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The Black Tulip (Annotated) fiction classic by Alexandre Dumas

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The story begins with a historical event — the 1672 lynching of the Dutch Grand Pensionary (roughly equivalent to a modern Prime Minister) Johan de Witt and his brother Cornelis, by a wild mob of their own countrymen — considered by many as one of the most painful episodes in Dutch history, described by Dumas with a dramatic intensity. The main plot line, involving fictiona The story begins with a historical event — the 1672 lynching of the Dutch Grand Pensionary (roughly equivalent to a modern Prime Minister) Johan de Witt and his brother Cornelis, by a wild mob of their own countrymen — considered by many as one of the most painful episodes in Dutch history, described by Dumas with a dramatic intensity. The main plot line, involving fictional characters, takes place in the following eighteen months; only gradually does the reader understand its connection with the killing of the de Witt brothers. The city of Haarlem, Netherlands has set a prize of 100,000 guilders to the person who can grow a black tulip, sparking competition between the country's best gardeners to win the money, honour and fame. The young and bourgeois Cornelius van Baerle has almost succeeded, but is suddenly thrown into the Loevestein prison. There he meets the prison guard's beautiful daughter Rosa, who will be his comfort and help, and at last his rescuer. The novel was originally published in three volumes in 1850 as La Tulipe Noire by Baudry (Paris). Review from goodreads.com Rusty The Black Tulip by Alexandre Dumas, is a historical fiction classic. The story begins with the very public and horrible crowd murders of two brothers, Cornelius and John De Witte, who are believed to be traitors opposed to the rule of Prince William of Orange. Cornelius Van Baerle is the godson of one of the brothers, Cornelius De Witte, who has been given a sealed packet by his godfather to hold in safety for him. Van Baerle leads a quiet life, focusing primarily on the growth and development of beautiful tulips. A jealous tulip-growing neighbor reveals the existence of the letter packet and Van Baerle is arrested and convicted by association. He has been working to develop a pure black tulip and has three tiny suckers which he believes will grow into the black tulip in his possession at the time of his arrest. He is sentenced to live imprisonment. The story unfolds with the jailer's daughter falls in love with Van Baerle and he with her. Together they grow a black tulip but before they can submit it to the Horticultural Society and gain the prestigious prize, the tulip is stolen by the jealous neighbor. To discover the climax read the book yourself. Very good read.

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30 review for The Black Tulip (Annotated) fiction classic by Alexandre Dumas

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jeffrey Keeten

    ”Contempt for flowers is an offence against God. The lovelier the flower, the greater the offence in despising it. The tulip is the loveliest of all flowers. So whoever despised the tulip offends God immeasurably.” In 1672 two brothers Cornelius and Johan de Witt (Grand Pensionary/prime minister of Holland) were charged with treason and sentenced to exile. Cornelis had been tortured with the hope that he would confess to plotting with the French king. He did not. He had corresponded with the Frenc ”Contempt for flowers is an offence against God. The lovelier the flower, the greater the offence in despising it. The tulip is the loveliest of all flowers. So whoever despised the tulip offends God immeasurably.” In 1672 two brothers Cornelius and Johan de Witt (Grand Pensionary/prime minister of Holland) were charged with treason and sentenced to exile. Cornelis had been tortured with the hope that he would confess to plotting with the French king. He did not. He had corresponded with the French King, but those letters had been safely deposited with his godson Cornelius van Baerle. This evidence, if obtained, would have insured a frog march to the executioner and a swift separation of their heads from their bodies. If only they had been so lucky. The mob, you know those people that we buy our fruit, our clothes, our meat from, who build our cabinetry, customize our clogs, and bake our bread, were unhappy with the verdict of exile. They wanted...blood. With a bit of sinister machination by a rather villainous depiction of William of Orange the mob gets their chance at the very moment the brothers are attempting to comply with their sentencing. The Mob. Image from the Folio Society edition. ”And everyone wanted to strike a blow with a hammer, a sword or a knife, everyone wanted to have his drop of blood and tear off his scrap of clothing. When the two bodies were thoroughly beaten, thoroughly dismembered, and thoroughly stripped, the mob dragged them naked and bleeding, to an improvised gibbet, where amateur executioners hung them up by the feet.” Meanwhile our hero, Cornelius van Baerle, continues to pursue what he loves best, growing tulips. He has a genius for it. He grafts, mulches, and cultivates his bulbs with the same precision as a master violinist moves his bow across the strings. The science of tulips is his to command. When the tulip society offers a 100,000 guilder reward for the first gardener to create an unblemished black tulip Cornelius is elated not for a chance to win the money, but for the challenge of creating the perfect black tulip. Little does Cornelius know, but he has a nemesis, one too close for comfort. In fact Mynheer Isaac Boxtel lives right next door. He was once a well respected gardener, but since his rich neighbor van Baerle decided to take up the challenge of raising tulips his own gardens have been neglected. He has no time to garden for all of his spare moments are spent with a telescope to his eye watching every movement of his illustrious neighbor. He gnashes his teeth and pulls his hair with every breakthrough that Cornelius achieves with each new specimen of tulip excellence. Boxtel enraged. Image from the Folio Society edition ”How many times, in the midst of these torments--which no words can convey--had Boxtel not been tempted to leap into the garden by night and ravage the plants, devouring the bulbs with his teeth and even sacrificing the owner himself to his fury if the man should dare to defend his tulips! But to kill a tulip, in the eyes of a true gardener, is such a ghastly crime (while to kill a man--well, perhaps…)Yet thanks to the progress that van Baerle was making daily in an art that he seemed to be acquiring by instinct, Boxtel was driven to such a paroxysm of rage that he considered throwing sticks and stones into his neighbour’s tulip beds.” Boxtel becomes the source of much misery for van Baerle for that telescope revealed much more than secrets about tulips. Cornelius is arrested and evades a similar fate as his uncles when a last second (sword in the air ready to descend) reprieve arrives. His sentence is commuted to life imprisonment. When he was arrested he had time only to grab three offsets of a bulb that he believes will produce the perfect black tulip. As unlikely as it seems, given the dank, despairing environment of prison, he meets an angel in the form of Rosa the daughter of the brutish jailer Gryphus. She becomes his confidant, his reason to continue living, and the protector of his greatest creation. Rosa and yes that is Boxtel lurking in the shadows. Image from the Folio Society edition. ”As the rail of the staircase creaked under the prisoner’s heavy hand, the girl half opened the small door of a room which she inhabited in the very wall of the staircase. Holding a lamp in her right hand, she at the same time lit up her delightful pink face, framed in splendid locks of thick blonde hair, while with her left hand she drew her white nightdress across her breast. It was love at first sight. If Boxtel hadn’t in a fit of jealous, depraved behavior perpetrated a plan to destroy his enemy, Cornelius would have never met the love of his life. *Sigh* “Sometimes one has suffered enough to have the right to never say: I am too happy.” Now the plot revolves around the fate of three tulip offsets and Boxtel’s nefarious attempts to steal them. Rosa is thrust into the maelstrom of tulip craziness not seen since the crash of the tulip market back in 1637. She loves Cornelius, but can not be certain if his love for her eclipses his love for his tulips. I would love to tell you more, but I don’t want to take any chances of imperiling the enjoyment of discovery each of you will experience when you follow this plot to it’s frenzied conclusion. One danger you will not be able to avoid is the sudden desire to obtain and plant the most dazzling display of tulips that can be concocted from the twisted minds of those brilliant Dutch gardeners. Enjoy! If you wish to see more of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit http://www.jeffreykeeten.com I also have a Facebook blogger page at:https://www.facebook.com/JeffreyKeeten

