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La Tulipe noire

The Black Tulip

roman/novel, pub:1850, action:1672-1675

Cornelius Van Baerle grows a perfect black tulip--a feat which nobody has been able to do before. Unluckily, he is put in jail, and while in jail, his evil neighbor, Isaac Boxtel, steals his one-of-a-kind tulip. Just before Cornelius is to be put to death, the truth is revealed and he is saved.

The English translation is available.

This is a great short novel, dealing with the political situation in Holland in 1672. Dumas takes the story of the execution of John and Cornelius De Witte, a true event, and turns it into a dashing tale of corruption.
    Look at the Internet Movie Database's movie listings for a list of characters.

    Il Tulipano Nero (italien/Italian) (texto)
    The Black Tulip
    The Black Tulip (text)
    Sinopsis de El Tulipan Negro (espagnol/Spanish)

Oeuvres/Related Works
    The Black Tulip - New York, P. F. Collier & Son, n.d., The Works of Alexandre Dumas in Thirty Volumes (vol. 24), blue cloth, gilt spine

Images (voyez tous/view all)
    "Monseigneur! Monseigneur!" cried Rosa, throwing herself at the feet of the Stadtholder, "Cornelius is not guilty."
    An old print which hangs in the cell of Cornelius DeWitt in the Gevangenpoort at The Hague
    Boxtel watched every step and gesture of his neighbor.
    He urged his good horse onward
    Rosa brought her fresh cheek so near the grating, that Cornelius was able to touch it with his lips.
    The Black Tulip, Classics Illustrated #73 cover
    Three times he felt, with a shudder, the cold stream of air from the knife coming near his neck.

From A Bibliography of Alexandre Dumas père by Frank Wild Reed:
     One of Dumas' daintiest shorter novels. It opens with the deaths of the two de Witt brothers, and in the main turns upon the efforts to raise a black tulip, and, the bulb being obtained, with the fate which threatens that and the owner. It is one of the rare instances in fiction where the interest has been successfully centred in what is neither a human being nor even an animal. Period, Holland 1672-75.
     Both Maquet and Paul Lacroix have been claimed as collaborator in this instance. The story shows Dumas' hand on every page. It is said that the idea was given to him by his friend, King William of Holland, upon the occasion of his coronation in 1849, at which the author was present.
     Original edition: Paris, Baudry, 3 vols., 8vo., yellow wrapper. not dated (1850).
     Vol. I., pp. 313 and table of chapters.
     Vol. II., pp. 304 and table of chapters.
     Vol. III., pp. 316 and table of chapters.
     The Reed Dumas Collection contains two sets of the first edition, but the advertisements on the verso of the half-titles of Vol. II. differ, moreover the "2" on the title-page of one set has been mis-printed "3." Further, on the back wrappers of Vols. I. and III. the advertisements are not the same in the two examples.
     Illustrated edition : Paris, Calmann-Lévy, large 8vo., with illustrations by Charles Morel.
     In the standard Calmann-Lévy edition it fills one volume.
     In Le Vasseur's "Alexandre Dumas Illustré" it forms part of Vol. XI.
     Dumas did not dramatise this romance, but it has been staged at the Haymarket Theatre in London.

         References :—
     De Mirecourt: "Les Contemporains."—Article on "Paul Lacroix."
     Simon (Gustave): "Histoire d'une Collaboration : Dumas et Maquet."
     Parran: "Bibliographie d'Alex. Dumas," page 58.
     Glinel: "Alex. Dumas et Son Œuvre," page 424.

         Principal English Translations :—
     Harris, "First English Translations," says the earliest English version appeared in 1851.
     "Rosa; or, the Black Tulip;" Vol. 108 of the "Parlour Library," London, Simms and Macintyre (later Hodgson), translated by Frank Demmeler, pp. 256, 1854.
     "Rosa; or, the Black Tulip;" London, Clarke, 1861.
     "The Jailer's Daughter, a Sketch from the French," by Georgina Gordon (in "Sketches from Foreign Novelists"), London, Hogg. 1861.
     "The Black Tulip;" London, Routledge, 186—, in all probability a reprint of "The Parlour Library" edition. This has frequently been reprinted by Routledge and other firms, and is now in the "Aramis Edition."
     "The Black Tulip, a Tale of Bewarded Love, and Quite a Drawing Room Companion;" London, Lea.
     "The Black Tulip;" London, Dent, cr. 8vo., illustrated, 1895. Reprinted, same firm (and now including "Tales of the Caucasus"), 1906 and 1926.
     "The Black Tulip;" London, Greening, translated by J. A. Fitzgerald, illustrated by John Hassall, pp. 272, 1899. This edition was later published by the same firm in their "Lotus Library," pp. xii., 259, 1902. (This last edition was later taken over by Collins.)
     "The Black Tulip," translated by A. J. O'Connor, introduction by Dr. Richard Garnett, illustrated, 8vo., pp. 394, "Century of French Romance." It has a postscript dealing with the portraiture of Dumas. London, Heinemann, 1902. This edition has several times been re-issued by private publishing firms, for subscription sale.
     "The Black Tulip;" London, Methuen, sewed, 1904. Reprinted, same firm, 18mo., pp. 256, 1920.
     "The Black Tulip;" London, Collins, 12mo., illustrated, 1910. "The Black Tulip;" London, Nelson, pp. 256, 1920.

From A Bibliography of Alexandre Dumas père by Frank Wild Reed:
     (CLXXI.) Chapter XXVIII., LE CHANT DES FLEURS, fourteen lines (irregular).

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