publishers were even invented so that the message could be got out with the minimum of danger for printers and owners. Among the most famous of these false imprints was 'Pierre Marteau of Cologne', who never existed, and the imprint was probably started as early as 1661 by the Dutch publishing house, Elsevier. Soon Pierre Marteau had fictional colleagues, more precisely competitors, like 'Jeanle Blaue, Cologne', 'Pierre Martheau, Cologne', 'Pierre de la Place, Cologne', and 'Jean L'Ingenu' also from Cologne. One fellow just called his publishing house '***'.
Jean L'Ingenu printed books that told about love between priests and nuns, and they were bound with yet another salacious expose that told all about the goings on at the French court.1 Imitators published works like La chronique scandaleuse, ou Paris ridicule . . . , and Relation de I'Estat et Gouvernement d'Espagne . Because it was Catholic and absolutist with a clergy that functioned like an arm ofthe state, Spain and its government also came under fire from the Dutch publishers, supposedly from Cologne. Of course, the Dutch had revolted over a century earlier against the Spanish and there was no love lost on either side as a result. In the Protestant mind, a consensus formed earlier in the seventeenth century now revived: Catholic kings and the clergy who supported them were dangerous. Only unlike earlier in the century, a new alternative appeared. Perhaps the problem lay with religion itself, or at least with excessive devotion, with punctilious attention to dogma and an eagerness to believe what was said from the pulpit. Too much faith undid decency and civility, next came fanaticism.
After 1685, the attacks on the French king became menacing: the revocation of the Edict of Nantes will be his undoing, the opposition press said. Louis XIV had made an alliance with the Jesuits, but they cannot be trusted as they oppose all sovereignty but their own. Then came the moral of the story: 'eyes that are enlightened by the light [can see] that France ... is in the grip of a Catholic fury'. The metaphor of the Enlightened owed as much to the early publishers as it did to the philosophers, and it remained a rallying cry throughout the century. Indeed the term would eventually baptize the age. The anonymous tract where it made an early appearance went on to advocate duplicity as a means of survival. Protestants must do what the Jews did. When persecuted they hid their religion but raised their children to be faithful - just look around Amsterdam to see how Judaism survived.2 Louis XIV will have his kingdom reduced to ashes by his enemies who have been 'sent by God and the celestial powers who have been profoundly irritated against the tyrannical Government that has been established in France'. In the heat of the battle lines being drawn against absolutism and the French king, believers, as well as the impious and
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