The family originally came from Leuven, where Louis was born circa 1546.

Pierre Marteau is a pseudonym invented by Jean Elzevir to avoid the censorship of the time.


Open Pseudonym and Political Joke, spreading in the 1660s

The first Marteau books were French and most certainly printed in Amsterdam by publishers who would not risk to tell their names even in the Netherlands. Research has hinted at Amsterdam publisher Elzevier as the man who invented the imprint. It was, at first, just one among many openly misleading imprints. Unlike the usual obvious pseudonyms like "Jacques le Sincere", the name "Pierre Marteau" sounded real. The detail which gave away his virtuality remained on the reader’s side – he would identify Cologne as the likely and yet unlikely place to go. "Hammer" made the joke a little bit more explicit: this man had courage and he was as real and as bold as a hammer.

French publishers, political dissidents, and Huguenots who had suffered political persecution under Louis XIV had opened their shops in Amsterdam and they would soon open new shops at The Hague, Rotterdam and Geneva.