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Henri IV - An unfinished reign

In praise of tolerance (XVIIIth century)

"This prince, having been the arbiter of Europe in his lifetime, receives from posterity the title of Great. Even today, every French person pronounces his name with tender feelings." So states Diderot and Alembert's Encyclopédie from the 18th century. The Enlightenment represented a high point in the myth of Henri IV. He was everywhere: in engravings and paintings, on tapestries and in plays. Although the philosophers of the Enlightenment upheld the portrait of a tolerant king who was close to the people, his image declined during the French Revolution and part of Napoleon's reign.
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