Originally Posted by Amalthea
I removed the epub and started over, trying the cp1252 encoding, but that only made things worse, with squares and other strange characters.
You're on the right track but you have to backup even further.
The encoding you're looking for is in the HTML to ZIP file type plugin. You have to set the encoding correctly before adding the html to calibre. This means you need to delete the zip from the metadata edit window, change the encoding, add the html back to the available formats window in the edit metadata area.
The plugin gives you some common options.
Keep doing this until you get the right outcome.