Tulip Fever

Tulip Fever

Book - 2000
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Seventeenth-century Amsterdam, a city in the grip of tulip mania and basking the wealth it has generated. Cornelis, an ageing merchant, commissions a talented young painter to preserve his status and marriage on canvas. At the sittings, as a collector of beautiful things, Cornelis surrounds himself with symbols of his success, including his young wife, Sophia. But as the portrait grows, so does the passion between Sophia and the artist; and as ambitions, desires and dreams breed an intricate deception, their reckless gamble propels their lives towards a thrilling and tragic conclusion.
Publisher: London : Vintage Books, 2000
Copyright Date: ©1999
ISBN: 9781784700805
Branch Call Number: MOGGACH
Characteristics: 259 pages ; 20 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Jul 28, 2018

I notice that everyone who read this book liked it- I, unfortunately, did not. This book's title is Tulip Fever, not painting or artists, or even a love affair. There is very little about that hectic and often violent period in the history of Holland, and it's only incidental to the main story which is the illicit love affair between the artist and the wife of a rich, elderly man.
The movie of the same name was so much better. In the first few minutes of the movie one can learn more about the history of tulips and the craze which overtook Amsterdam in the mid-1600's.The movie is visually stunning, costumes beautiful, and the paintings are breathtaking. The flowers are gorgeous, some make you gasp. Judi Dench, who has a minor role, is excellent as always. If you want to know about Tulip Fever see the movie.


Feb 20, 2018

I really enjoyed this novel however I found it a little dull at the beginning. I am looking forward to seeing the film too.

samdog123 Mar 31, 2017

Soon to be released as a movie, this book by Deborah Moggach (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) is a fascinating look at Holland in the 17th century. This was the golden age of Dutch masters. Jan Van Loos, an up and coming artist, is contracted to paint Cornelius and his young wife Sofia. Sophia and Jan quickly become lovers and become enmeshed in a plot that will enable them to be together. Wonderful descriptive language that matches the beautiful colour plates in the book. Well worth a read if you like historical fiction.

Jan 02, 2016

How sheltered women were in the 1600's. Sophia was married off to an elderly wealthy merchant it was a financial deal not a love match. Add a painter brought in to paint the couple's portrait who lusts after Sophia, a household maid who finds herself pregnant and the tulip crazed not which people invest their life savings in tulip bulbs hoping to make a fortune and you've got an interesting story doomed to failure, except for the two most unlikely of the characters. Told in present tense from the view of the main characters, the plot of Jan the painter and Sophia to run away and live together comes to a quick satisfying crash. It was at least satisfying to me to see hat brought their deceit to an end.

Sep 02, 2015

Poignant love story taking place in early 17th century. Depicting historic facts and illustrating how objectified women were.

WVMLStaffPicks Dec 05, 2014

Like a painting by Vermeer, Moggach’s latest novel is filled with gorgeous colours, exquisite light and intensely drawn characters. It is Amsterdam in the 1630’s and the city is struck with tulip madness. Ambition and greed push the price of each bulb to ludicrous heights. A wealthy merchant commissions a portrait of his beautiful wife; unfortunately, the artist falls madly in love with her. Their scandalous affair sparks a series of events that can only end in tragedy.

Jan 28, 2013

Really liked the writer & historical content.

Mar 29, 2011

Reading that this book was being slated as a movie that might star Jude Law, Keira Knightley and Jim Broadbent, I gave it a read. If you liked the book 'Girl with a Pearl Earring' [or have an interest in the golden age of Dutch painting], this one will remind you of it. I skimmed to the end, something I rarely do. Fun to think of the movie though! Moggach is associated with some good ones.

Mar 15, 2005

When Sophia marries and older man, she knows she will be able to help her family out financially, but that she doesn?t love him. This arrangement is working out well for both her and her husband until he hires an artist to paint their portrait. Soon her feelings become overwhelming for the artist and the path that she begins down is one that will change all of their lives forever. Set against the tulip craze that spawned an over inflated economy in 17th century Amsterdam, this book will kept me up reading until dawn!


Add a Summary

Mar 20, 2011

Set in Holland in 1600's when tulip investment bubble is raging. Older husband and young wife have their portrait painted by Jan van Loos (actual artist). Artist & wife start an affair. Wife's maid becomes pregnant and wife pretends she is pregnant.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at SL

To Top