Tulipomania: The Story of the World's Most Coveted Flower & the Extraordinary Passions It Aroused

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Crown, Feb 10, 2010 - Business & Economics - 288 pages
A vivid narration of the history of the tulip, from its origins on the barren, windswept steppes of central Asia to its place of honor in the lush imperial gardens of Constantinople, to its starring moment as the most coveted—and beautiful—commodity in Europe.

In the 1630s, visitors to the prosperous trading cities of the Netherlands couldn't help but notice that thousands of normally sober, hardworking Dutch citizens were caught up in an extraordinary frenzy of buying and selling. The object of this unprecedented speculation was the tulip, a delicate and exotic Eastern import that had bewitched horticulturists, noblemen, and tavern owners alike. For almost a year rare bulbs changed hands for incredible and ever-increasing sums, until single flowers were being sold for more than the cost of a house. Historians would come to call it tulipomania. It was the first futures market in history, and like so many of the ones that would follow, it crashed spectacularly, plunging speculators and investors into economic ruin and despair. This colorful cast of characters includes Turkish sultans, Yugoslav soldiers, French botanists, and Dutch tavern keepers—all centuries apart historically and worlds apart culturally, but with one thing in common: tulipomania.
 

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User Review  - EvelynBernard - LibraryThing

When economists need to summon an age of unchecked speculation and financial fecklessness, the Dutch tulip mania is at the top of the list. If you’re not familiar with the story, it’s an early example ... Read full review

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User Review  - lkernagh - LibraryThing

An excellent read... better than I was expecting. While the book is focused on the tulip mania that overtook the United Provinces - which now comprise modern day Netherlands - from 1635 to the first ... Read full review

Contents

The Tulip in the Mirror
78
The Orphans of Wouter Winkel 146
50
4 Goddess of Whores 775
75
NotES
221
BIBLIoGRAPHY
253
ACKNowLEDGMENTS
261
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

MIKE DASH is a Cambridge-educated writer and magazine publisher and author of five books--Tulipomania, Batavia’s Graveyard, Thug, Satan’s Circus and The First Family. A professional historian before he became a writer, he has written articles for The Guardian, The Daily Mail, and The Fortean Times. He lives in London with his wife and daughter.

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