"If you have read any of Tobias Churton’s works before, like The Gnostics or Freemasonry – the Reality, you will know he has a habit of setting himself difficult topics to cover, and then making them accessible through good scholarship and a sharp lucid explanatory style. With Invisibles he remains true to form, providing a comprehensive overview of the history and development of Rosicrucianism, one of the most significant strands of the spiritual tapestry created through the development of Western society in recent centuries. As with his other books, Churton utilises his habit of digressing down fascinating avenues of information, only to bring them back in front of the reader to illustrate the points he was making from a completely different angle! He also provides the information in a manner which allows the reader to form their own conclusions, a rare and useful quality in a work such as this.
Churton has produced a book which should be read over a period of time, as every chapter is full of ideas which need time to be fully explored and take seed like a strong tree. Like a fine wine, it has the benefit of maturity, and is best enjoyed through sips and not gulps! The European essence of Rosicrucianism is explored through its luminaries, of whom there are many. For me perhaps the best quality of this significant tome is that it manages to bring out the spiritual essence which pervades the history of Rosicrucianism, a major feat for which Churton is to be congratulated. This book is an excellent and worthy study which deserves to be read by anyone with the slightest interest in spirituality, history or indeed the road of the Philosopher’s Stone to personal transformation."
David Rankine, THE ESOTERIC BOOK REVIEW
"This book by Tobias Churton is a comprehensive and fascinating exploration through the rise of the Rosicrucian movement from the production of its initial texts, the Fama Fraternitatis first seen in 1610 and printed 1614, the Confessio Fraternitatis of 1614, printed 1615 and the great work, The Chemical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz printed in 1616. Churton has provided detail, context and analysis where so many other books have provided only scepticism or wishful thinking.
Churton is good on the context out of which the Rosicrucian idea developed. He is good on the movement itself and, in an inspired move, he is good at the whole concept of an idea’s power to move the world. And he points out the paradox which lies at the heart of the Rosicrucian idea, ‘What the world sees as useless is gold to the eyes of the spiritually reborn; what the world judges as gold is but a dead lead weight to [the Rosicrucian].’ He draws his exploration to a close by pointing out a twentieth century parallel to the Rosicrucian mystery – the mystery of Rennes-le-Chateau. He points to the alternative views of the past: those of history or allegory. The Rosicrucian texts were written as allegories of their times; non-operative Freemasonry was also based upon an allegory written to convey a moral and spiritual lesson; and in a thought-provoking section Churton argues that the modern Rennes-le-Chateau story is another such allegory where mysteries are expressed in symbols. Churton ends on a deeply personal note: ‘Man forever stands at the crossroads, until he makes a decision. Will he heed the invitation to the mysterious alchemical wedding, or will he go back to sleep?’ It is hard to dismiss this call to awaken."
Michael Baigent, FREEMASONRY TODAY
"The Invisible History of the Rosicrucians is author Tobias Churton’s ambitious attempt to create the definitive book on a complex and oft-misunderstood subject. Churton, perhaps best known for his works on Gnostic writings and philosophy, is a lecturer at the Exeter University (UK) master’s program in Western Esotericism and is considered one of the world’s foremost experts on hidden wisdom and secret societies. He has touched on the Rosicrucians in his writing before, most notably in 2002’s excellent pre-history of Freemasonry, The Golden Builders. That book, however, only hinted at the exhaustive scope and detail to be found in The Invisible History of the Rosicrucians, which at nearly 600 pages outdoes even Churton’s similarly weighty tome on the Craft, 2007’s Freemasonry: The Reality.
Churton’s book is a remarkable achievement — an encyclopedic overview spanning 400 years of Rosicrucian history and philosophy that is written in an accessible, engaging, even warm and humorous tone that takes the subject seriously but never fails to spot the many ironies inherent in the unusual story. As the author succinctly states, “What began as a game became a religion.” The Invisible History of the Rosicrucians is certain to be the go-to source for information on this fascinating subject for many years to come."
Randy Williams; TemplarHistory.com
"Needs to be in the library of any serious student of Rosicrucianism. Churton’s final chapter alone makes this book worthy of a place on our reference shelves. Makes me tempted to move to Britain and enroll in Exeter University's master’s program in Western Esotericism."
Goodreads.com: Jim rated it *****