Recommended Reading

Only four authors are named in Elbert Benjamine’s Brotherhood of Light lessons as previous sources of Brotherhood teachings: Emma Hardinge Britten, Thomas Henry Burgoyne, Sarah Stanley Grimké, and Genevieve Stebbins.  Thomas Moore Johnson’s journal The Platonist was largely a collaboration with Alexander Wilder and their correspondence sheds light on the work of Britten, Burgoyne and Grimké.

Books

Ghost Land (1876) by Emma Hardinge Britten is the alleged memoir of Britten’s European occultist colleague the Chevalier Louis, and combines fiction and fact in ways that baffle modern researchers.   It describes the Orphic Circle as a group of experimenters into clairvoyance, mesmerism, spiritualism, etc. In addition to the free online edition available through the SSOC (Standard Spiritualist and Occult Corpus) the most recent reprint is from the Cambridge University Press, 2014.

Art Magic (1876) by Emma Hardinge Britten is a companion doctrinal work attributed to the same narrator,  and with Ghost Land was studied by the HBofL and its successors into the 20th century.  In 2011 a scholarly edition with introduction and annotations by Marc Demarest was published by The Typhon Press.

The Light of Egypt (1889) by T.H. Burgoyne is the major doctrinal book by a founder of the Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor.   An astrological emphasis that began with the Chevalier Louis increases with Burgoyne. (Link is to a later edition of Volume One.)

Dynamic Breathing and Harmonic Gymnastics (1892) by Genevieve Stebbins is the first of several works influenced by her collaboration with Burgoyne.

The Language of the Stars (1892) is Burgoyne’s first astrological study, showing as much influence from Grimke as its predecessor, and foreshadowing influence from Stebbins as his next collaborator into the twentieth century.

Celestial Dynamics (1896) is Burgoyne’s second and final astrological study, other than the second volume of The Light of Egypt published in 1900.   

Esoteric Lessons  (1900) by Sarah Stanley Grimké is a posthumously published collection of three shorter works: Personified Unthinkables (1884), First Lessons in Reality (1886), and A Tour Through the Zodiac.  Grimké collaborated with Burgoyne on the astrological portions of The Light of Egypt.

The Quest of the Spirit  (1913) by Genevieve Stebbins is the accumulated life wisdom of a man known as “A Pilgrim of the Way,” almost certainly her husband Norman Astley.  It represents a radical shift of emphasis from Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor teachings, and reveals Stebbins and Astley to be devotees of Henri Bergson and William James rather than occult tradition.

Zanoni (1842) is a novel by Edward Bulwer-Lytton that portrays its adept heroes as Rosicrucians.  Burgoyne took Zanoni as his pen name, and his colleague Peter Davidson took that of Mejnour, the master of Zanoni.  Britten named Bulwer-Lytton first among her Orphic Brotherhood mentors, and Blavatsky named him as an adept in a letter to a friend. (link to second volume here.)

The Perfective Rites and Other Writings of Alexander Wilder (2016), The Later Platonists and Other Writings of Alexander Wilder (2017), The Undying Soul and Other Writings of Alexander Wilder (2017), and Eclectic Medicine and Other Writings of Alexander Wilder (2017) is a four volume collection of articles by the esoteric scholar and author who had the greatest influence on Thomas Moore Johnson during the lifetime of The Platonist (1881-1888).

Collected Works of Thomas Moore Johnson, the Great American Platonist is a 2015 collection edited by Tim Addey of the writings of the first US president of the Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor.

Documents and Letters 

The Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor: Initiatic and Historical Documents of an Order of Practical Occultism (1995), edited by Joscelyn Godwin, Christian Chanel, John Patrick Deveney, is the starting point for exploring the roots of The Church of Light.  This collection includes the documents and private lessons of this initiatory order, as well as correspondence among members in Europe and America.

Letters to the Sage: The Selected Correspondence of Thomas Moore Johnson, Volume One: The Esotericists  (2016), edited by Patrick D. Bowen and K. Paul Johnson, contains letters to the publisher and editor of The Platonist from 48 individuals, roughly half members of the Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor and half affiliated with the Theosophical Society– with many being members of both.

Letters to the Sage: The Selected Correspondence of Thomas Moore Johnson, Volume Two: Alexander Wilder, the Platonist (2018) contains letters from Wilder to Johnson along with those of eleven other correspondents.