The Black Tulip

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Penguin Books Limited, Apr 24, 2003 - Fiction - 246 pages
5 Reviews
Cornelius van Baerle, a respectable tulip-grower, lives only to cultivate the elusive black tulip and win a magnificent prize for its creation. But after his powerful godfather is assassinated, the unwitting Cornelius becomes caught up in a deadly political intrigue and is falsely accused of high treason by a bitter rival. Condemned to life imprisonment, his only comfort is Rosa, the jailer's beautiful daughter, and together they concoct a plan to grow the black tulip in secret. Dumas's last major historical novel is a tale of romantic love, jealousy and obsession, interweaving historical events surrounding the brutal murders of two Dutch statesmen in 1672 with the phenomenon of tulipomania that gripped seventeenth-century Holland.

This new translation follows the unabridged edition of 1865 and includes a chronology and list of further reading. In his introduction, Robin Buss discusses Dumas's use of elements from the history of the Dutch Republic, tulipomania and the paintings of the period, and places the novel in the context of Dumas's life and career.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Chris_El - LibraryThing

This book was different than other classic Dumas stories. A bit more simple yet the whole fascination with tulips by the culture in Holland back in the day was intriguing. Overall I liked it. :) Read full review

Review: The Black Tulip

User Review  - Goodreads

Those who have suffered much, have a right to be happy Read full review

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About the author (2003)

Alexandre Dumas was born in 1802 at Villers-Cotterêts. His father, the illegitimate son of a marquis, was a general in the Revolutionary armies, but died when Dumas was only four. He was brought up in straitened circumstances and received very little education. He joined the household of the future king, Louis-Philippe, and began reading voraciously. Later he entered the cénacle of Charles Nodier and started writing.

In 1829 the production of his play, Henri III et sa Cour, heralded twenty years of successful playwriting. In 1839 he turned his attention to writing historical novels, often using collaborators such as Auguste Maquet to suggest plots or historical background. His most successful novels are The Count of Monte Cristo, which appeared during 1844-5, and The Three Musketeers, published in 1844. Other novels deal with the wars of religion and the Revolution. Dumas wrote many of these for the newspapers, often in daily instalments, marshalling his formidable energies to produce ever more in order to pay off his debts. In addition, he wrote travel books, children's stories and his Mémoires which describe most amusingly his early life, his entry into Parisian literary circles and the 1830 Revolution. He died in 1870.

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