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The original international man of mystery

Some time ago I finished reading a book known as Zanoni, a rosicrucian tale. The book came to me in quite a curious manner at that. Such a unique occult book on the life of a true Rosicrucian, it was yet another one of those stories where the wise reader will see more than meets the eye.

Zanoni was a young man probably in his late twenties to late thirties. He was a very mysterious gentleman, who did not age, had seemingly unlimited wealth, and was a talented swordsman. He also possessed a rapier wit and extensive knowledge of art, sciences and more. Now it has been sometime since I read this book, but it’s plot is seemingly simple.

Zanoni falls in love with a beautiful opera singer and his love takes him through all sorts of trials including a revolution. Now if you have time and opportunity to read this book I highly recommend it. As the feeling one gets from completing it is like no other.

But I am not writing a book review today. Today I am writing to expound upon a great similarity between Zanoni and another man I recently learned of Saint Germain.

What can I say about these two characters other than they share virtually all of the same traits. Both were handsome young men, both very affluent, both spoken of very highly in social circles. Perhaps the most curious thing is their tales take place at approximately the same time period; and the same location in the world. The primary difference being that St. Germain was purported to be a real person. It is the very nature of their stories that earns these men the title of “International man of Mystery”. In a time before technological gadgets Zanoni and St. Germain both possessed seemingly mystical powers, that awed the public.

Now many people have written a biography of Saint Germain and among them are Max Heindel founder of the Rosicrucian Fellowship and Samael Aun Weor focus of Gnostic Teachings each of these men gave their own interpretation of who St Germain may have been. Both of these biographies were also written considerably after the time of St Germain’s life.

The biographies Heindel, and Weor wrote were published during the 1900’s and The Comte de St Germain “The first biography” was published in 1912. Interestingly Zanoni was originally published in 1842 seventy years before the biography on St. Germain.

Saint Germain was said to have played in important part during the time of the French Revolution, and Zanoni too played a very similar role in the revolution. As you read both their tales and compare them side by side you can find references of the same places and people. From Versailles to Mesmer, the similarities would be like comparing the book of Matthew to the Book of John in the Bible.

So how is it then that these two characters are so remarkably similar when one is based in fiction and the other non-fiction. It is no coincidence that Zanoni so closely mirrors St Germain. I would say that the original writer of Zanoni knew very much of St Germain and did perhaps write the only “complete” biography of him. It could also be said that perhaps St Germain was based upon Zanoni. I leave you with this one last note which is of the origin of the tale of Zanoni

“I shall hold you to your promise,” returned the old gentleman, “and when I am no more, you will receive the manuscripts. From what you say of the prevailing taste in literature, I cannot flatter you with the hope that you will gain much by the undertaking. And I tell you beforehand that you will find it not a little laborious.”

This small quote is in reference to how the writer of Zanoni came into contact with the primary source for his story. Could the old man have been St. Germain himself passing on his legacy? If this is true or not I cannot say but it does leave the door wide open for future speculation.


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