This book is an invitation to the secret world behind the veil of daily events. In its pages you will meet the legendary Cagliostro and the Comte de Saint-Germain as they travel through the royal courts and Masonic lodges of eighteenth-century Europe, fomenting Revolution and working to overturn the social order of their day. Alchemists, magicians, Illuminati adepts, mystics, and Freemasons joined forces with politicians, journalists, scientists, writers, philosophers and libertines in a movement that forever altered the cultural landscape of Western civilization. Inaugurating two centuries of revolution and upheaval, the French Revolution of 1789 put an end to the concept of the divine right of kings, led to the formal separation of church and state, destroyed the remnants of medieval feudalism, and heralded the values of the Enlightenment as the triumphant banner under which the modern world would be born. Yet it was accompanied by a level of violence whose ferocity spoke more of an exorcism than a political restructuring. What lessons does the Revolution hold for us today? Do the forces of secret societies and silent conspiracies continue to influence the world? Historian Una Birch's classic account was originally published in 1911. Her proximity to and sympathy with the events offer a unique perspective. Secret society expert James Wasserman has made this work accessible to the modern reader with extensive annotations, a history of the Revolution, an introduction that places the Illuminati in context, and biographical sketches of the main participants. Book jacket.