  2. 5 out of 5

    Piyangie

    This is a brilliant piece of work by Alexander Dumas. The story holds many themes: love, courage, honesty and jealousy; and Dumas has woven all these themes in to one of the history's most beautifully said stories. The story mainly revolves around Dr. Cornelius Van Baerle, a tulip grower who has been wrongly imprisoned, and his journey of sheer courage to see his dream for the production of a black Tulip become a reality. His dream was aided by Rosa Gryphus, the jailer's daughter who becomes the This is a brilliant piece of work by Alexander Dumas. The story holds many themes: love, courage, honesty and jealousy; and Dumas has woven all these themes in to one of the history's most beautifully said stories. The story mainly revolves around Dr. Cornelius Van Baerle, a tulip grower who has been wrongly imprisoned, and his journey of sheer courage to see his dream for the production of a black Tulip become a reality. His dream was aided by Rosa Gryphus, the jailer's daughter who becomes the love of his life. I loved both the male and female lead characters. They somehow left an everlasting impression on me by their courage to face hardships and cruelty, their love and devotion to each other, and their honesty even to the extent of incriminating themselves. I can without a doubt say they will be yet another addition to my favorite character couples in classics. Dumas had written the villainous characters of Gryphus, the jailer and Boxtel, the jealous rival tulip grower so well that my only regret was that they were not within my reach so that I could strangle them for all the pain they caused to Cornelius and Rosa. Although Cornelius is said to be the hero of the book, I felt there was a more active heroine at play in the character of Rosa. Her strong love for Cornelius drives her through all obstacles with a courage and strength of that of steel, never yielding and finally ensuring justice is done to him. The start was tight with first few chapters touching on a bit of gruesome history but once past that, it was extremely interesting. I loved every moment of the read. Having read so many different books, it takes such a book to shake my composure, but this one certainly did. I really did not want it to end and quite sad that it finally ended.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Nicole Shelby

    I have read this several times. I love the complexity of it, as well as it's simplicity. If you are into love stories - this has a great one - of loyalty, devotion, and self-sacrifice. If you are into studies of human nature - here too. It explores mob-mentality, politics, truth as it relates to justice, aspirations of power and the willingness to achieve that end regardless of the cost to others. And, underlying everything, the complete destructive capacity of jealousy. The danger of covetousne I have read this several times. I love the complexity of it, as well as it's simplicity. If you are into love stories - this has a great one - of loyalty, devotion, and self-sacrifice. If you are into studies of human nature - here too. It explores mob-mentality, politics, truth as it relates to justice, aspirations of power and the willingness to achieve that end regardless of the cost to others. And, underlying everything, the complete destructive capacity of jealousy. The danger of covetousness. All intertwined with history. This is a little known book, hidden on the shelves behind "The Three Musketeers" and "The Count of Monte Cristo". Forget those for now, and read this one. I'll bet that you won't regret it.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Carmo

    Obra típica do romantismo francês com um pano de fundo real centrado na história da Holanda no séc XVII, no auge do fascínio pelo cultivo e comercialização das tulipas. A tentativa de criação de uma nova tulipa, perfeita e imaculadamente negra, serve de pretexto para uma história de mistério, inveja, perseguição e paixão. Os capítulos são curtos e terminam sempre de modo a deixar o leitor ansioso pela continuação, as personagens não são muito aprofundadas, há sim, o cuidado de realçar as caracter Obra típica do romantismo francês com um pano de fundo real centrado na história da Holanda no séc XVII, no auge do fascínio pelo cultivo e comercialização das tulipas. A tentativa de criação de uma nova tulipa, perfeita e imaculadamente negra, serve de pretexto para uma história de mistério, inveja, perseguição e paixão. Os capítulos são curtos e terminam sempre de modo a deixar o leitor ansioso pela continuação, as personagens não são muito aprofundadas, há sim, o cuidado de realçar as características positivas ou negativas que irão criar empatia ou aversão junto do leitor. Tem uma bom ritmo e a história vai fluindo de forma equilibrada e bem humorada. Aliás, as situações caricatas que cobrem de ridículo o vilão, são deliciosas, e são também uma forma eficaz de aligeirar os acontecimentos mais dramáticos.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    3.5 rounded up. Nothing makes me feel like a youngster again quite like reading Dumas. He is a consummate storyteller and when you are reading the story is everything, you are immersed in it, you are suffering the confinement and the injustice and the suspense. The romance is necessary, but not terribly realistic, but then Dumas’ strength is action and it is his male characters who seize and keep your interest. Nobody watched Errol Flynn movies to see the fainting heroine...she was his prop. This 3.5 rounded up. Nothing makes me feel like a youngster again quite like reading Dumas. He is a consummate storyteller and when you are reading the story is everything, you are immersed in it, you are suffering the confinement and the injustice and the suspense. The romance is necessary, but not terribly realistic, but then Dumas’ strength is action and it is his male characters who seize and keep your interest. Nobody watched Errol Flynn movies to see the fainting heroine...she was his prop. This degree of fervor over a tulip might seem extreme, but it is, in fact, based on the history of the time. Holland had tulip fever that amounted to a mania. Dumas certainly put this to good use in his plot development and the creation of the fanatic, Boxtel. A fun read for me and just right for reading between tasks at this time of year.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    Alexandre Dumas was best known for his historical novels of adventure and romance which blended fact and fiction with real and imagined characters. The Black Tulip wasn't as popular among his critics as his better known works such as The Count of Monte Cristo, but his readers were happy with it when it was first published back in 1850. My book club chose to read it for February, to discuss a classic with some romance, in honor of Valentines Day. And it was a good choice for an entertaining read Alexandre Dumas was best known for his historical novels of adventure and romance which blended fact and fiction with real and imagined characters. The Black Tulip wasn't as popular among his critics as his better known works such as The Count of Monte Cristo, but his readers were happy with it when it was first published back in 1850. My book club chose to read it for February, to discuss a classic with some romance, in honor of Valentines Day. And it was a good choice for an entertaining read that was also informative. This was a story of passion and obsession, love and hatred, fidelity and duplicity, regret and redemption. And it all began with the political atmosphere of that time in Holland during 1672, when Cornelius de Witt, accused of treason and sent into exile, was brutally assassinated along with his brother, an event which truly occurred under unthinkable circumstances. Against this historical backdrop of political unrest, flowers the fictional story in this book of de Witt's godson, Cornelius Van Baerle, as told by an omniscient narrator who at times addressees the reader with quips and asides. Cornelius Van Baerle, 28, an independently wealthy doctor and painter, in reaction to the madness in the world around him, decides to devote his life to cultivating beauty in the face of such ugliness as what befell his godfather. And so, when a contest with a large prestigious award arises, calling for the discovery of the elusive black tulip, it's just the thing to absorb Cornelius for years. Unfortunately, unknown to him, his neighbor, Boxtel, a less talented horticulturist, also covets the prize and will do anything to obtain it, consequences to himself or others be damned. So when Boxtel learns Cornelius might be on the verge of cultivating a black tulip, stealing the prize out from under him, he hatches a plan which lands the unsuspecting Cornelius in the same shoes and same jail cell as his godfather, accused of treason and facing execution. But unlike his godfather, he is to spend his life imprisoned for what remains of it. What follows is an increasingly farcical story centering on Cornelius continuing his cultivation in prison of what might be the first black tulip in history. He is aided by his jailer's daughter, Rosa, a possible rival when it comes to the love of his tulip. Will Cornelius succeed or fail, both in tulip growing and in love? Will he forever lose his freedom or end up losing his life instead? Or will he just lose his lust for life when things take a turn for the worse? And what of Boxtel? Will he succeed in winning the coveted prize for himself by means fair or foul, and at what cost to himself and to others? These are questions you'll find answered in this humorous, but dark story, of both the breaking and the making of the human spirit. Along the way, you'll learn some political history concerning Holland and the craze known as tulipmania which peaked during that time. You'll also learn some fascinating facts about tulip cultivation and how it takes six years for a tulip to journey from seed to flower. And in case you're wondering if such a thing as a black tulip ever existed, my research says no, though people have come very close with cultivating the darkest of purples. Come on board for this unusual story and take a trip through much zaniness amongst the more serious elements to find out how it ends.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Gabrielle Dubois

