What have medieval nuns, parrot shooting, Freemasonry, and Shetland revelry got in common? The essays in this volume demonstrate recent scholarship on monastic orders, guilds, men and women Freemasons and friendly societies over centuries and across frontiers in Europe. Written by scholars from interdisciplinary backgrounds, they provide new insights into their contribution to the gendering of public space and the evolution of 'separate spheres'. The book pays particular attention to the flourishing of Freemasonry in the major countries where it first took hold but also in more far-flung places such as Swedish Pomerania. The initial chapter of the work sets the scene by discussing the latest research on the familial aspect of how societies treated their members through looking at practices of rituals and hierarchical relationships between members and between men and women.