Tulipomania: The Story of the World's Most Coveted Flower and the Extraordinary Passions It Aroused

Overview

In the 1630s, visitors to the prosperous trading cities of the Netherlands couldn't help but notice that thousands of normally sober, hardworking Dutch citizens from every walk of life were caught up in an extraordinary frenzy of buying and selling. The object of this unprecedented speculation was the tulip, a delicate and exotic Eastern import that had bewitched horticulturists, noblemen, and tavern owners alike. For almost a year rare bulbs changed hands for incredible and ever-increasing sums, until single ...
See more details below
Available through our Marketplace sellers.
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (19) from $1.99   
  • New (2) from $16.97   
  • Used (17) from $1.99   
Close
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
$16.97
Seller since 2010

Feedback rating:

(21)

Condition:

New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

New
Stated 1st American Edition with full number line. Looks like it has never been opened. Small red remainder mark on bottom. Dust jacket has minor shelf wear. Ships next business ... day. Money back guarantee. Read more Show Less

Ships from: Salisbury, MA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$125.00
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(135)

Condition: New
Brand new.

Ships from: acton, MA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Close
Sort by
Sending request ...

Overview

In the 1630s, visitors to the prosperous trading cities of the Netherlands couldn't help but notice that thousands of normally sober, hardworking Dutch citizens from every walk of life were caught up in an extraordinary frenzy of buying and selling. The object of this unprecedented speculation was the tulip, a delicate and exotic Eastern import that had bewitched horticulturists, noblemen, and tavern owners alike. For almost a year rare bulbs changed hands for incredible and ever-increasing sums, until single flowers were being sold for more than the cost of a house. Historians would come to call it tulipomania. It was the first futures market in history, and like so many of the ones that would follow, it crashed spectacularly, plunging speculators and investors into economic ruin and despair.

This is the history of the tulip, from its origins on the barren, windswept steppes of central Asia to its place of honor in the lush imperial gardens of Constantinople, to its starring moment as the most coveted -- and beautiful -- commodity in Europe. Historian Mike Dash vividly narrates the story of this amazing flower and the colorful cast of characters -- Turkish sultans, Yugoslav soldiers, French botanists, and Dutch tavern keepers -- who were centuries apart historically and worlds apart culturally, but who all had one thing in common: tulipomania.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

USA Today
If you like popular history or worry about the Nasdaq, Tulipomania is a sound bet.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The centerpiece of this story is a stunning two months, December 1636 and January 1637, when fortunes were made and lost in the Netherlands--in tulip bulb futures trading. Stripped to its basics, this would be a dry case study in an economics textbook. But Dash adds depth to the tale by including relevant bits of botany, sociology and history, as well as glimpses of the personalities involved in the creation of the tulip market, such as the orphans who made a fortune selling their late father's tulip bulbs and the man who owned a dozen extremely rare bulbs and wouldn't part with them at any price. Occasionally, he provides too much detail--his descriptions of how many guilders changed hands in particular transactions become repetitive, as do his physical descriptions of specific tulip varieties. Dash is fascinated by the contrast between the aesthetic sense of the Ottoman sultans (reflected in their love of tulip-laden gardens) and the ferocity of their rule (evidenced by fratricide, garroting and torture), but his musings on this interesting paradox are too unfocused to be enlightening. Overall, however, Dash (The Limit; Borderlands) effectively brings together a diverse mix of disciplines to illuminate the cultural, financial and psychological elements of an economic bubble--a subject that should be of great interest today. Readers interested in the technical aspects of economic speculation and those attuned to human folly will find this a worthwhile read. (Mar.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Library Journal
Historian/journalist Dash (Borderlands) tells the history of the tulip from its origins in Central Asia through its introduction to Europe via the Ottoman Turks. He also analyzes the reasons for its popularity, explaining the aesthetic and economic fascination the flower held for Dutch burghers as well as Ottoman sultans. His history of the speculative craze for buying tulip futures in 17th-century Holland (which led to single bulbs being traded for the price of a well-appointed town house) is authoritative and thoroughly researched, providing exhaustive detail regarding its economic and social causes. Anna Pavord's The Tulip (LJ 3/1/99), however, covers the topic in a much more engaging manner from the botanical viewpoint, with lavish illustrations that are completely lacking here. Her treatment is also broader in scope, including English and French crazes for the bulb and extending the history of its cultivation into the 20th century. Pavord's is therefore the preferred purchase for all but the most specialized collections on gardening or economic history.--Daniel Starr, Museum of Modern Art, New York Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780609604397
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 3/10/2000
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 1.01 (d)