    What I like with Alexandre Dumas is that he’s easy to read, despite the facts that he’s clever, he always made historical researches for his historical novels or plays and had a good knowledge of men hearts, minds and behaviours. The only thing that he misses is the knowledge of women. Most of time, and wouldn’t say all the time, because I like Alexandre Dumas ; most of the times, his female characters are secondary and only cute and kind. But, nevermind for me, I’m a weak reader in front of a g What I like with Alexandre Dumas is that he’s easy to read, despite the facts that he’s clever, he always made historical researches for his historical novels or plays and had a good knowledge of men hearts, minds and behaviours. The only thing that he misses is the knowledge of women. Most of time, and wouldn’t say all the time, because I like Alexandre Dumas ; most of the times, his female characters are secondary and only cute and kind. But, nevermind for me, I’m a weak reader in front of a great storyteller ! So it’s the first time I read The Black Tulip. Interesting era in the background of the story, a hero who’s « only » a tulip-fancier, political intrigues, murders, jealousy, and love. The Black Tulip is deliciously rocambolesque (sorry, this word doesn’t seem to exist in English : it could be : fantastic, incredible or awesome ?), it’s adventure, love, a story for the pleasure of the story, it’s Dumas ! Add to this passages which shows the great writer like : Dumas, in a simple writing, explains us the progression of the thought of a jealous man. It’s perfectly thought and shown by Dumas. Cf first line from Chapter 6, The Hatred of a Tulip-fancier. Like the description of a tulip growing, same chapter. What I like is to recognize Dumas’ thoughts and personal life in his books like : He’s a man in a hurry who doesn’t have time to dwell on details and descriptions that he considers more than secondary : chapter 6 : In a word, could have said Dumas, if you want to know more about tulips, do it by yourself, reader ! This makes me smile ! I can also recognize Dumas in the great worker who’s Cornelius : in his life, Dumas travelled, had mistresses, gave parties, but he always worked a lot. He wrote his first play, Christine, as he already had a job as a secretary for the Duc d’Orléans to earn money for him and his mother, then, once he could live with his writings, he woke up early and organized his days around his work which was enormous. I also recognize Dumas the hunter at the end of chapter 6 : On chapter 7, The Happy Man makes Acquaintance with Misfortune, here we have Dumas the generous, the man who gave without counting, and here are some examples taken from his life : One day, Dumas the father had invited friends for dinner. One of the friends, a famous writer, Emile Bergerat, doesn’t know one of the guests and discreetly asks to Dumas the son : « Who’s this man ? » Dumas the son answers : « I don’t know, one of my father’s friends ? Ask him. » That’s what Emile does, and Alexandre Dumas father answers : « I don’t know, one of my son’s friends, maybe, ask him ! » Another example, one day, as Dumas was in Florence, Italy, a German Priest knocked at his door and says : « You don’t know me. I’m just a simple Priest. My dream is to visit Roma. I’ve come all this way from Germany, thought I had spared enough money, but now I’m broke and I can’t reach Roma. Could you please lend me some money for my trip there and back to Germany ? » And Alexandre Dumas gave him more that what he needed, pleased to help this man he didn’t know. And on chapter 11, how brillant is the judges deliberation! And how, once again, in their conclusion, I find Alexandre Dumas and the little regard he has for the “little chiefs”: those who are incapable of taking a decision by themselves, who always refer to a superior and hide behind orders, timidly. Dumas suffered, while working in the administration of the Duke of Orleans, several small chiefs and he doesn’t hold them in great esteem, just as he doesn’t hold in great estime the judges in this chapter 11. And how I like Dumas’ humour! A little example in the last sentence of chapter 13. And in the chapter 16, Dumas plays with his characters Rosa and Cornelius to amuse us, readers, and it's a pleasure! Somes ays it’s easy romance? I answer, yes, maybe! But who doesn’t need a bit of love, as light as a flower petal, in his life? And, think about that : Dumas wrote when he was maybe 46 or 48? Isn’t it enviable to be able, at 48, when you have lived as much as the author, to be able to be as starry-eyed as a young girl, to allow yourself, although you’re a giant, to be romantic and young? For my part, I'm a fan! Ah, Dumas ! Could I have believed I take such a pleasure only by watching a flower growing ? You have put so much in this simple flower : love, suspense, jealousy, intrigue. And Rosa ! I apologize for having first thought she would be insignificant. It’s a beautiful woman character, who has great qualities: intelligence, psychology, finesse, strength. She leads the adventure as she leads Cornelius. Poor Cornelius who has such tragi-comic thoughts on chapter 28, it’s so fun! And throughout the book, Dumas accompanies us, with his false modesty of good giant who has nothing more to prove, as in this sentence, for example: «This … scene which we have tried—with poor success, no doubt—to present to the eyes of the reader.» Isn’t this a sentence who says : Please, readers, tell me I’m the best ! And I find it delicious to hear the voice of Dumas two centuries apart! And I tell him: Dear master, come and speak to my ear again and again.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Andrei Tamaş

    "Laleaua neagră" prezintă punctele slabe ale societăţii olandeze din secolul XVII, mai precis, ale anului 1672, când în Olanda -după cum istoria grăieşte- au avut loc manifestaţii ce priveau oscilaţia între simpatia populară pentru monarhie şi cea pentru caracterul republican al statului (aşa cum era el înţeles în epoca respectivă). Mă rog, acesta e fundalul pe care se desfăşoară acţiunea operei. Romanul are un caracter romantic în cel mai pur sens al acestui curent, fiind prezente antitezele vă "Laleaua neagră" prezintă punctele slabe ale societăţii olandeze din secolul XVII, mai precis, ale anului 1672, când în Olanda -după cum istoria grăieşte- au avut loc manifestaţii ce priveau oscilaţia între simpatia populară pentru monarhie şi cea pentru caracterul republican al statului (aşa cum era el înţeles în epoca respectivă). Mă rog, acesta e fundalul pe care se desfăşoară acţiunea operei. Romanul are un caracter romantic în cel mai pur sens al acestui curent, fiind prezente antitezele vădit profunde, iubirea platonică, "personajele excepţionale în situaţii excepţionale" şi -cum am precizat mai sus- orientarea spre istorie. Având în vedere faptul că Dumas nu e Dostoievski (şi nici Franţa nu e Rusia!), e de la sine înţeles că acţiunea porneşte dintr-un cerc aristocratic. Totuşi, ea nu rămâne fixată acolo, ci se răsfrânge şi asupra "plebei". "Laleaua neagră" -oximoronul din titlu, poetic vorbind- este simbolul în jurul căruia au loc întâmplările, simbolul care uneşte destinele a două personaje excepţionale: Roza şi Cornelius. Caracterul reprezentantei sexului frumos este unul candid, pur în lipsa lui de educaţie (nu de puţine ori educaţia îi face pe oameni mai mult răi decât buni), fiind, de asemenea, de o frumuseţe excepţională. Cornelius are două pasiuni mistuitoare: Roza şi laleaua neagră ("Să ucidă un om mai merge! Dar să ucizi o lalea este în ochiul unui adevărat tulipier o crimă atât de înspăimântătoare!"). În fapt, "Laleaua neagră" este un roman care anunţă -pueril, se-nţelege- opera ce avea să apară 12 ani mai târziu, opera compatriotului lui Dumas: "Mizerabilii". "Nimic nu e mai neplăcut pentru oamenii furioşi, decât indiferenţă acelora contra cărora urmează să-şi descarce furia." "Zelosul tulipier nu înţelegea tot ce se ascunde sub valul acestei indiferenţe a sărmanei copile care se simţea mereu rivală cu laleaua neagră." Replică-prolog pusă în gură unui anumit Grotius: "Unii oameni suferă destul de mult pentru a avea dreptul să nu spună niciodată: Sunt foarte fericit." P.S.1: A nu se privi orientările politice ale autorului în acest roman. Tind să cred că a redat adevărul istoric, din moment ce prezista "relele" monarhiei şi ale republicii deopotrivă, insistând, e drept, pe greutatea celor dintâi. P.S.2: Nu ştiu cine Dumnezeu sunt domnii de la editura REGIS GRUP şi cine e acest aşa-zis traducător Lazăr Marcu, dar au dat-o în bară uraaaat de tot. Cred că şi google translate ar fi tradus mai bine opera din franceză. Eu unul, nici dacă voiam să concep un exerciţiu pentru copiii de la primară, cerându-le să corecteze un text scris greşit, n-aş fi dat dovadă de atâta "ingeniozitate". Andrei Tamaş, 13 februarie 2016

