The Theophania Publishing Facsimile Collection
This copy, published 1612.
Great treasures were once kept by the very wealthy, and the very privileged. These books were brought to the public eye with great difficulty, each one typeset by hand, the letters often carved meticulously by a master craftsman, and the individual pieces of type skillfully inked by hand, each page pressed in a large printing press, the pages impressed with the strength of one or two men, whose sole job it was to produce a single print. With movable lead and wood type the prints-men would create a perfect copy, the pages laid out to dry, and folded by hand, sewn on a large wooden frame, and bound by another master craftsman, his apprentices working feverishly to create the most beautiful copy that their patrons could afford. The finished copies would be treasured, the bound volumes crafted in leather, tooled by hand with beautiful ornaments, and each one priced far out of reach of the average person, most of whom were illiterate and disinterested in the intellectual blatherings of the wealthy who could afford such trifles.
Many great works of the Renaissance were not the fine sciences of such minds as Da Vinci and Machiavelli. No, it is true that a great many of the works drafted in this era were on works of astronomy, astrology, religion, metaphysics, and philosophy. Indeed, on the fringes of an intellectual storm of thought there were also great secrets being tested and tried, those dark sciences hidden for centuries, the great secrets of the occult, of alchemy, and the hidden treasures of the kabbala, yea, even the mysteries of great mathematicians and freemasons were beginning to find audience. It is amongst these treasures that we find our present collection being drawn upon -- great scholarly works, placed for the first time into the hands of the public, whose minds are now ready for such secrets.
Look here, my fellows, for inside these volumes there are dangerous thoughts, and it is believed that only the most well-honed minds are capable of handling such secrets without going mad. Be warned, tread lightly, and speak soft, for the most dangerous ideas will feast upon the mind like a savage reptile, and will devour those who dwell upon these pages unaware.