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In 1957 a husband and (mostly) wife team of cryptologists, William and Elizabeth Friedman, published The Shakespearean Ciphers Examined, which many journalists and academics regard as the last word on the subject. Bacon was surrounded by diplomacy and therefore cryptography from swaddling clothes, so I've no doubt ciphers do exist; there are many strange anomalies, pagination errors that appear intentional, etc. but I do doubt the utility of publishing anything further on the subject. It makes it easy to point to us and say "look how obsessed they are with secret codes," and as a longtime reader of conspiracy theory, going back to school days of 1994 (those were the days!) I am self-aware enough to know this (below) is how I look to normal people. You should have seen me when I was doing the geometry research, I thought I would get famous and maybe rich for it (this was during the Da Vinci Code hysteria) so I had a very strong confirmation bias to find examples. My mom laughingly said "Ryan is at the triangles again," everyone else just looked at me like I was crazy. So I avoid the cipher stuff, I know that won't be a popular opinion here but it might be worth mentioning. Nigel Cockburn took a similar position in The Bacon-Shakespeare Question, which is maybe the most comprehensive recent Baconian book. I heard the Bacon Society has publication rights, they should do a new edition as it's very scarce, I ended up with Mark Rylance's old copy. My publisher does reprints and I could ask, I'm sure they would do it. 

 

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Hi Ryan

Can you elaborate on what Nigel Cockburn said? I for one would love to read it.
 

I hear what you are saying and I do agree there is always a danger of being accused of “patternicity” 😃i.e., apophenia (tendency to perceive meaningful connections between unrelated things) and pareidolia (tendency to perceive a specific, often meaningful image in a random or ambiguous visual pattern) etc. That said, we all know Bacon laid a treasure trail for future generations to discover, and combing through works and images can be revealing or spark realisations of other things as well as contribute to personal growth. 

My opinion on it all can be best summed up by something I posted on Twitter recently. 
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These guys were simply trying to teach the uneducated and illiterate (which was most people without privilege in those days) about the deeper meaning of life, love and light (ultimately knowledge of the immortality of the soul). They did this via symbolism but it was necessary to ensure that information which they could not freely impart, due to the stranglehold of the Church and fears of reprisal and persecution, incarceration or even death (or that the work might be destroyed) was preserved for posterity. You know this, but it’s worth repeating for any visitors who are new to the subject and authorship question.
 

I too do not believe that everything held a secret code but it’s fun looking and sometimes a frontispiece or dedication was a key to unlocking secrets encrypted into the entire book. Plaques under statues etc., and the statues themselves also likely held much symbolism and hidden clues.

I believe to fully decipher what they were leaving behind in hidden codes and cipher one has to not only be an expert in all forms of cryptography from that era, but also to be well-versed in Geometry, Latin, Astronomy and the entire teachings within the rituals of Freemasonry (signs, tokens, grips, passwords etc etc) and all the associated legends and allegories. A good grounding in alchemy is also vital too. It’s a life’s work. 
 

For anyone completely new to this it is in this very seeking that one becomes inwardly transformed. It can take hours to read through most books on Freemasonry but I’ll add two short publications that can begin to give one ‘the eyes to see’.

My hat goes off to all seekers and everyone who contributes to this forum. Indeed, I am currently wading through the publication you posted Ryan (I ragguagli di Parnasso, or, Advertisements from Parnassus in two centuries : with the politick touch-stone / written originally in Italian by that famous Roman Trajano Bocalini ; and now put into English by the Right Honourable Henry, Earl of Monmouth.
Boccalini, Traiano, 1556-1613., Monmouth, Henry Carey, Earl of, 1596-1661.)
Absolutely fascinating.  I may never have come across it if it wasn’t for you and this forum. Thank you!
 

For a much lighter read  ...

https://thewordfoundation.azureedge.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Masonry-and-Its-Symbols-In-the-Light-of-Thinking-and-Destiny-by-Harold-W-Percival.pdf

And

https://studylib.net/doc/8598748/secret-masonic-handshakes--passwords--grips

and anything by Walter Wilmshurst is a good read for an introduction to spiritual freemasonry.

