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The Black Tulip (Oxford World's Classics) Paperback – August 10, 2000

ISBN-13: 978-0192837509 ISBN-10: 0192837508 Edition: New edition

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Product Details

  • Series: Oxford World's Classics
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; New edition edition (August 10, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192837508
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192837509
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 5.1 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,638,338 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: French --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

David Coward is at University of Leeds.

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Customer Reviews

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The Black Tulip is also a great glimpse into the world of flowers in Holland.
Ernest J. Moosa Jr.
He is imprisoned quickly falling in love with Rose a young Frisian girl whose father is the notorious jailor Gryphun.
C. M Mills
For such a short story, the plot is very tightly woven, and you will be delighted when all the pieces come together!

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Harry Hughes on November 5, 2003
Format: Paperback
This book is not to be recomended by those who want an exciting swashbuckling tale on a par with Dumas' incomparable musketeer stories. It is to this end that many reviewers and readers of this book leave with an unfriendly opinion of this book. Although it is Dumas' last book, it is in my opinion one of his best. It tells the heartwarming tale of Cornelius van Baerle who lives purely to try and cultivate the rare and wonderous black tulip. However when Cornelius' godfather is asassinated he, without knowing it, enters a dangerous game of cat and mouse with his jealous neighbour (and tulip fancier) Issac Boxtel who has seen Cornelius being given a letter by his godfather. To this end Cornelius is jailed whereupon he falls in love with Rosa, the beautiful daughter of his jailer. Rosa aids Cornelius to cultivate his tulip inside the jail and they eventually succeed only to have it cruely stolen by Boxtel. I wont ruin the ending by telling you what happens, suffice to say I feel that for the first time in his writing career Dumas wrote a "Happy ever after" ending which irritated me to some extent. I do love this book and it earns its place alongside Dumas' great novels, my main reason for loving it so much is its final lines, it is one of the greatest pieces of philosophy I have ever heard, but it is important to read the book to fully understand its meaning, I know it so well that I can reel it off the top of my head thus, " ...Read more ›
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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful By B. Morse on March 26, 2005
Format: Paperback
While The Black Tulip lacks the swashbuckling, derring-do adventures of the other Dumas novels I have read, it is every bit as enjoyable to read.

Beginning with the arrest of two brothers, deemed traitors to the throne, Dumas Holland-based story at least begins with as strong a conflict as his other more action-laced novels. But the story, while shifting focus to the Godson of one of the men arrested, concerns his passion and pursuit of the highly coveted black tulip, a strain of Holland's most popular horticultural export. Cornelius van Baerle, a man of comfortable means, is little concerned with his wealth, or with position; or at all suspicious of the papers left in his care by his Godfather prior to his arrest. M. van Baerle has but one pursuit, one goal, and one produce a flawless, rare black tulip.

Thus his downfall, as an avaricious neighbor,Isaac Boxtel, shares this dream, but for entirely different reasons. While Cornelius van Baerle cares not for the riches and fame associated with growing such a flower, Boxtel covets both and plots to eliminate his competition and abscond with the delicate blossom which will net him one hundred thousand florins, more than enough to live like the King himself.

M. van Baerle is, therefore, convicted of treason when Boxtel reveals the existence of the papers of va Baerle's godfather to the authorities, and M. van Baerle finds himself on the wrong side of prison bars.

However, the appearance of an unexpected love awakens passions in Cornelius to rival those he feels for the black tulip, and ignites a desire in him to share the possible wealth associated with the flower, simply to assure it's development and care.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Teng on July 12, 1999
Format: Paperback
In "The Black Tulip", Alexandre Dumas proves again his ability to mix adventure and romance to create an exciting and romantic tale. Although Dumas may have distorted history significantly in this story, the image of late 17th century Holland which he presents is accurate and vivid enough to give the reader a lasting impression of society and culture in this period.
The execution of Jann and Cornelius De Witte and the romance between Van Baerle and Rosa are portrayed with such detail that readers are not likely to forget this book. I strongly recommend this tale to any who love adventure, history and romance.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By "amilas2345" on September 12, 2002
Format: Paperback
A blend of politics, human psychology, subtle romance, and (both real and fictionalized) history. The beginning of the novel is interesting but a little dense and readers may get discouraged, especially as the sentences are fairly complex. However it gets much easier and flows much quicker when the story picks up with the introduction of Van Baerle and his neighbor. I encourage you to keep reading if you are interested in its following key points:
-- The characters are incredibly believable and have developed personalities that are realistically complex.
-- The depiction of tragedy, justice, despair are noteworthy.
-- The story is rich and flows smoothly.
-- It's an interesting look at the past, especially the politics and the references to the tulip-craze of Europe some hundreds of years ago. Even though it has fictional elements it still feels like you're holding a slice of the past in your hand.
-- I've always hated romances, but the love in this story is carefully drawn with a subtle touch and depicted with realism. Genuinely entertaining.
-- It's depiction of the ways that popular opinion can be swayed and deceived by politics, nationalism, and patriotism is chilling.
-- It simultaneously shows us human nobility and human pettiness.
When I first picked up this book I didn't expect much. When I finished it I realized how much the impression it made lasts with me.
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