The Tulip is not a gardening book. It is the story of a flower that has made men mad. Greed, desire, anguish, devotion have all played their part in the development of the tulip from a wild flower of the Asian steppes to the world-wide phenomenon it is today. The US alone imports three thousand million tulip bulbs each year, Germany and France even more. Roaming through Asia, India, Russia and the Ottoman Empire, the author tells how the tulip arrived from Turkey and took the whole of Western Europe by storm. At an auction in Alkmaar, Holland in 1637, a single bulb of the red-and-white tulip 'Admiral Liefkens' changed hands for 4,400 guilders, at a time when the grand master of Dutch flower painting could rarely command more than 5,000 guilders. Sumptuously illustrated from a wide range of sources, the book also features descriptions of eighty wild-species of tulips and several hundred garden varieties. This beautifully produced and irresistible volume will become a bible, a unique source book, a universal gift book and a joy to all who possess it.
"Splendidly extravagant history...an astonishing bouquet of economic and cultural lore, grand historic trends and horticultural exotica." --"Publishers Weekly"
"Visually stunning" --"New Yorker"
"Fascinating and sumptuous...an epic drama, a true tale that spans continents and centuries, shows humankind at its worst and its best, with heroes and villains galore." --"Seattle Post-Intelligencer"
"A wondrous account... remarkable." --"Seattle Weekly"
"Verbally and visually ravishing book." --"House & Garden"
""The Tulip" reads more like an adventure story, written against a backdrop of a 16th-and 17th-century Europe..."--"Desert Sun"