Kate
 

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You should have seen me when I was doing the geometry research, I thought I would get famous and maybe rich for it (this was during the Da Vinci Code hysteria) so I had a very strong confirmation bias to find examples. My mom laughingly said "Ryan is at the triangles again," everyone else just looked at me like I was crazy.

That's me for twenty-some years now with ciphers! LOL

I remember a girlfriend I had who would listen to me as I told her what I discovered and she would smile and say, "But you are not going to tell anyone else, right?" LOL

 

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Bacon was so very private. He knew many people laugh and jeer at things they do not understand. That is why he hid precious truths, thinking those who cared enough to dig to find them would value them more (Spedding says something like this, and it seems right). But here we are on the internet, talking openly about codes and ciphers. Some will laugh and jeer, but some will laugh and jeer no matter what we say.

Kate, you asked what Cockburn had said. The late British barrister N. B. Cockburn said he personally was "allergic" to ciphers (intro, The Bacon Shakespeare Question: The Baconian Theory Made Sane (1998), p. 7). In his 740-page book, he made his case for Bacon's authorship of Shakespeare without resort to ciphers. On page 280, he states his view that the only use Bacon made of ciphers was in writing letters in code in his intelligence and diplomacy work. He believed the focus on codes and ciphers had hurt the Baconian argument at the end of the 19th century. Cockburn also stated he did not believe Bacon ever wanted his secret of Shakespeare authorship to be known, "lest it damage his standing as a philosopher." (p. 280).

I do not agree with Cockburn on all points, but he was entitled to his opinions. Each of us has our own idols, the motes in our eyes that keep us from seeing things as they truly are. When Cockburn says, "A moment's thought shows the utter absurdity of the Baconian concept of cryptograms" (p. 280), he falls prey, I think, to that easy deception of thinking how things look on the surface is all there is to the subject. The Friedmans are not the last word on the subject, though they are often still quoted as such (The Shakespearean Ciphers Examined (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1958). They had their own "motes."

On page 287 of their conclusion, the Friedmans wrote, "It must be remembered that the biliteral cipher is the one reputable system among all those proposed so far in support of anti-Stratfordian theories--that is, it is the only cipher which the professional cryptologist could admit as a valid system in itself." It was clear to me the first time I read the Friedmans' book, maybe thirty years ago, that they had set out with an agenda of discrediting every form of code or cipher in Shakespeare, even William Stone Booth' s simple acrostics, etc., which are not so hard to see are there (Subtle Shining Secrecies Writ in the Margents of Books (Boston: Walter H. Baker, 1925). The Friedmans had their own motes, or idols. They set the standards, then judged the case. No man ought to be judge in his own cause, it has been said.

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Unfortunately, most people read what has been written about the Friedman's analysis, and not their analysis. Go to any online encyclopedia and it will state that the Friedman's demonstrated that Bacon didn't write Shakespeare, when in fact, they say no such thing. They (correctly) demonstrated that the writers who claimed they had decrypted ciphers in the First Folio had zero scientific evidence to support their claims. They did not definitively state that ciphers weren't present, nor did they render an opinion regarding authorship. They simply disproved the claims made by Donnelly, Potts and others. William and Elizabeth Friedman went on to provide advice on how to proceed when looking for cipher evidence, advice that unfortunately few Baconians have followed. They actually tell us how to use scientific means during cryptanalysis. Unfortunately, many Baconians hold onto the belief in the work of Donnelly, Potts, et. al. because they want the Baconian version of the Prince Tudor theory to be correct, imo. Not trying to offend anyone, but I tend to believe the foremost experts of cryptology of the time. Using their recommendations allowed me to decrypt the plaque of Shakespeare's Funerary Monument and it's multiple messages.

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See Google Kenneth Patton, this website, for his views on Friedman, in Setting the Record Straight: An Expose of Stratfordian Baconian Tactics, bk 1. https://sirbacon.org/pattonstrs.htm, https://sirbacon.org/commentaryfriedman.htm, (Book I ; 94 pages; internet exclusive) includes his "A Vindication of William Stone Booth" and a detailed critical analysis of Elizebeth & William Friedman based on their book, The Shakespeare Ciphers Examined (in Bibliographies, SirBacon.org.). In his book, Friedman himself set the standards by which he said the evidence failed. No man should be judge in his own cause.  He tried to discourage amateur cryptologists from looking at the Shakespeare plays. I find both Elizabeth Wells Gallup's (based on Bacon's biliteral cipher) and much of William Stone Booths' work to be credible. Those are the ones I am familiar with (my book, appendix 2). Friedman himself studied Bacon's biliteral cipher for several years for the NSA. Granted, they were important cryptologists whose work during WWII was invaluable.