  9. 4 out of 5

    Carlo

    Another great page turner from Dumas. Really enjoyed this uplifting tale.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Evelina

    Μέσα από τις πολιτικές σφαγές που επικρατούν την περίοδο 1672-1675 στην Ολλανδία,ο θεσμός της μοναρχίας επέρχεται,ο Γουλιέλμος της Οράγγης ανεβαίνει στην εξουσία και μια μαύρη τουλίπα ανθίζει. Τα αδέρφια Ζαν και Κορνέιγ ντε Βιτ,που επιδοκιμάζουν το Λουδοβίκο 14ο της Γαλλίας,αντίπαλο του Γουλιέλμου και αποστρέφονται τη μοναρχία,υποφέρουν γι' αυτή τους την επιλογή και βρίσκουν φρικτό θάνατο. Ο Κορνήλιος βαν Μπέρλε και βαφτισιμιός του Κορνέιγ,δηλώνει αδιαφορία απέναντι στα πολιτικά δρώμενα και είνα Μέσα από τις πολιτικές σφαγές που επικρατούν την περίοδο 1672-1675 στην Ολλανδία,ο θεσμός της μοναρχίας επέρχεται,ο Γουλιέλμος της Οράγγης ανεβαίνει στην εξουσία και μια μαύρη τουλίπα ανθίζει. Τα αδέρφια Ζαν και Κορνέιγ ντε Βιτ,που επιδοκιμάζουν το Λουδοβίκο 14ο της Γαλλίας,αντίπαλο του Γουλιέλμου και αποστρέφονται τη μοναρχία,υποφέρουν γι' αυτή τους την επιλογή και βρίσκουν φρικτό θάνατο. Ο Κορνήλιος βαν Μπέρλε και βαφτισιμιός του Κορνέιγ,δηλώνει αδιαφορία απέναντι στα πολιτικά δρώμενα και είναι απόλυτα αφοσιωμένος στην καλλιέργεια των αγαπημένων του λουλουδιών. Όταν ο μεγαλύτερος του στόχος είναι έτοιμος να επιτευχθεί(η καλλιέργεια μιας μαύρης τουλίπας),ο Κορνήλιος συλλαμβάνεται με μια ψευδή κατηγορία από το ζηλόφθονο γείτονά του και καταδικάζεται σε θάνατο. Σ' ένα κελί της Χάγης θα γνωρίσει τη Ρόζα,την κόρη του δεσμοφύλακα,η οποία θα τον βοηθήσει να ολοκληρώσει το στόχο του. Θα καταφέρει άραγε η μαύρη τουλίπα να ευδοκιμήσει μέσα στην απόγνωση και τη ματαιότητα της φυλακής; Μέσα στην ανηθικότητα και τη βαναυσότητα των ανθρώπων; Γιατί η μαύρη τουλίπα δεν είναι μονάχα ένα λουλούδι,δεν είναι απλά ο δρόμος για τα 100.000 φλορίνια,έπαθλο που προβλέπεται για εκείνον που τελικά κατορθώσει την καλλιέργειά της. Είναι ένα σύμβολο επιμονής,πάθους,δικαιοσύνης, αγάπης. Όσο η μαύρη τουλίπα αναπτύσσεται,τόσο αναπτύσσεται και η αγάπη μεταξύ του Κορνηλίου και της Ρόζα. Και για το λουλούδι αυτό,που τόσα σημαίνει για εκείνον που αγαπά,η Ρόζα θα αντλήσει δύναμη και πείσμα για να διεκδικήσει αυτό που τους ανήκει,την αθωότητα,τη δικαιοσύνη. Η νουβέλα θυμίζει κάτι από παραμύθι για ενηλίκους,με τον αθώο ήρωα που βρίσκεται ανήμπορος πίσω από τα δεσμά,τον κακό φίλο που καραδοκεί και προσπαθεί να τον καταστρέψει- ένα μίσος που φαίνεται να κινητοποιήθηκε επειδή ο ίδιος δεν πρόσεξε ποτέ τις δικές του δυνατότητες-,τον δίκαιο πρίγκιπα, τη φτωχή κόρη που ερωτεύεται τον ήρωα και κάνει τα πάντα για να τον σώσει και τον πατέρα της που κάνει τα αδύνατα δυνατά για να μην επιτρέψει αυτή την ένωση. Στην αρχή ήμουν επιφυλακτική για τα πραγματικά αισθήματα που έτρεφε ο Κορνήλιος για την κόρη του δεσμοφύλακα,καθώς φαινόταν να είναι περισσότερο ερωτευμένος με το λουλούδι παρά με εκείνη. Βλέπουμε τον ήρωα να τυφλώνεται από το πάθος του για την τουλίπα,οι αντιδράσεις του θυμίζουν εκείνες των εξαρτημένων,γίνεται εμμονικός και παράφρων. Μα μήπως σε αυτό ακριβώς δε μας μετατρέπουν εκείνη τη στιγμή τα γεγονότα που μας αλλάζουν τη ζωή; Δεν ήταν η μαύρη τουλίπα αυτό που πραγματικά ερωτεύτηκε ο ήρωας,μα ο συμβολισμός της. Η μαύρη τουλίπα είναι το επαναστατικό κομμάτι της ζωής μας,εκείνη η ανατροπή που έρχεται για να μας δείξει με λαιμαργία την ελπίδα και τον αγώνα,τη θέληση και την αγάπη που οφείλει να εισβάλλει στην καρδιά κάθε ανθρώπου. Αυτό που θα μας τυφλώσει μόνο για να μας δείξει το φως,θα μας φέρει στα όρια της τρέλας μόνο για να μας δείξει το λογικό. Γιατί έτσι είναι τα γεγονότα που έρχονται στη ζωή σου για να την αλλάξουν. Ορμητικά,ανατρεπτικά,έντονα. Πρέπει να δώσεις μάχη για να τα αγγίξεις,να τα αποδεχθείς και να μπορέσεις,έκτοτε, να ζήσεις ισορροπημένα,με τις σπίθες να μη σε καίνε πια,μα να σου προσφέρουν μια γλυκιά ζεστασιά.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Murder! Obsession! Betrayal! Tulips! This book was such a delight. After the murder of two men, the DeWitts, Cornelius van Baerle is accused of crimes against the state and they lock him up and throw away the key - right into the hands of a cruel and abusive jailer. Cornelius has been working on developing the black tulip, which is both a labor of love and a task that will win him 100,000 florins if he succeeds. After Cornelius is imprisoned he falls in love with the jailer's daughter, Rosa. Thank Murder! Obsession! Betrayal! Tulips! This book was such a delight. After the murder of two men, the DeWitts, Cornelius van Baerle is accused of crimes against the state and they lock him up and throw away the key - right into the hands of a cruel and abusive jailer. Cornelius has been working on developing the black tulip, which is both a labor of love and a task that will win him 100,000 florins if he succeeds. After Cornelius is imprisoned he falls in love with the jailer's daughter, Rosa. Thankfully Rosa returns his love and they conspire to grow the black tulip on their own while keeping it away from the man who is trying to steal the tulip and claim it as his own creation. This was a surprisingly compelling book. I got sucked in and was completely absorbed in this tale. I even had tears in my eyes at one point towards the end.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Amaranta

