This action incensed the King, Francis 1 and it became known as the incident of the Placards. Suspects were imprisoned and burned. Against this back drop Calvin had fled seeking “ a quiet hiding place” in his home country. Through his writing he wanted to help others suffering as Protestants. The king of France tried to stop the advance of Protestant thinking by banning all printing. There was also an attempt to negotiate with Melanchthon and Bucer (two Lutheran reformers)which bore no fruit.
On the Protestant fringe the cause now included the Anabaptist revolutionaries in Munster, a siege that was mercilessly crushed in June 1535. Calvin had hope to produce the first edition of the Institutes for the Frankfurt autumn fair of 1535 but delays meant that it was eventually published in March 1536.
The title may well be attempt at reconciliation in a polarised Christian environment: The Institute of the Christian Religion containing almost the whole sum of piety and whatever it is necessary to know in the Doctrine of Salvation. A work very well worth reading by all persons zealous for piety and lately published. A preface to the most Christian King of France in which this book is presented to him as a confession of faith. Author John Calvin of Noyon. Basel MDXXXVI.
If you were Calvin would you have gone ahead with printing?