What is reading itself but decoding and deciphering? Bacon was a linguistic genius who used codes and ciphers in his intelligence work as a matter of course. To say there are no secrets buried in the Shakespeare works and other literary works of the period would be just plain wrong. There was a huge interest in cryptology in the Shakespeare age. To hide puzzles for other people to find was fun, for both the creator and finder, just as people enjoy working crossword and other puzzles today. It's a mental workout. Some things are harder to find than others. Some secrets lie just under the surface, and others take more digging. It's like in the story "The Emperor's New Clothes" where it is the little child who states the obvious. Also, maybe we should consider the source when it is the expert Stratfordians saying "Don't go there."

Yes, evidence should be judged by standards, but the Friedmans were writing sixty-five years ago. Has science not progressed since then? We know it has. Bacon's biliteral cipher was the basis upon which modern computer coding is based. Friedman in his book and in his lectures at the NSA which were declassified said Bacon's biliteral cipher was the one theory he thought had the most validity. Elizabeth Wells Gallup ruined her eyesight looking for tiny differences in font in looking for Bacon's biliteral cipher. She, and a team at the Riverside Lab, deciphered a whole play, "The Tragedy of Anne Boleyn." That is the only one I have read, of her published work. I think it is pretty amazing how she deciphered that play by following clues which led her to a number of different literary works, not just "Shakespeare's." A whole play was written by taking lines from here and there to make a coherent work of art. Maybe the proof is in the pudding.

(Edit: added 4-14-2022: Perhaps more of an explanation is required. Maybe proof is the wrong word, but the finished product is rather remarkable.

Some, including Stratfordians, find it incredible that the well-educated Elizabeth Wells Gallup could have spent thirty years using Bacon's biliteral cipher to decipher whole plays, by following the cipher to take lines from various works, including works with Bacon and Shakespeare on the title page, but also including works by Burton ("T. Bright"), Greene, Peele, Marlowe, et al (set out in the appendix toThe Tragedy of Anne Boleyn).  Some have claimed she even borrowed lines from Spedding's claimed original loose translation of Bacon's In Felicem Memoriam Elizabethae Angliae, which Rawley says he first translated into English (London, 1658. Bacon had said in a prior will draft that he desired for it to be published).

Neither  Rawley, Spedding, nor Gallup (nor Bacon for that matter) are here to ask, but there may be a reasonable explanation that does not involve fraud as to why Gallup's few lines from In Felicem are close to Spedding's. What I had wondered when I read the play for the first time was what Henry VIII had actually said when his daughter was born. Spedding had commented in prefatory remarks that he did not know why Bacon had spent so much time defending Anne Boleyn in In Felicem. 

Like many, no doubt, I do not fully understand Gallup's method, but she does explain it in her 1906 book, in which she also replies to criticisms, as she did in a Pall Mall article (vol. 27, no. 109, May, 1902) https://archive.org/details/sim_pall-mall-magazine_1902-05_27_109/page/122/mode/2up and a forty-page pamphlet published the same year, for those who truly wish to understand it. She did not ignore her critics. You can read more at links here: https://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/webbin/book/lookupname?key=Gallup%2C Elizabeth Wells%2C 1846-. Before anyone decides, they ought to read her own defense of her work.

Some Stratfordians have said she just pieced together a bunch of plagiarisms. Not all Baconians believe her work is valid (see articles in Baconiana). True, her work has not been replicated, but it took her thirty years. Consider whether a "crazy" person is capable of sustained work at that level of engagement. Who today would be willing to give thirty years to such a project?  Was Bacon capable of making such an encryption? I would say yes. What motivation? To help preserve the truth to be discovered in future generations? To get people reading the old books again, to keep alive their memory? Because that was one of the things a genius who had spent years in intelligence work did for fun in his spare time? Because it was fun to create a new work of art out of old works of art?

