The Golden Tulip
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The Golden Tulip

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  616 ratings  ·  65 reviews
Francesca’s father is a well-known painter in the bustling port city of Amsterdam; he is also a gambler. Though their household is in economic chaos, thankfully the lessons she learned in his studio have prepared her to study with Johannes Vermeer, the master of Delft.

When she arrives to begin her apprenticeship, Francesca is stunned to find rules, written in her father’s...more
Published November 27th 2007 by Crown (first published 1991)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,309)
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This novel takes us to 17th century Holland against the background Of William Of Orange coming of age and Louis XIV's invasion of Holland. This is they heyday of the great Dutch painters.
Francesca Visser wishes only to learn to paint. Marriage is the furthest thing from her mind. In fact, she is minded not to marry. Her younger sister, Aletta is also struggling to find independence while the youngest Sybylla wants to marry the richest man she can find.
Since the death of their mother from bearin...more
Seemed a good book to read en route to Amsterdam - seeing as it is set in that city.
Add to that the three sisters who feature in the book ,the daughters of a Dutch artist, and painters themselves. The eldest falls in love with a tulip maker, the second with a penniless artist. When they are not painting and doing other Dutch thing, the girls walk by the canals and go visit Rembrandt and his family !

Clearly it had all the right ingredients. Plus we got it for 99 cents in an on the road side sa...more
This historical romance that takes place in Holland during the time of the great painters there. Francesca Visser, daughter of Hendrick Visser, a friend of the painter Rembrandt, yearns to become a master artist on her own, and her dreams come true when she is finally apprenticed to the artist Vermeer. Her father, in order to settle his gambling debts, has secretly betrothed her to wealthy, sinister Ludolf VanDeventer, but she is really in love with tulip grower Pieter Van Doorne. Add to this t...more
I expected this book to be a copy cat of Girl With a Pearl Earring, which I also enjoyed. I found that the only similarity between the two, was the setting in mid-1600s Holland and the presence of the painter, Vermeer, the plot completey diverged from one another. In the Golden Tulip, the main character, Fransesca, is an aspiring painter who undertakes an apprenticeship with Johannes Vermeet in order to gain her mastership. Along the course, she must overcome the obstacles to her relationship wi...more
Anne Earney
Great setting, interesting characters, apparently well researched - but hampered by clumsy over-writing. Every other sentence could have been cut, and the overall effect would have been much better, especially the descriptions of character motivation, which were guilty of telling in addition to showing. But once the plot took off, I was able to overlook that and I enjoyed the story. It's a little cheesy - happy endings all around! - but I wasn't expecting much else, so it made for an easy read i...more
Fun mindless reading for those times in which one doesn't want to think too much. A bit too girlish. But I definitely enjoyed the descriptions of day to day life in the Netherlands of the time.
While I enjoy reading about artists & have affinity for Dutch/Flemish art, this book became tedious. I got half-way thru the 550 pg book. Needed some editing.
I just could not get past the first several pages of the novel. I was interested in the story, but I found the writing too flat.
This amazing novel has many different story threads woven together beautifully. At the heart is the story of Francesca and her family. Francesca is the daughter of a decent artist in Amsterdam. Taking after her father, she appears to be headed toward great things in the art world. An apprenticeship is acquired for her with the relatively unknown (at the time) Johannes Vermeer in Delft. Things all seem to be looking up – Francesca has an apprenticeship, her family appears to be doing well (her fa...more
Holy crap, longest book ever. I brought it with me to the Isle of Wight because it's SO long and heavy and the print is tiny that I figured the only way I'd ever read it was if I was trapped with it on a long journey, and the choice was to either read it or be bored for 6 hours. :P