Meet the Author

Mike Dash is a Cambridge-educated writer and magazine publisher who appears regularly on British television and radio. A professional historian before he became a writer, he has written articles for The Guardian, The Daily Mail, and The Fortean Times. This is his third book.
Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

A Mania for Tulips

They came from all over Holland, dressed like crows in black from head to foot and journeying along frozen tracks rendered treacherous by the scars of a thousand hooves and narrow wheels. They had cloaked and blanketed themselves against the biting winter wind -- the wealthiest rattling along in unsprung carriages that jerked from rut to pothole like an untried sailor lurching through a hurricane, the rest on horseback with their heads bowed against the cold. Traveling singly or in twos and threes, they clattered through the flat and sterile landscape north of Amsterdam, riding on until they came to the little town of Alkmaar near the coast.

They were middle-aged and stoutly built: shrewd and successful men who had made their money in trade, who knew how to turn a profit and what it meant to live well. Most were clean-shaven and ruddy-faced; their clothes, though drab, were cut from the finest cloth, and the purses that they carried were snugly full of money. Passing through the gates of the town at dusk, the visitors made their way through Alkmaar's cramped and narrow streets and found rooms in taverns near the busy marketplace. There they ate and drank and puffed their long clay pipes into the night, calling for great pitchers of wine and plates of roasted meats, sprawling back in their hard wooden chairs and talking shop till past midnight by the smoky, jaundice-yellow light of the peat fires in the grates.

The business of these rich Dutch merchants was not grain or spices, timber or fish. They dealt, rather, in tulip bulbs -- drab and anonymous brown packages of no intrinsic worth, which resembled nothing so much as onions. Yet asunpromising as they might at first appear, flowers at this time were far more precious than the richest commodities that could be found piled up on the wharves of Amsterdam. Some tulips were so scarce and so greatly coveted that they were worth more than a hundred times their weight in gold, and successful bulb dealers could make huge profits. At this time the richest man in the whole of the United Provinces was worth 400,000 guilders -- a sum amassed over several generations. But some tulip traders were buying and selling single flowers for hundreds, even thousands of guilders and building paper fortunes of as much as forty or sixty thousand guilders in a matter of a year or two.

The bulb dealers had come to Alkmaar to attend an unprecedented auction. The guardians of the little orphanage in the town had come into the possession of one of the most valuable collections of tulips in the whole of the Netherlands. Caring more for the flowers' value than for their beauty, they were selling off the bulbs for the benefit of some of the children in their care. So shortly after dawn broke, gray and chill, the traders began to make their way to the saleroom in the Nieuwe Schutters-Doelen -- the headquarters of Alkmaar's civic guard, an ornate and gabled building in the center of the town.

It was a large room, but they filled it. The bidding started briskly and soon became frantic. Single bulbs were knocked down for 200 guilders, then 400, 600, 1,000, and more. Four of the hundred or so lots were sold for in excess of 2,000 guilders apiece. And when at last the final tulip had been sold and all the money tallied, the auction proved to have raised a total of 90,000 guilders, which was, quite literally, a fortune in those days.

The date was February 5, 1637, the day flower fever reached such a pitch of frenzy in the United Provinces that once-worthless bulbs truly theatened to supplant precious metals as objects of desire. That day the tulip completed a journey that had begun hundreds of years before and thousands of miles away.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Map of the United Provinces of the Netherlands viii
A Note on Prices ix
1 A Mania for Tulips 1
2 The Valleys of Tien Shan 4
3 Within the Abode of Bliss 12
4 Stranger from the East 27
5 Clusius 36
6 Leiden 46
7 An Adornment to the Cleavage 64
8 The Tulip in the Mirror 78
9 Florists 96
10 Boom 106
11 At the Sign of The Golden Grape 130
12 The Orphans of Wouter Winkel 146
13 Bust 162
14 Goddess of Whores 175
15 At the Court of the Tulip King 196
16 Late Flowering 208
Notes 221
Bibliography 253
Acknowledgments 261
Index 263
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)