All I know is, when I was writing my book, Francis Bacon's Hidden Hand (New York: Algora Pub., July, 2018), I google-searched one line from The Merchant of Venice which Portia speaks: "For the intent and purpose of the law hath full relation to the penalty," and the only other place that line showed up was The Tragedy of Anne Boleyn (first pub. London: Gay & Bird, 1901; Detroit: Howard Pub. later Chicago: Riverside Labs, 1916 (which wrongly says, unlike the 1901 version, on the title page it is from the "Novum Organum ... described in his Advancement of Learning," but Bacon only barely mentioned ciphers in the Adv. of Learning. It was in the De Augmentis (Spedding 4:444) that Bacon more fully discussed his biliteral cipher--not in the New Organon. Why did that error occur, which was not on the 1901 title page?).

How closely did the Friedmans work with Mrs. Gallup at Riverbank Labs, Geneva, Illinois? They say, in their book, from 1915-1920, minus the war years, or beginning in 1915 for Mr. Friedman, in 1916 for Mrs. Friedman, and that they left to work as cryptologists for the United States during the war years, after that back to Riverside for a year-and-a-half, leaving again in 1920 (William F. and Elizebeth S. Friedman, The Shakespearean Ciphers Examined (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1958; online Feb. 8, 2018), pp. 208, 211). When did Mrs. Gallup first come to Riverbank? It looks like 1912; that was when Col. Fabyan built lodgings for her and her team there. I didn't find any date on her arrival at Riverside in the Friedmans' book, though they say she "stayed until well into the 1920's (Friedmans, 205-208, 205). I have a suspicion her eyesight, which she was complaining had been strained by the close work of deciphering as early as 1900, were played out long before that, and Col. Fabyan had been providing her with a respectful retirement in her later years (There's a 1900 newspaper article written when Elizabeth Wells Gallup and her sister Katie Wells returned home from England if you search "Milford Times, Dec. 1, 1900, "The Baconian Cipher" (https://milfordhistory.org. Or, it's on p. 4 of this https://digmichnews.cmich.edu/?a=d&d=OaklandMT19001201-01.1.4&e=-------en-10--1--txt-txIN---------- ). It looks to me like she had already done all her important work of deciphering, and had it published, long before joining Riverside Labs, but appearances can be deceiving.

The coincidence of my finding that line only in The Merchant of Venice and in The Tragedy of Anne Boleyn still intrigues me. There are lines in the play that are funny when put, as they are, into the mouth of Cromwell. The play hangs together as an actual play that could be performed. That takes a certain skill. Mrs. Gallup was not a playwright. What would have been her motivation for fraud? Money? Delusion? No, I do not think the Friedmans treated her fairly in their 1957 book. They insinuated she was not rational (p. 197, footnote reference to Freud). Again, one might ask: what motivation? Was her work perceived to threaten the British line to the throne? To be part of a German plot? Amelie Deventer Von Kunow's book and lectures faced a prejudice of anti-German sentiment, as well.

In sum, I have only read the one play, of those she claims to have deciphered. I can't prove one way or the other whether her work is valid, but I don't think it can be proven conclusively it is not. In the end, though, whether Mrs. Wells Gallup's work is valid is peripheral to the core of strong evidence linking Bacon with the authorship of the Shakespeare works that is not dependent upon ciphers.

Edited by Christie Waldman
It seemed that more needed to be said. Also, I think I answered my question about when EWG came to Riverside. Looks like 1912, not before then.
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In my opinion...

Ciphers will likely never prove Bacon was Shakespeare.

We have a ton of evidence, and even some cipher evidence, but will Truth ever even matter?

The ciphers tell Bacon's life, his entire story, what he was connected to, and even who his friends were. For those of us who see, or care.

Truth deniers will always attempt to make us quiet. Strats, Oxies, and probably some yet unknown new candidate when De Vere fades away.

We know, or are reasonably convinced we know the Truth and it matters to us. The world at large may never have any desire to know.

I hope I am wrong, but we may always be a small circle of enlightened souls. Maybe that is how the design works.

Grateful Dead lyric, "Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world."