And actually, it was really good! Beth reading over my shoulder found it dull but I actually enjoyed it, even if it WAS hellishly long. The story followed the lives of painter Hendrick Visser's three children over abou...more
Wisteria Leigh
Two of Master Painter Visser's three daughters are apprenticing with him. Francesca, the eldest shows the most promise, focus and direction. Aletta, wants to paint to make her own money, while Sybylla is looking for wealth and status in marriage. Unfortunately, Visser is a gambler and his greed forces him to sign away his daughter Francesca's life to marry a despicably lecherous man who buys out his debts. Francesca has no idea as she is allowed to follow her pursuit to apprentice with Jan Verme...more
Ms. Littell
A long book for a long day of flying. As I hopped across the United States via plane, the time passed quickly as I engrossed myself in this story. Francesca lives in Amsterdam at the time of Rembrandt's last years. her father is a painter, and she hopes to be one as well. It is a saga of years of the family's life. Francesca's father is a gambler with a periodic income. Her sisters are also trained to be painters, but it is Francesca who eventually becomes an apprentice to Vermeer. Unfortunately...more
Diane A Brown
Very addicting and well written…

The Golden Tulip will appeal to the heart of all those who struggle to reach their dreams.
The story, set in periods of Dutch history, weaves innocence and deception into a captivating tale.

You are carried back in time to notable confrontations with stunning realism. Artistic creativity of the true masters, bright and bold fields of tulips and the dark side of unethical behavior surface in unexpected places. Each chapter addresses the challenges of one character o...more
The Golden Tulip, Rosalind Laker (3.5)
I wish I had read this book before my recent trip to Amsterdam. It is set there and parts of the rural Netherlands in the 1600’s after the Tulipmania and just prior to the invasion attempt by Louis XIV of France and describes the city and culture of that time. It follows a family of artists who know Rembrandt and Vermeer. Parts of the delight of the book are the details given of the painting process along with the progress of the painters, though the history...more
This is the story of the Visser family set in 17th century Holland. The father Hendrick is a wonderful painter but a drunk and a gambler. In one fateful act, he loses the family's fortune and is forced to promise his eldest daughter, Francesca to marry his loathsome patron Ludolf in order to keep their livelihood. Francesca is a painter herself and is in fact apprenticed to Johannes Vermeer. She has already fallen in love with a tulip grower Pieter van Doorne and the story follows of the Visser...more
Apr 13, 2009 Julie rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Julie by: Powell's Daily Dose
Set in 17th century Holland, The Golden Tulip chronicles the life of Francesca Visser, the daughter of a master painter and inveterate gambler whose debts cause him to all but sell Francesca to his patron. Francesca is set upon the goal of being a master painter herself, but there are all sorts of complications – financial, emotional – before she can achieve this. Honestly, I almost stopped reading after about 10 pages because of Laker’s all-too-blatant exposition about Dutch customs of the time...more
Feb 06, 2008 Carrie rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anne
Recommended to Carrie by: Erika
A book of historical fiction, similar to "girl in hyacinth blue" and "girl with a Pearl Earring," it chooses as its heroine, a young female artist taken as an apprentice to Jan Vermeer during a turbulent time in Dutch History.

Full of art, music, political intrigue, villians and great love this book set in 17th century Holland refers to the Political ambitions of Louie IV, and the masters of Florence Italy.

At some point (200 pages in) i lost track of time and found myself curious about the tulip...more
Adenike Adebiyi
I picked up The Golden Tulip by Rosalind Laker at an airport in Denver on December 1, 2007, not wanting to waste my time dozing off on a subsequent flight. The color and title of the book initially drew me to the book, and then when I learnt that the book was about a painter, I became more interested.

