Reading List: Source Material for The Invisible College

An important and entertaining account of how maps are constructed and how they can be used to misrepresent the landscape, either deliberately or unintentionally The book describes how maps can be used to mislead or misinform the reader, whether to sell ideas, deceive enemies or hide or relocate a real geography. Such deceptions lie at the heart of The Invisible  College, on a grand scale.

You would need a lot of time and a strong constitution to read the whole of Viktor Rydberg’s Teutonic Mythology. Published in the last decade of the 19th century, it is at times fanciful and speculative. it nevertheless provides useful material, in the World Mill and the characters associated with it, a concept dismissed at the time, but thought to have similarities to ideas found  Chinese, Egyptian, Babylonian, and AmerInd folklore.

It was in ‘The Ancient Mysteries’ that I discovered the Aretalogy of Isis, which is one of the texts quoted in the novel, discovered in the Hidden Book. It provides a number of phrases relevant to the prophecy and hints at the continuity through history of the conspiracy that is slowly uncovered. The Ancient Mysteries led me in turn to The Refutation of All Heresies by Hippolytus of Rome who, too,  provided consistent pointers to the conspiracy. A very readable and interesting book.

The Gnostic Bible provides a wealth of excerpts from texts originating in Egypt, the Greco-Roman world, the wider Middle East, China and France, with expressions of Gnostic spirituality from Christian, Cathar, Islamic, Jewish, Manichaean, Hermetic and Mandaean persuasions. This an excellent book for those looking to identify wider sources of belief.

The Book of Revelation is a key text to The Invisible College. A clear and detailed verse by verse examination, which assisted me greatly, both in understanding the text, and developing my own ideas for its relevance and application to my own book. Of interest to anyone, regardless of faith or personal beliefs.


The Voynich Manuscript is simply good fun. The manuscript, discovered in an Italian monastery by an antiquarian bookseller, is written in a curious script that may conceal an unknown language or indecipherable code. It contains hundreds of illustrations of weird plants, bizarre cosmological diagrams and inexplicable scenes of naked nymphs bathing in a strange green liquid. The book describes the history of the text and how it has defied the attempts of numerous scholars and professional codebreakers to decode it.


In The Invisible College, the Templars play a walk-on historical part, being a historical incarnation of the Sect responsible for the conspiracy. Dr Evelyn Lord’s work is invaluable for its detailed description of the rise and fall of the Templars in Britain.

Music, chanting and the effects of other sounds on our thinking and emotions are an important topic in The Invisible College. David Hendy’s eclectic book, ‘Noise: A Human History of Sound and Listening’ provides numerous examples, including memorable passages on the manipulation of the acoustics in enclosed spaces, such as burial chambers, creating movement and the illusion of the origin of sound and inducing a state in the human brain ‘halfway between wakefulness and sleep – the state that prompts our strongest moments of vivid mental imagery and hallucination’.