If that is true, it is then our responsibility to see. 😉

 

Edited by Light-of-Truth
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IN A POST DATED 20 MARCH JAKE ROBERTS STATED THE FRIEDMANS '(CORRECTLY) DEMONSTRATED THAT THE WRITERS WHO CLAIMED THEY HAD DECRYPTED CIPHERS IN THE FIRST FOLIO HAD ZERO SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT THEIR CLAIMS' BEFORE WRONGLY STATING THAT 'THEY SIMPLY DISPROVED THE CLAIMS MADE BY DONNELLY, POTTS [SIC] AND OTHERS'. THEY DID NOTHING OF THE SORT. WHAT THE FRIEDMANS ACTUALLY DID WAS DRESS UP THEIR OPINIONS IN PSEUDO-SCIENTIFIC AND ACADEMIC LANGUAGE WITH THE SOLE PURPOSE OF DELIBERATELY AND FRAUDULENTLY DECEIVING THE WORLD INTO BELIEVING THAT THERE WERE NO BACONIAN CIPHERS AND OTHER CRYPTIC DEVICES PRESENT IN THE SHAKESPEARE WORKS.  JAKE STATES THAT BY FOLLOWING THE SCIENTIFIC PRINCIPLES LAID DOWN BY THE FRIEDMANS IT ALLOWED HIM TO DECRYPT THE STRATFORD MONUMENT, HE HAS HOWEVER UNFORTUNATELY BEEN CRUELLY DECEIVED AND MISLED.  

FORTUNATELY, THE FRAUDULENT FRIEDMANS WERE NOT ABLE TO FOOL EVERYONE:

'To anyone with real cryptological experience it is hard to reconcile the impartiality claimed by the authors with the skill and legerdemain by which certain danger-points have been avoided. It is these unexpected manipulations which have led me at times to suspect a “command performance”…[in] what is admittedly a very clever “plant”…The professional status of a modern cryptographer does not necessarily fit him to pass judgement on the subtle cryptology of a secret society of the past.

The book, granted, does away with the fanciful work of some amateur cryptologists, an easy task, an empty triumph. But, having thus gained the confidence of the readers, the authors deceive them by “Scientific” demonstrations which they know to be false.'

[Professor Pierre Henrion, ‘Scientific Cryptology Examined’, Baconiana, Vol. XLIII, No 160 March 1960, pp. 43-63, at pp. 43-4, 47; Vol. LXVI, No. 183, December 1983, p.76 ]  

'The frankly shocking “legerdemain” of the Friedmans, who unquestionably knew exactly what they were doing….stooped to the very lowest kind of intellectual dishonesty…In truth, this book is probably the most astonishing collection of deceit and deliberately calculated falsifications that have ever been crammed between the covers of a book…I can only believe that some person or organization with a vested interest in the perpetuation of the Stratfordian myth commissioned the Friedmans to write [it].'

[Kenneth R. Patton, Setting The Record Straight: An Expose of Stratfordian Anti-Baconian Tactics...In Elizebeth S. and William F. Friedmans The Shakespearean Ciphers Examined (2000), pp. 5, 8, 13]

'…at a subsequent meeting in London, a trios, Pares had demonstrated the ciphers at the conclusion of Camden’s Remaines without contradiction from the Colonel [Friedman] and to the complete satisfaction of the Cambridge Professor of Mathematics, who was the third party involved. In addition we understand from Group Captain F. Winterbotham, author of Ultra Secret, that Friedman admitted to him that he had been wrong to condemn all Baconian ciphers.'

[Noel Fermor, Baconiana, Vol. LX, No. 177, November 1977, p. 76]

 

 

 

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Kate, I'm sorry. I am always editing everything. It always comes to me later better ways to say things. I did not mean to be abrupt or too critical. Lately I have been reading about patchwork quilt patterns, trying to trace the history of a pattern my grandma used in a quilt she left behind (called "Pointed Tiles" in Barbara Brachman's encyclopedia of quilt patterns) that I made into a quilt. It has what is sometimes called an eight-pointed "star" in it, but the star itself does not sit within a square block, in Grandma's pattern.Rather, part of it interlocks with the next unit. In the Book of Genesis in the Bible, God says he worked 6 days and on the 7th day he rested. And on the 8th day everything began anew, is the idea I came across, in reading about this eight-pointed star.  It's odd how I was just reading about this and it seems to fit with our discussion about "nothing ever being finished."  