    “Era il 20 agosto dell'anno di grazia 1672”. Così inizia questa avventura, che in perfetto stile Dumas entra subito nel vivo della storia. Intrigo politico, interessi personali, innamoramenti ne fanno un classico senza tempo. Il ritmo è serrato, incalza il lettore e si divora e i personaggi piacevolmente cesellati. Dumas non delude, mai! Il tulipano è il mio fiore perfetto. La delicatezza dei suoi petali carnosi e grandi me lo rendono più bello di una rosa.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Veronique

    3.5 It has been a long time since I've read anything from Alexandre Dumas and so I was looking forward to this novel.  The Black Tulip takes place in Holland, not France, and is on a much smaller scale than expected. Dumas usually paints on a huge canvas but not this time. The first few chapters do deal with exploding events, but very soon, the narration zooms in on the burgeoning love between an obsessed tulip grower and a courageous and intelligent girl, and a mythical flower.  I loved the langua 3.5 It has been a long time since I've read anything from Alexandre Dumas and so I was looking forward to this novel.  The Black Tulip takes place in Holland, not France, and is on a much smaller scale than expected. Dumas usually paints on a huge canvas but not this time. The first few chapters do deal with exploding events, but very soon, the narration zooms in on the burgeoning love between an obsessed tulip grower and a courageous and intelligent girl, and a mythical flower.  I loved the language, often over the top, extoling the obsession felt by so many characters over the Black Tulip, and the mocking tone of the narration. The couple is endearing but it is Rosa who shines through the whole story. Some plot choices towards the end felt jarring (to me) but apart from this I did enjoy this simple tale. It has whetted my appetite for more from Dumas.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Mitticus

    3.5 Clásico histórico romántico francés, donde en Holanda se gesta una aparente sencilla historia del triángulo amoroso entre doncella - sabio obsesionado - y un tulipán ... «Encontraba a Rosa bonita como todos los amores de la Tierra; la hallaba buena, graciosa, encantadora. Mas ¿por qué Rosa prohibía que se hablara del tulipán? Esta era una gran falta que Rosa cometía. Cornelius se dijo, suspirando, que la joven no era absolutamente perfecta.» Ah, y no olvides el hasta donde puede llegar la envi 3.5 Clásico histórico romántico francés, donde en Holanda se gesta una aparente sencilla historia del triángulo amoroso entre doncella - sabio obsesionado - y un tulipán ... «Encontraba a Rosa bonita como todos los amores de la Tierra; la hallaba buena, graciosa, encantadora. Mas ¿por qué Rosa prohibía que se hablara del tulipán? Esta era una gran falta que Rosa cometía. Cornelius se dijo, suspirando, que la joven no era absolutamente perfecta.» Ah, y no olvides el hasta donde puede llegar la envidia. Personajes villanos y obsesionados también, pero unidimesionales hay que decirlo. Con la apertura de un hecho histórico real y la violenta muerte por la turba -y un manejo politico de cuerdas- de dos personajes pro-republicanos: Jean y Corneille de Witt en 1672, inicia una de esas intrigas de cartas comprometedoras y prisionero injustamente apresado, que termina siendo una declama por el amor de la pureza de esa obra de Dios que son las flores, y por sobre todo los tulipanes (en medio de una tulipo-manía que afectaba su valor por las nubes). La simpatía de Dumas por la tragedia de los de Witt es evidente. El lenguaje derrocha halagos por flores y virtud cristiana. Nous sommes les filles du feu secret, Du feu qui circule dans les veines de la terre; Nous sommes les filles de l'aurore et de la rosée, Nous sommes les filles de l'air, Nous sommes les filles de l'eau; Mais nous sommes avant tout les filles du ciel. Por otra parte, se agradece y no deja de sorprender que la doncella sencilla y humilde , no deja de tener su ingenio y hasta iniciativa a diferencia de otras heroinas romanticas por ahi. Rosa , la bella frisona de cabellos dorados, va además contra el común que los de su clase eran orangistas en su época. Mientras Cornelius van Baerle , burgues adinerado, es un sabio que sigue las palabras de Dios , sin preocuparse demasiado de las mundanas. El hecho de haber participado en una de las grandes batallas navales le ampara un poco el derecho a sumergirse en bulbos de tulipanes. Pero para nada se compara a un Edmundo Dantes, ni siquiera a un Aramis. Novela corta que carece de la complejidad intrigante , a la par de personajes de sus otras novelas. Sin embargo, hay una suave ironia detrás que deja entrever el colchón de futileza de los burgueses que prosiguen lujos efimeros como cúlmine de su vida después de haber vivido cruentas guerras religiosas . . . o tal vez como un rey ambicioso al fin consiguió lo que quería (Guillermo de Orange luego fue rey de Inglaterra). .. Eh, eso queda a juicio del lector. «Despreciar las flores es ofender a Dios». «Cuanto más bella es la flor, más al despreciarla se ofende a Dios». «El tulipán es la más bella de todas las flores». «Por lo tanto, quien desprecia al tulipán ofende desmesuradamente a Dios».

