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The Golden Tulip

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  1,179 ratings  ·  117 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
Paperback, 566 pages
Published November 27th 2007 by Broadway Books (first published November 27th 1991)
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Average rating 3.96  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,179 ratings  ·  117 reviews

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Linda (not getting friends updates at this time)
When I first read the description of this story I had the smarts not to read anyone else's review. I enjoyed what I read beforehand and I didn't want other people to tarnish my opinion. I think if I had read someone's less-than-five-star review, I would not have considered reading the book. And I am glad I did this because THE GOLDEN TULIP was such a rich and honored narrative with considerable depth.

So, if you have read the publisher's depiction and you think this is a story you might want to
Jul 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Let me say this first: the story is not about “tulip mania" as synopsis on GR and Amazon would let you believe. In fact, the famous mania happened many years before the events in the book took place. Instead, art, love, music, and political intrigue are the main themes of this novel set in the 17th century Netherlands aka the Dutch Golden Age.

At the center of it is the fictional Visser family. Hendrick Visser is a decent painter, former apprentice of the great Frans Halls and a friend of Rembran
Sonya Dutta Choudhury
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 things, 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
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.
Heather C
Oct 26, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
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
Jan 28, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 29, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Anne Earney
May 08, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle, europe
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
The Magical World of Reading
Aug 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
I finished it.
Let me just say that I enjoyed every page, every beautifully assembled and fitted moment of this unique novel.
So easy to read, full of love, warmth, "The Golden Tulip" masterfully leads through art, refined and in sufficient quantity not to bore the reader, and also to convey a really beautiful and interesting part of art history.
Art, love, intrigue, malice ... and all that is perfectly intertwined, with gentle descriptions to warm your heart and you can not give it up until you fi
I enjoyed this story and I’m getting to like the style of writing of this author. The biggest problem I have with this one is that some main characters are flat, who spoiled the story for me to a point I almost put the book away. But I’m glad I didn’t.
May 05, 2014 rated it liked it
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.
Ketutar Jensen
Dec 04, 2019 rated it liked it
It is interesting, kept me reading through the whole book, but... it's a bit long. Could have benefited if Rosalind had decided to tell the story of only one of the girls. All their stories could have been an independent book. It's a bit trope-y, but it was written 1991 (or first published), so I suppose they wouldn't have been quite that trope-y at that time :-D

“To call on Master Rembrandt. I’ve got that new book on Caravaggio that he wants to read.”
Surely not.
Giovanni Baglione's Le vite de' p
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Virginia Tican
Mar 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is about an innocent yet courageous young woman who came under the control of an obsessive, powerful and influential murderous spy due to her beloved father's gambling debts of which again the said sinister gentleman had a hand. Francesca Visser and her sisters were daughters of an indifferent and undisciplined painter who could be good but would never be great, though only Francesca and Aletta showed interest in painting; Sybylla, the youngest, only wanted to be rich. Francesca's raw talen ...more
Apr 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
This was a great read. Being able to leave the current pandemic for a few hours each day was a huge blessing. The hours I spent in Delft painting with Francesca were a fantastic escape from reality. Learning more about tulips and family life in Amsterdam were also very interesting.
This book is being compared to girl with pearl earring but I thought it was a actually much better.
Definitely want to read more by this author.

4.5 stars
I picked this up to satisfy a prompt for a book challenge and I absolutely loved it! I had never heard of this book or the author, but I am sure to check out her other books. I enjoyed getting to know each character and their relationships with each other and how they intersected. It was a colorful time period and I did not know much about how masters and the guild worked in the art world, so I will look more into that. I definitely recommend this to anyone who likes historical fiction.
Jennifir Huston
Jan 04, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This was a great book set just after the crazy tulip craze. A young artist who is the daughter of an artist gets the opportunity to apprentice under Johannes Vermeer, painter of the Girl with a Pearl Earring. She has attracted the insane lust of a crazy man leaving her to pursue her dream, true love, and passions while working to gain freedom from an obsessed man. I have read Laker's To Dance with Kings which is an amazingly beautiful book set during the building of Versailles! ...more
3.5 Stars

I read this book ten years ago, after reading another novel by Laker, To Dance With Kings. I enjoy her writing style, although her character portrayals are typical of the time period she's writing and of the time the books were written (1970s-1980s).

All in all, an enjoyable read that I will most likely pick up again.
Nov 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent historical novel about Amsterdam. Although the principle Artist family is fictitious , Jan Vermeer, plays a prominent role. The intrigue of the romances of the 3 daughters was a delight. I especially appreciated the culture, the architecture, and the War with France and Prince William of Orange. The discussions of painting of the Dutch Royal Age taught me so much.
Aug 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book delves you into Amsterdam and the surrounding area's so you can see the streets and the famous artists of the time. We just traveled to that area and it was great revisiting the sites. A quick and enjoyable read ...more
Sep 19, 2020 rated it did not like it
I was attracted by the story but at the very beginning, there was unnecessary scene (in my opinion) of a child abuse. The end. I stopped there.
Elisa M
Dec 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It took me a little while to get into this book, as the author definitely takes her time and uses a lot of detail- NOT a quick read. But the detail is what makes the book so great: you really get to know the characters and you get a real feel for the way people lived at the time.
Susan Mcswain
Jun 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A really good read. A bit long.
Robin Ferguson
Sep 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great historical novel set in Holland with the Dutch artists of the 17th. century. I really enjoyed this book and am looking to read more from Rosalind Laker.
Sep 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Interesting historical fiction novel featuring famous Dutch painters with some romance and other soap opera elements thrown in. An interesting read, but not the best thing I've ever read. ...more
Nov 06, 2017 rated it liked it
This is a slow and steady book...very well written and an enjoyable read
Mar 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Love reading about artisst of the past..especially Impressionists. enjoyed this a lot
Feb 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. It led me to read every book by this author. Though many had common elements they were all unique in their own way. I highly recommend any book by Rosalind Laker.
Jun 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
While I enjoyed this novel, it was too long. This could have been a trilogy.. a book for each sister. I felt there were too many subplots which took away from the main story.
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A pseudonym used by Barbara Øvstedal.

Barbara Øvstedal 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.

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