Seven hundred years of fraternal orders

Weinbren, Daniel (2010). Seven hundred years of fraternal orders. In: Cross, Máire Fedelma ed. Gender and Fraternal Orders in Europe, 1300-2000. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 1–29.



For hundreds of years there has been an allure in popular culture to the notion of a band of brothers. From before Shakespeare's Henry V, through Schiller's Wilhelm Tell, to the twenty-first century TV mini-series Band of Brothers, the phrase has evoked images of men fiercely loyal to one another, united for a cause greater than themselves. This interest has not been reflected in concerted scholarly attention to the long-term influence of fraternal organizations. This chapter introduces the theme of the volume in a literature review and contextualizes the authors' contributions.

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