  15. 5 out of 5

    Luca

    The Black Tulip is set in the Netherlands in 1672. It is the story of Cornelius van Baerle and Rosa Gryphus. Hindered by some very unfortunate circumstances they join forces to grow the elusive black tulip. Whilst it is not precisely historically accurate, I think Dumas did an excellent job to capture the tulip-mania zeitgeist. For me, it was a very easy to read classic, because of my familiarity with the Dutch language and some of the historic events, but that set aside, it is just a wonderful The Black Tulip is set in the Netherlands in 1672. It is the story of Cornelius van Baerle and Rosa Gryphus. Hindered by some very unfortunate circumstances they join forces to grow the elusive black tulip. Whilst it is not precisely historically accurate, I think Dumas did an excellent job to capture the tulip-mania zeitgeist. For me, it was a very easy to read classic, because of my familiarity with the Dutch language and some of the historic events, but that set aside, it is just a wonderful and passionate story in which you can really sympathize with its characters. 5 star rating.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Eric Kinney

    As the first, and in much likelihood, the only romantic novel I will ever pick up this summer, Alexandre Dumas' "The Black Tulip" is one of the most sentimental, endearing classics I've come across, and is probably every botanist's favorite love story if not their favorite book. Taking place in 17th Century Holland, a gifted and passionate florist by the name of Cornelius Van Baerle, has doted his time and inherited fortune on the cultivating of tulips, widely regarded throughout Europe as the As the first, and in much likelihood, the only romantic novel I will ever pick up this summer, Alexandre Dumas' "The Black Tulip" is one of the most sentimental, endearing classics I've come across, and is probably every botanist's favorite love story if not their favorite book. Taking place in 17th Century Holland, a gifted and passionate florist by the name of Cornelius Van Baerle, has doted his time and inherited fortune on the cultivating of tulips, widely regarded throughout Europe as the most beautiful of flowers. His life achievement is to successfully produce the impossible, in the form of a spotless black tulip, and present it at an upcoming festival from the Horticultural Society of Haarlem. Suddenly, his life of ease and immense wealth is taken from him when he is arrested as a conspirator against Prince William of Orange due to his godfather's political ties. Imprisoned for life, Van Baerle's only comforts come from the three bulbs he's hidden to plant the black tulip, and the console of the jailer's beautiful, selfless daughter, Rosa, who visits him every night in exchange for reading and writing lessons. Together, they grow the black tulip in secret with Van Baerle relaying instructions to her, while Rosa keeps the tulip in her room. Even as their friendship blossoms, Van Baerle is stalked by enemies. Rosa's drunkard father, Gryphus, delights in abusing the poor prisoner claiming he's a sorcerer conjuring evil, and his former neighbor from home, Boxtel, is a malicious rival whose been observing his every move in search of his incredible flower. "The Black Tulip" is a beautifully told story of love, courage, and undying devotion amidst the most damnable of circumstances. Dumas infuses his storytelling with an eloquent, Shakespearean-like writing style of heart-rendering poetry. When Rosa expresses her concern that Van Baerle loves his precious tulip over her, he quotes... "Be it so: no more beautiful flowers with their elegeant grace and their divine caprices! Deprive me of all that, flower jealous of other flowers, deprive me of all that, but do not prevent me from hearing and seeing you, and from listening to your footstep on the dull staircase; do no deprive me of the light of your eyes in this gloomy corridor or of the assurance of your love which unceasingly soothes my heart. Love me, Rosa, for I know well that I love you alone." The novel starts out a little slow, describing in detail of Holland and the nation's rivalry with the French king, Louis XIV, and Van Baerle's godfather, the Grand Pensionary. As I progressed, I fell in love with it's rich historical insight, immaculate period detail, and classic portrayal of divine intervention. Often times, I find Christian themes rather inspiring in a work of literature, especially in stories from Charles Dickens where good people are rewarded for their honesty and compensated for their misfortunes. I particularly enjoyed "The Black Tulip" for the goodheartedness, strength, and confidence of it's protagonists and the humor of it's more villainous personas from the dim-witted, superstitious Gryphus, to Boxtel's foiled attempts in sabotaging Van Baerle's tulip garden. For all that it's worth, "The Black Tulip" is a classic tale embodying the elements of a truly memorable reading experience. This was the first novel I've read from Dumas, but I already have intentions of reading more from this masterful storyteller of good triumphant.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Pat

    Viaggio, in compagnia di Monsieur Dumas, nella laboriosa Olanda repubblicana del “secolo d’oro” . Giunti all’Aia vedo, in lontananza, un nugolo di sagome dirette verso il Buitenhof. Ci avviciniamo. Chissà, dico io, ci sarà uno spettacolo. Si sente vociare, ma ancora nulla si vede. Ci affacciamo dalla carrozza e chiediamo ragione di tanto schiamazzo. Perdiana! Quei bravi borghesi de L’Aia hanno appena fatto a pezzi i cadaveri dei fratelli de Witt, Jan e Cornelius. Guardo Monsieur Dumas, dico: Anda Viaggio, in compagnia di Monsieur Dumas, nella laboriosa Olanda repubblicana del “secolo d’oro” . Giunti all’Aia vedo, in lontananza, un nugolo di sagome dirette verso il Buitenhof. Ci avviciniamo. Chissà, dico io, ci sarà uno spettacolo. Si sente vociare, ma ancora nulla si vede. Ci affacciamo dalla carrozza e chiediamo ragione di tanto schiamazzo. Perdiana! Quei bravi borghesi de L’Aia hanno appena fatto a pezzi i cadaveri dei fratelli de Witt, Jan e Cornelius. Guardo Monsieur Dumas, dico: Andateci piano, per favore! Perché lo so che tutto quel che accade è per vostra volontà! Ridacchia, lui. Se cominciamo così, siamo a posto. Per fortuna la nuova meta è la piccola e ridente Dordrecht, con le sue casette bianche e rosse, i suoi mulini a vento, i suoi fiori variopinti. Una di queste case illuminate dal sole, appartiene a Cornelius Van Baerle ed è stata, prima, del padre e del nonno. Il padre col suo commercio aveva accumulato tanto denaro da rendere ricco il figliuolo. Monsieur Dumas mi racconta che il vecchio Van Baerle, prima di accomiatarsi dal mondo, aveva dato un suggerimento al giovane Cornelius: «Se vuoi vivere davvero, mangia bevi e spendi, perché non è vita lavorare tutto il giorno seduto su una sedia di legno o in una poltrona di cuoio, dentro un laboratorio o dentro un negozio. Pure tu morirai, e se non ti toccherà la fortuna di avere un figlio il nostro nome si estinguerà, e i nostri fiorini, pieni di stupore, si ritroveranno con un padrone sconosciuto, quei bei fiorini ancora nuovi che abbiamo pesato soltanto io, mio padre e chi li ha fusi. Soprattutto non prendere esempio dal tuo padrino Cornelius de Witt, che si è buttato in politica, la più ingrata delle carriere, e che di sicuro finirà male». Quel Cornelius de Witt? Chiedo io. Sì, lui. La cosa non mi rassicura. Mi racconta che il giovane Van Baerle ha investito parte dell’eredità paterna per dedicarsi alla sua passione, i tulipani. Poi Monsieur Dumas leva il dito a indicare un’altra abitazione, proprio accanto a quella di Cornelius. Lì, mi spiega, abita un altro uomo con la stessa passione, un certo Isaac Boxtel. Un tipo sgradevole, bassetto, calvo, sguardo torvo e gambe storte. E invidioso. Tanto. Monsieur Dumas aggiunge che un giorno entrambi cercheranno di far nascere il tulipano nero. Fiore che renderà al suo creatore 100mila fiorini (lui lo sa, per questo mi racconta cosa accadrà). Anche in una piccola e ridente città, dove si coltivano fiori, allo stesso modo si crescono serpi. E Boxtel nutre entrambe le creature. Non faccio a tempo a porre una domanda che mi ritrovo in quel postaccio, dove c’è la prigione del Buitenhof. Ecco, mi dice Monsieur Dumas, qui c’erano i fratelli de Witt, e qui finirà il giovane Van Baerle. E perché, di grazia? Risponde che lo saprò a tempo debito. Toh! Tuttavia afferma che qui Cornelius incontrerà un altro fiore. Il fiore della sua vita. Dopo il tulipano. Monsieur si stropiccia un baffo, maschera un sorriso, mi suggerisce di voltare la pagina, ché la via è ancora lunga. La ricompensa garantita. Monsieur Dumas, si mormora che uno dei vostri “ghostwriter” (un certo Maquet, pare) abbia versato parecchio del proprio inchiostro per Il tulipano. Ditemi, è vero? E nel caso, lo avete almeno ben retribuito? P.S. Edizione digitale Newton Compton. Diversi refusi. E passi. Però: “…quattrocentomila fiorini che il signor Van Baerle figlio aveva trovato ancora intatti alla morte dei suoi cari genitori, nel 1668, benché quei fiorini portassero tutti una data di conio intorno al 1640 e alcuni addirittura del 1810, il che provava che nel mucchio c’erano dei fiorini del padre di Van Baerle e anche del nonno di Van Baerle”. Non è che avranno avuto la macchina del tempo per fare un salto nel 1810, no?

