend, Brother Newton R. Parvin, Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Iowa, for a book to explain the ritual in which I had just participated, so much of which had escaped or confused me like a foreign language. He told me there was no such book in existence and said it was the most badly needed volume in the whole field of Freemasonry. Later, I chanced to report this remark to a group of friends at Waterloo, Iowa, consisting of Alfred E. Longley, Raymond Folk, Louis Fowler, and P. J. Martin, the last mentioned of whom, now deceased, was one time Grand Master of Masons in that state, whereupon these gentlemen challenged me to write such a book myself, and offered to co-operate in publishing and marketing it after my MS. might be completed. The upshot of it all was that after engaging a young man to assist me in the work I spent the larger part of one year in the Iowa Masonic Library at Cedar Rapids, Iowa, a magnificent collection of Masonic literature founded by Theodore Sutton Parvin and maintained by the Grand Lodge of Iowa. I owe very much to the unfailing kindness of Brother Newton R. Parvin and to his Deputy, Brother C. C. Hunt, and wish at this time, and publicly, to extend to them my most sincere thanks. Also I wish to extend my thanks to Brother John H. Cowles, Sovereign Grand Commander of the Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction, for his permission to read Albert Pike's unpublished manuscript on the ritual of the Three Degrees, which is preserved in the vaults of the House of the Temple, Washington, D. C., and which, according to Pike's own written directions, can never be published.