The Black Tulip

The Black Tulip

infobox Book |
name = The Black Tulip
title_orig = La Tulipe Noire

author = Alexandre Dumas
cover_artist =
country = France
language = Translated from French
genre = Historical, Romantic
publisher = Baudry, Paris 1850
release_date = French 1850
media_type =
pages = 234 p. (Penguin Classics Edition)
isbn = 978-0-14-044892-4 (Penguin Classics Edition)

"The Black Tulip" is an historical fiction novel written by Alexandre Dumas, père.


The story begins with an 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 year and a half later; only gradually does the reader understand its connection with the killing of the de Witt brothers.

The city of Haarlem in The Netherlands has set a prize of 100,000 guldens to the person who can grow a black tulip.

This begins a competition between the country's best gardeners to win the money, the honour and fame.

The young and bourgeois Cornelius van Baerle has almost succeeded, when he suddenly is thrown into the Loevestein prison. There he meets the prison guard's beautiful daughter Rosa, who shall be his comfort and help, and at last his rescuer.

It was originally published in three volumes in 1850 as "La Tulipe Noire" by Baudry (Paris).


In 1963, a French movie starring Alain Delon, "La Tulipe noire", was "not" based on the novel. The film's events occur a few days before the French Revolution, while the novel of Alexandre Dumas takes place during Holland's Golden Age.

External links

* [ eLook Literature: The Black Tulip] - HTML version broken down chapter by chapter.

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