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sue K H

    This was a quick and entertaining read with an interesting historical backdrop of the tulip mania of the time combined with the murder of the Dutch politician John de Witt and his brother Cornelius by rioting mobs. From that backdrop, fictional characters are created including a godson of Cornelius (also named Cornelius) who is unjustly imprisoned for high treason, largely because of the connection to his godfather. The fictional Cornelius is a tulip fancier who has created valuable bulbs capabl This was a quick and entertaining read with an interesting historical backdrop of the tulip mania of the time combined with the murder of the Dutch politician John de Witt and his brother Cornelius by rioting mobs. From that backdrop, fictional characters are created including a godson of Cornelius (also named Cornelius) who is unjustly imprisoned for high treason, largely because of the connection to his godfather. The fictional Cornelius is a tulip fancier who has created valuable bulbs capable of winning a $100,000 (guilders) prize. He is resigned to leaving them to the friendly and beautiful jailer's daughter who can't read or write. His only condition is that she find herself a husband that she loves. Cornelius is religious and plans to see his prized tulips bloom from heaven. Then things start to change and obsession for the tulips and each other drive the story forward as shady characters try to thwart their plans. It's a great little story. I may up it to 5 stars later.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Agir(آگِر)

    :در مورد این کتاب در سایتی این توضیح نوشته شده بود الكساندر دوما اين داستان را در مورد وضعيت سياسي هلند در سال ۱۶۷۲ نوشته است و در نوشتن آن از زندگي واقعي "جان" و "كورنليوس دوويت" كه هر دو به اعدام محكوم شدند، الهام گرفته است داستان تقریبا کوتاهی درباره مردی که پرورش دهنده ی گُل است .وی لاله جدیدی ...می کارد تا در مسابقه زیباترین گُل پیروز گردد لاله سیاه اسم زیبا و با معنایی است برای رویدادهای کتاب عاشق این نوع گل لاله هستم اما راستش نمیدونم اسم رنگش چیه!؟ هر رنگی که باشه فوق العاده است

  20. 4 out of 5

    April

    Y'all I am an Alexandre Dumas fan girl. If I could resurrect him and make him be my writer boyfriend, I totally would (sorry boo!). Last summer I read the unabridged Count of Monte Cristo translated by Robin Buss* over a period of two weeks. I am a generally fast reader, especially when I have few work hours, however, I really wanted to savor the experience. Read the rest of my review here

  21. 4 out of 5

    Daniela

    You know how people watch comfort tv-shows or eat comfort food? Well, I find that Dumas is my comfort reading. When I want to read a good story, a good adventure with a good plot, characters I can root for or characters I can hate without remorse, I go to Dumas. He's a bit like that grandfather who's been everywhere in the world and tells the best stories. Here he goes on to do all this, perhaps a little less successefully than usually: the plot takes a bit to start and I found the beginning a b You know how people watch comfort tv-shows or eat comfort food? Well, I find that Dumas is my comfort reading. When I want to read a good story, a good adventure with a good plot, characters I can root for or characters I can hate without remorse, I go to Dumas. He's a bit like that grandfather who's been everywhere in the world and tells the best stories. Here he goes on to do all this, perhaps a little less successefully than usually: the plot takes a bit to start and I found the beginning a bit stale. Which is odd as it concerns two horrific murders. Perhaps because we know what is going to happen and Dumas really thrives on suspense and on the unknown. It doesn't matter. He recovers as he introduces Rosa and the prison where Cornelius is kept. Also quite noteworthy is the portrayal of William of Orange who, like Richelieu in the Three Musketeers, is written as a highly ambiguous and grey character. Recommended!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sushi (寿司)

    Non credo di poter dare più di quattro stelle. La storia è carina ma niente di più e poi o, seriamente, Dumas soffriva di Alzheimer o non rileggeva i suoi manoscritti. Si inizia con gli errori delle date che infatti mi hanno fatto perdere un pò il senso del testo in quel punto. Quando spiega l'eredità c'è un errore di circa due secoli (1800 invece che 1600) e io sono stata a rileggere quella parte più di una volta pensando di aver perso, o non aver capito, qualcosa. Poi dopo un po' è chiaro che Non credo di poter dare più di quattro stelle. La storia è carina ma niente di più e poi o, seriamente, Dumas soffriva di Alzheimer o non rileggeva i suoi manoscritti. Si inizia con gli errori delle date che infatti mi hanno fatto perdere un pò il senso del testo in quel punto. Quando spiega l'eredità c'è un errore di circa due secoli (1800 invece che 1600) e io sono stata a rileggere quella parte più di una volta pensando di aver perso, o non aver capito, qualcosa. Poi dopo un po' è chiaro che si tratta un errore perchè la cosa si ripete con il cannocchiale. E qui è lampante perchè il cannocchiale è stato fermo un anno e se siamo nel 1600 non possiamo essere nel 1800. A meno che non facciamo salti temporali ma non è uno scifi ed è pure troppo presto per questo genere. Poi abbiamo il nome Van Herysen, altro che svista dopo aver letto I tre Moschettieri, dove il traduttore ci dice che è sempre stato Van Systens nel caso ce lo fossimo dimenticati. Nome che poi è riportato in uno dei titoli dei capitoli seguenti e dove rimarrà così. Dumas probabilmente poi non sa contare nemmeno. Se la cerimonia si tiene il 15 maggio 1673 come fanno cento e uno anni dopo essere il 1794. In realtà è la nota del traduttore che dice 1794 ma immagino abbia letto qualcosa o cercano online prima di porre la nota. Dumas spiega che Robespierre avrà un mazzo di fiori grande come quello di Van Systens cento e uno anni dopo alla festa dell'Essere Supremo. La nota invece dice che quella festa avrà luogo l'8 giugno 1794. Non è che io voglia la perfezione, quella non esiste, ma la rilettura del manoscritto, dettato o scritto a proprio pugno, sarebbe gradita da uno scrittore. Non importa l'epoca.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Terris

    I very much enjoyed this tale of drama around the development, growth, theft, and recovery of the Black Tulip in Holland of the 1670's. Throw in some romance and suspense, fear, hatred, and forgiveness, and add in a prison and a couple of mentions of the guillotine, and you have Dumas' formula for a very exciting and tantalizing story. Read it -- It's fun!!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Helen

