Synopses & Reviews
Cornelius von Baerle lives only to cultivate the elusive black tulip and win a magnificent prize for its creation. But when his powerful godfather is assassinated, the unwitting Cornelius becomes caught up in a deadly political intrigue. Falsely accused of high treason by a bitter rival, Cornelius is condemned to life in prison. His only comfort is Rosa, the jailer's beautiful daughter, who helps him concoct a plan to grow the black tulip in secret. As Robin Buss explains in his informative introduction, Dumas infuses his story with elements from the history of the Dutch Republic (including two brutal murders) and Holland's seventeenth-century "tulipmania" phenomenon.
Set at the height of the "tulipomania" that gripped Holland in the 17th century, this is the story of Cornelius van Baerle, a humble grower whose sole desire is to grow the perfect specimen of the tulip negra.
About the Author
Alexandre Dumas (1802-1870) began to focus on historical novels after twenty successful years as a playwright. During his most productive period, from 1841 to 1850, he wrote forty-one novels, twenty-three plays, seven historical novels, and a dozen travel books. Robin Buss is a writer and translator who writes for the Independent on Sunday and The Times Educational Supplement (London). For Penguin Classics, he has translated some of the novels of Émile Zola.