Up to now, I've tried to stay "on point" with the conversation (to use a quilting term). But, if anyone is interested in exploring this further: here is the idea in a tile pattern, called "star and cross." https://www.fireclaytile.com/tile/patterns/detail/tile-star-cross. This shows the little square and "house" shape that are used in the tile pattern that Grandma also used in her quilt. https://aktiles.com/antique-pattern/. I have only seen an example of one other quilt made this way. I would really like to see more examples. Maybe the pattern has other names, as well. https://christinagwaldman.com/2019/03/12/grandmas-quilt-with-free-directions/ and https://annquiltsblog.blogspot.com/search/label/pointed tile. This eight-pointed "star" is sometimes called the Seal of Melchizedek (whom I was taught was a precursor, a "type" of Christ, in the Old Testament; thus, it could be seen as a symbol of God or eternity. It is associated with prosperity, optimism, and other good things. The symbol had more ancient origins--there's plenty of information on the internet. This symbol has been seen to be related to the eight-pointed cross of the Knights Templar, and it has some connection to the Masons, and the Mormons. It can be seen in some Byzantine mosaics and from there was taken up by Islamic artists). "Pointed Tiles" seems to me to be related to the "Garden Maze" pattern which I've seen in leaded windows in  Franco Zefferelli's Romeo and Juliet and other foreign movies, and in quilts, but I'll stop here. I've become intrigued by the intricacy of the design one can make with these two simple shapes, the five-sided "house" and the square.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)
On 4/29/2022 at 10:38 PM, Christie Waldman said:

Kate, I'm sorry. I am always editing everything. It always comes to me later better ways to say things. I did not mean to be abrupt or too critical. Lately I have been reading about patchwork quilt patterns, trying to trace the history of a pattern my grandma used in a quilt she left behind (called "Pointed Tiles" in Barbara Brachman's encyclopedia of quilt patterns) that I made into a quilt. It has what is sometimes called an eight-pointed "star" in it, but the star itself does not sit within a square block, in Grandma's pattern.Rather, part of it interlocks with the next unit. In the Book of Genesis in the Bible, God says he worked 6 days and on the 7th day he rested. And on the 8th day everything began anew, is the idea I came across, in reading about this eight-pointed star.  It's odd how I was just reading about this and it seems to fit with our discussion about "nothing ever being finished."  

Up to now, I've tried to stay "on point" with the conversation (to use a quilting term). But, if anyone is interested in exploring this further: here is the idea in a tile pattern, called "star and cross." https://www.fireclaytile.com/tile/patterns/detail/tile-star-cross. This shows the little square and "house" shape that are used in the tile pattern that Grandma also used in her quilt. https://aktiles.com/antique-pattern/. I have only seen an example of one other quilt made this way. I would really like to see more examples. Maybe the pattern has other names, as well. https://christinagwaldman.com/2019/03/12/grandmas-quilt-with-free-directions/ and https://annquiltsblog.blogspot.com/search/label/pointed tile. This eight-pointed "star" is sometimes called the Seal of Melchizedek (whom I was taught was a precursor, a "type" of Christ, in the Old Testament; thus, it could be seen as a symbol of God or eternity. It is associated with prosperity, optimism, and other good things. The symbol had more ancient origins--there's plenty of information on the internet. This symbol has been seen to be related to the eight-pointed cross of the Knights Templar, and it has some connection to the Masons, and the Mormons. It can be seen in some Byzantine mosaics and from there was taken up by Islamic artists). "Pointed Tiles" seems to me to be related to the "Garden Maze" pattern which I've seen in leaded windows in  Franco Zefferelli's Romeo and Juliet and other foreign movies, and in quilts, but I'll stop here. I've become intrigued by the intricacy of the design one can make with these two simple shapes, the five-sided "house" and the square.

Hi Christie, 

I didn’t think you were abrupt at all! Please don’t apologise. Sorry for the delay in seeing and responding to this. I’ve had a few weeks away from Beehive as I was recovering from Covid and also had a bit of a realisation about the amount of time I was spending online on various platforms! 
 

Thanks for the interesting information you’ve added here I’ll take a look at your links.

Kate x

Edited by Kate
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