    Who would have thought that a book about growing tulips could be so exciting? And yet Alexandre Dumas managed to write a compelling page turner based on that very subject. Dumas became one of my favourite authors a few years ago when I read The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers but I had not read any of his lesser-known works until now. I regret not reading The Black Tulip sooner because I enjoyed it almost as much as the two books I've just mentioned. The book is set in seventeenth Who would have thought that a book about growing tulips could be so exciting? And yet Alexandre Dumas managed to write a compelling page turner based on that very subject. Dumas became one of my favourite authors a few years ago when I read The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers but I had not read any of his lesser-known works until now. I regret not reading The Black Tulip sooner because I enjoyed it almost as much as the two books I've just mentioned. The book is set in seventeenth century Holland and begins with the violent murders of John and Cornelius De Witt, suspected of conspiring against the young Stadtholder, William of Orange. Our hero is the fictional godson of Cornelius De Witt, who is also called Cornelius. Cornelius Van Baerle is a keen tulip-fancier whose biggest goal in life is to produce the world's first black tulip. However, Van Baerle is not the only tulip-grower in the race for the Grand Black Tulip – and his rival Isaac Boxtel will stop at nothing to get there first! The first few chapters put the novel in historical context and will be slightly challenging to anyone like myself, who doesn't have much knowledge of Dutch history, but if you read carefully and refer to the notes it's easy enough to follow. As soon as Dumas finishes setting the scene, the story explodes into action and never stops until the final page, taking us on a journey through the full range of human emotions – love, hatred, greed, loyalty, jealousy and obsession. Rosa, the only female character in the book, is a jailer's daughter who falls in love with Cornelius and finds herself having to compete with the tulip for his affections. Despite making a few remarks of the "I am but a woman" variety she is otherwise a strong and quick-thinking character who does what she knows is right, even if it means going against the wishes of Cornelius or her father. The starring role in the story, though, goes to the elusive black tulip itself. As you might have guessed, I really loved this book. If you enjoyed The Count of Monte Cristo there's a good chance that you'll like this one too, as it's very similar in writing style, pace and even several plot elements. It could almost be described as a shorter, less epic, less complex version of The Count. Highly recommended.

  25. 4 out of 5

    RaNa Adel

    Very disappointed !! I thought it would be more complicated, but it was very predictable and more like "Naive" ! The structure of the novel wasn't that bad, but i think I was expecting more from the writer of "The Count of Monte Cristo" and "The Three Musketeers" anyway, it was old Romantic Short story .. which i needed at this busy time of year :)

  26. 5 out of 5

    Mariana

    A conclusão realmente fez-me mudar as 3 ou 3,5 estrelas para 4. Não estava nada a suportar aquele Isaac Boxtel e o Gryphus, nossa senhora, que homem tão dado à conspiração. A Rosa e o Cornélius são demasiado amor, gostei deles. A escrita de Dumas deu-me dores de cabeça da primeira vez que tentei ler (ou se calhar não estava no «mood» para tal), tive de o pousar e passar outros à frente. Entretanto, com as tão esperadas férias, este foi o primeiro a estreá-las. Finalmente pude prestar atenção à e A conclusão realmente fez-me mudar as 3 ou 3,5 estrelas para 4. Não estava nada a suportar aquele Isaac Boxtel e o Gryphus, nossa senhora, que homem tão dado à conspiração. A Rosa e o Cornélius são demasiado amor, gostei deles. A escrita de Dumas deu-me dores de cabeça da primeira vez que tentei ler (ou se calhar não estava no «mood» para tal), tive de o pousar e passar outros à frente. Entretanto, com as tão esperadas férias, este foi o primeiro a estreá-las. Finalmente pude prestar atenção à escrita do senhor Dumas e, então, consegui apreciá-la bastante; é bem agradável, gostei bastante, mesmo. Já para não falar da forma como as personagens falam, que é só uma das formas que adoro ler e ficar a imaginá-las a dialogar naquela época. Por que é que estou para aqui a divagar? Não sei, é o meu jeito de explicar (ou tentar) os pontos que gostei.

  27. 4 out of 5

    gaudeo

    Set some years after the famous tulipomania in Holland, this story nevertheless revolves around the cultivation of that rarest of flowers the black tulip. Dumas conjures up the story of three fictional characters whose lives happen to intersect with those of real persons of the time, including William of Orange. It's a charming story, and provides cause to ruminate on the creation of art, but its chief value, in my opinion, is in giving the reader a broad glimpse into Dutch life of the period.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jonfaith

    Consider me befuddled. William of Orange is depicted in The Black Tulip as an almost pantomime villain, although bereft of curling moustaches. Whereas Neal Stephenson characterizes Willie as a paragliding badass who saves England in the Glorious Revolution. I’ll ignore period politics and remain bemused, which is an appropriate way to savor this novel. Dumas is masterful at maintaining suspense and creating concurrent narratives that fall into convenient heap for a happy conclusion. I should add Consider me befuddled. William of Orange is depicted in The Black Tulip as an almost pantomime villain, although bereft of curling moustaches. Whereas Neal Stephenson characterizes Willie as a paragliding badass who saves England in the Glorious Revolution. I’ll ignore period politics and remain bemused, which is an appropriate way to savor this novel. Dumas is masterful at maintaining suspense and creating concurrent narratives that fall into convenient heap for a happy conclusion. I should add that the thought on horticulture were engaging, though the political prism was never elucidated.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Eman

    I've always been in love with tulips and how delicate they are, how about a magnificent Black Tulip? The events take place in Holland during the tulip-mania era which is the Dutch golden age of the 17th century. A great amount of money is offered as a prize to whoever cultivates a grand black tulip, the thing that nobody had succeeded to achieve before. Here appears the hero. My first impression of the book was not that great. Reason? I dislike political history, and that's how the first few chapt I've always been in love with tulips and how delicate they are, how about a magnificent Black Tulip? The events take place in Holland during the tulip-mania era which is the Dutch golden age of the 17th century. A great amount of money is offered as a prize to whoever cultivates a grand black tulip, the thing that nobody had succeeded to achieve before. Here appears the hero. My first impression of the book was not that great. Reason? I dislike political history, and that's how the first few chapters started off, just not my area of interest, but you definitely will enjoy them if you're into politics and/or history. Don't skip the first 4 chapters though, they're very necessary to base the story of the book on. WARNING! Beware of some graphic content of barbaric murder and bloody scenes. However, in the 5th chapter, Dumas' charm and Buss' brilliant translation finally started to enchant me, talking less of boring politics, and more of gorgeous tulips. A piece of advice: Never put down a book if you didn't like it at first, you never know what you'd miss if you didn't give it a second chance. I was fighting off my lost appetite and desire to stop reading against my determination not to judge a book too early, especially when it's a work of my beloved Dumas. I couldn't put down the book after that. The beautiful romance of Cornelius van Baerle (the hero) and Rosa (the Frisian jailer's daughter) is just too sweet to be described. It's a very good book. I highly recommend it to the gentle hearts; flowers and romance lovers.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Czarny Pies

    La tulipe noire ne suit pas la recette habituelle d'Alexandre Dumas qui excelait à écrire des romans cap et épée avec des héros courageux et des heroines aventurières. Ici, notre héros est un botaniste savant qui dévelope une tulipe noire qui vaut une fortune tandis que l'héroine est un simple fille de bonne moeurs. C'est plat non parce que l'idée en soi est mauvaise mais parce que l'auteur n'y croit pas. Dumas nous a donne beaucoup de libertines charmantes. L'honnete fille dans ce roman suscite La tulipe noire ne suit pas la recette habituelle d'Alexandre Dumas qui excelait à écrire des romans cap et épée avec des héros courageux et des heroines aventurières. Ici, notre héros est un botaniste savant qui dévelope une tulipe noire qui vaut une fortune tandis que l'héroine est un simple fille de bonne moeurs. C'est plat non parce que l'idée en soi est mauvaise mais parce que l'auteur n'y croit pas. Dumas nous a donne beaucoup de libertines charmantes. L'honnete fille dans ce roman suscite aucun interet chez le lecteur. Jane Austen nous donnait des excellentes heroines blanches comme la neige parce qu'elle y croyait ce qui n'a jamais été le cas pour Dumans.

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