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

Mike Dash

2 Reviews

Rated 0

Prose: non-fiction, European history, Early modern history: c 1450/1500 to c 1700

'A fascinating exploration of human greed and self-delusion and also a tribute to our ageless search for beauty.' - Deborah Moggach.

In 1630s' Holland thousands of people, from the wealthiest merchants to the lowest street traders, were caught up in a frenzy of buying and selling. The object of the speculation was not oil or gold, but the tulip, a delicate and exotic bloom that had just arrived from the east. Over three years, rare tulip bulbs changed hands for sums that would have bought a house in Amsterdam: a single bulb could sell for more than 300 000 at today's prices. Fortunes were made overnight, but then lost when, within a year, the market collapsed.

Mike Dash recreates this bizarre episode in European history, separating myth from reality. He traces the hysterical boom and devastating bust, bringing to life a colourful cast of characters and beautifully evoking Holland's Golden Age.

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

  • 'A marvellous parable of greed, skulduggery, opulence, extravagance and retribution.' - Simon Singh.

  • '[Dash] has the storyteller's knack of making his readers feel present in the sweaty, smoke-filled taverns of Haarlem...a shining tribute to this extraordinary flower.' - TLS.

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Mike Dash

Mike Dash read history at Cambridge and received his PhD from the University of London. Having worked for the Fortean Times and The Ministry of Sound, he is now setting up his own company.

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