“Planet earth is the centre of the universe,” was a commonly held belief supported by the Church till the beginning of the sixteenth century.
Copernic, a Polish citizen proved the axiom wrong and declared the sun as the centre of planet with earth revolving around it instead.
When Copernic’s work appeared in print, it had a preface containing arguments against what Copernic had written in the book. This had been included without informing Copernic. The author was surprised and died a few days after seeing the book without knowing the truth about the preamble.
Writing against religious viewpoints was a serious crime punishable by death in those times. Even public could make life miserable on such things. Publishers knew what Copernic had written was correct. They wanted to publish the breakthrough work. But they also knew that the Church will order their death along with Copernic and also would destroy the book. That is why they got the prelude made-up and included in the book. They will save themselves, book and Copernic by showing the preface if any authority hauled them up.