The Coronzon Press

Welcome to the Coronzon publishing project

The Coronzon Press is an independent publisher in London. Currently we are focused on bringing out Joel Biroco’s unpublished work from the past ten years.

What’s in a name?

Coronzon, the demon of the Abyss, first appears as the name of a ‘mighty Devil’ on page 92 of a book by Meric Casaubon entitled A True & Faithful Relation of what passed for many Yeers Between Dr John Dee … and Some Spirits, published London, 1659:

Examination of the source materials, however, suggests that the name as written by Dee’s hand in 1584 may have been ‘Coronzom’ (Cotton Ms. XLVI Pt. I, fol. 91a, see below). Misspelling or not, Coronzon nonetheless appears in a conjuration in Ebenezer Sibly’s A New and Complete Illustration of the Occult Sciences, Book 4, published London, circa 1795. Curiously, in this work he becomes a ‘mighty Prince’. The occultist Aleister Crowley later amended Coronzon’s name to Choronzon in 1909, because he thought it would be cool if it added to 333 by gematria, a half-price 666. For further information, see Joel Biroco’s article The seven-headed dragon and the demon Choronzon, which points out, among other things, that the identification of Coronzon as Lucifer is a simplistic conflation.

A note on the typography

As much as we would like to hand-set our books in lead and print letterpress, the time for that endeavour has passed. But digital doesn’t mean that what we learnt about setting type with a composing stick in hand can’t be applied here.

World of Dust is typeset in Bembo Book, not the ordinary Bembo. The latter is a poor digitisation of the original letterpress Bembo, looks thin and weedy, lacking in colour. Letterpress fonts thicken a little when impressed onto the page, they were designed with this in mind, but many digital incarnations of metal fonts were based on the letter as it appeared on the metal, rather than the metal inked and pressed into the rag of the paper. Digital Centaur in particular suffers in this regard.

Bembo Book [PDF] is a digital ‘re-cutting’ of the font so that it looks like the printed letterpress font, even reinstating the short-tailed capital ‘R’ missing from the previous digitisation which has only the long-tailed letter originally intended for display rather than text (though you have to remember to replace the R as it is not the default). And it’s a splendidly beautiful book font. (Used also for the website masthead.) The cover of World of Dust is in Bodoni and the title page uses type from the Scala [PDF] font family. The drop cap on page 1 is Castellar. We have plans to make some use of Jenson, Dante, and Fournier in future books. This may be too much information for some, but we find it interesting.