Karen Harper, author of The Last Boleyn, which I haven’t read, remarks that The Golden Tulip is richly reminiscent of Tracy Chevalier’s Girl with A Pearl Earring. The settings in The Golden Tulip an...more
Overall, I enjoyed this book. The main character, Francesca, was a true heroine, with interests and intelligence and love. I had problems with some of the narrative though. For example, at the beginning of the novel, we are introduced to her aunt, who leaves to marry quite I am left to wonder why we were introduced to this character at all. It also took me a while to get engrossed in the novel, but once I did, I became thoroughly involved with the characters. I did notice, however,...more
Although this book could be categorized as a romance, there is so much intrigue and deception to keep the reader well entertained. I consider this story a light read with enough factual information about the era and setting to make it very interesting and plausible. The family dynamics of the story's main character has enough twists and turns to bring a few surprises although the reader can anticipate what will happen in some instances. The setting is Holland in the 1600's. The story is about th...more
This book starts off really slow, and the author could have cut quite a few words without sacrificing the story, but it ended up being a very good and interesting read. A lot in the beginning was fairly unnecessary, but it really picks up when Francesca goes to Delft, so don't give up before you get there. I would have preferred a few less exclamation marks, because the author really goes overboard with them, but it didn't detract from the book too much.
Awful. Just...awful. Flat characters filling basic stereotypes -- tortured undependable artist, strong heroine with a soft heart, blah blah. The first half was just plain boring. The pace picked up after that, when the story conformed with all the usual period romance resolution tropes. I kept reading to the end club. Spoiler alert -- there's nothing to spoil. All the exciting stuff happens in the last 15 pages or so, but after hours and hours hoping for something interesting it w...more
I quite enjoyed the remarkably strong protagonist, Francesca. She is willful and talented, and I always enjoy historical fiction novels about artists. The events surrounding the plot are well-developed and believable.
This novel drew me in completely. Set in the late 1600's in Holland, the saga follows Franscesca, one of three daughters of an accomplished Dutch painter. She in turn, gets the opportunity to apprentice with Vermeer (ok, so I love name-dropping in historical fiction!). There is plenty of flirtation, matchmaking, seemingly unattainable goals and desires to beget. There is even some suspense to these ends!

Being one of three sisters, and a painter, it was easy to identify with the characters. I loo...more
I liked the book, found it riveting. I never got bored. The images are beautiful, as is appropriate for a book about painters. The storyline is intriguing. But then I saw The Girl with the Pearl Earring on TV and saw that this book and that movie were too similar. I don't know which came first, but one was a rip-off. Though I haven't read the book The Girl with the Pearl Earring, I was just disappointed to find out that the Golden Tulip, which I had enjoyed so much, was not unique.
Part of the way into The Golden Tulip I nearly set it aside as not worth reading, because the characters were such very cliched. But then I decided it would be an OK beach book, so since it's summer . . . I kept going. Might not have read every word, but it was pleasant and entertaining enough - definitely a "lite" read. Sometimes a person needs a bit of lite. Not sorry I finished it.
Traveling for 19 hours gives one plenty of time to read a 556 page book. Fortunately, it had enough surprises to keep me going. I enjoyed Francesca & Aletta's stories, but I didn't like Sybylla's marriage story. The book also made me interested in Holland's history & I'll probably do some more reading on it. (And everyone talks "huskily" after they make out - it always made me laugh.)
This reminded me a lot of what a Jane Austen novel would be like if it was set in Dutch Holland. The story (set during the aftermath of Tulip-mania and the time of Rembrandt and Vermeer) follows the Visser sisters as they paint (and in once case manipulate) their way to finding true love. A thrilling plot accompanied by rich historical detail.
Nov 20, 2007 Garnette rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Dutch Masters
Vermeer, Rembrandt and Amsterdam live in this strenously researched novel from the point of view of a woman (!) fine arts apprentice. Read it in conjunction with the Metropolitan Museum's The Art of Rembrandt (and friends): Dutch Paintings in the Met. By Rosalind Laker. Written before Girl with the Pearl Earring and a better read. Enjoy.
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A pseudonym used by Barbara Øvstedal.

Barbara Ovstedal was an author previously writing under the pseudonym Barbara Paul and Barbara Douglas. She wrote a few books under this pseudonym but later changed to Rosalind Laker when Barbara Paul gained recognition. Her many books include The Sugar Pavilion and To Dance with Kings.
More about Rosalind Laker...
To Dance with Kings The Venetian Mask Circle Of Pearls Banners of Silk The Sugar Pavilion

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