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La ligue, ou, Henry le Grand: Poemes Epique
A Geneve: Chez Jean Mokpap, MDCXXIII (1723)
PQ2080 H4 1723

This epic poem was first published in 1723 as a pirated edition of 216 pages, followed by a genuine first edition of 231 pages. In spite of the imprint, the pirated edition was published in Rouen, at the press of Viret, not in Geneva by Jean Mokpap (a made-up name).

La Ligue, later enlarged to become La Henriade, contained what censors deemed heresy. Voltaire lovingly portrayed Henri IV, the French monarch who brought France’s civil wars to an end. In the poem, Voltaire treats the king as the forerunner of religious toleration, depicting him as a liberal who supported the Protestant cause.

Royal censors demanded suppressions to the poem that Voltaire refused to make. He took the manuscript to Rouen where it was printed in secret.