Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Tulip Fever” as Want to Read:
Tulip Fever
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Tulip Fever

3.50  ·  Rating details ·  8,858 ratings  ·  931 reviews
A tale of art, beauty, lust, greed, deception and retribution -- set in a refined society ablaze with tulip fever.

In 1630s Amsterdam, tulipomania has seized the populace. Everywhere men are seduced by the fantastic exotic flower. But for wealthy merchant Cornelis Sandvoort, it is his young and beautiful wife, Sophia, who stirs his soul. She is the prize he desires, the wom
Paperback, 281 pages
Published April 10th 2001 by Dial Press Trade Paperback (first published 1999)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Tulip Fever, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Jasmyne Tzitziras I just got to this part in the book! and I had the same reaction. Like, what? no stop! Everything is riding on this and I can see it all going…moreI just got to this part in the book! and I had the same reaction. Like, what? no stop! Everything is riding on this and I can see it all going terribly wrong! (less)
Jen Leaf Suppose it would depend upon the man. Generally speaking, I would say no.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.50  · 
Rating details
 ·  8,858 ratings  ·  931 reviews

Sort order
Jeffrey Keeten
Jan 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: the-dutch
”Everything he sees speaks tulip to him. Comely women are tulips; their skirts are petals, swinging around the pollen-dusted stigmas of their legs.”

 photo Tulip20Woman_zpsll6xdpsg.jpg

Amsterdam in the 1630s was considered one of the richest cities in the world. Trade had been very good for the Dutch. Citizens were becoming very civilized with a growing interest in music and a need for art hanging in their homes. The painters of the city were kept busy with commissions as wealthy people not only wanted fine paintings on their wall
Sophia's painting hangs in the Rijksmuseum. Others of her, with different titles and different painters, hang in the Dresden museum. Scholars quarrel about her identity. Is she Venus, is she Delilah?

Like the scales of a precious tulip bulb, Sophia's life story is peeled away by the people who knew her the most intimate. Her husband, Cornelius Sandvoort, her maid Maria, the fish seller, Willem and the painter Jan van Loos.

During the tulipmania of the 1600 in Holland, when greedy mongers gambled
Richard Derus
Sep 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Real Rating: 2.5* of five

Oh forevermore. Tedious. Always an older man whose beautiful young wife is misunderstood, uninterested, bored by him...and it's *his* fault. Then she meets a *handsome*young*artist* who unleashes her primal passions the way her old man can't, or won't, or doesn't want to.

Oh poor poor little lady. ::eyeroll::

Then we get the filmed version with that human blancmange Dane DeHaan as the Struggling Artist. Why anyone would think that blah little boy was hot beggars my imagina
Frank Hoppe
Nov 08, 2016 rated it did not like it
I read this for a Library book club. I must be getting old and cranky. I found the prose almost physically painful to read. The characters unsympathetic, the plot unbelievable. I kept thinking about how much time I had left before I die and why was I devoting my energies to finishing this.
Update Feb, 2017

I first read this 5 years ago for book club and enjoyed it at that time. I reread this month to dip back in before the movie based on it is released Feb 24. ( I enjoyed it the second time around as well, keying in on some different things perhaps than on the initial outing. I had completely forgotten the ending! I especially like Moggach's use of the brief moral maxims, quotes and bible verses at the beginning of each short chapter. Each d
Jun 10, 2012 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 21, 2008 rated it did not like it
This book is not very good at all. I plan on leaving it in Singapore to increase my distance from it.
(Nearly 3.5) If you liked Girl with a Pearl Earring and The Miniaturist, you may also enjoy this atmospheric, art-inspired novel set in the 1630s. (Originally from 1999, it’s recently been adapted into a film.) Sophia, married off to an old merchant, falls in love with Jan van Loos, the painter who comes to do their portrait. If Sophia and Jan are ever to be together, they’ll have to scrape together enough money to plot an elaborate escape. I thought this was rather soap opera-ish most of the wa ...more
Sep 07, 2011 rated it it was ok
The tulip speculation bubble is only an aside in what is basically a 17th century soap opera. The time period offered so much potential, not just the tulip bulbs, but also an age of great Dutch artists, unfortunately none of it is explored in any substantive way. In retrospect, save 2 chapters (one about a bulb grower and one about Jan's bulb trading, this novel could be transposed to almost any place/time.

Perhaps the best thing I can say is that it reads quickly with its short chapters. The wor
Nov 19, 2016 rated it liked it
3.5 zvezdice

Lista stvari koje su mi se dopale:
- živi, nestvarni opisi zlatnog doba Amsterdama, tržnica, krčmi, pijaca, bogataških kuća, brodova, kanala, luka, esnafskih udruženja
- razrađen, opširan i liričan stil pisanja koji je poput neuhvatljivog sna
- karakterizacija, posebno sporedni likovi, jer su oni jedini prema kojima sam osetio ikakvu empatiju
- bogato istraživanje koje je autorka očigledno obavila, i stvaranje slika, kao i kombinovanje stvarnih ličnosti sa fiktivnim likovima
- način na k
1. Pick a fascinating time-period

2. Pick an interesting subject (flemish painters and the famous dutch tulip bulb speculation)

3. Only write what sounds like a bare-bones first draft.

4. Don't develop any character

5. Stereotypes by the bucket

6. Instalove-for-the-ages : married and conservative woman accepts to commit adultery after literally one sentence of dialogue


Feb 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Divna historijska drama, priča po kojoj je snimljen i istoimeni film. Radnja priče smeštena je u Holandiju u vrijeme kad su se ljudi bogatili ili bankrotirali investirajući u lukovice, tada izuzetno egzotičnog cvijeta, lale. I  dok je većina zahvaćena ludilom i stavljanjem svega na kocku, stariji bogati trgovac Kornelisu živi za svoju prelijepu mladu suprugu Sofiju. Njihov brak je ugovoren i kao takav je miran i jednoličan sve dok Kornelis ne odluči da obraduje Sofiju njihovim zajedničkim portre ...more
MaryannC.Book Fiend
This is one of my favorite reads, I read it a few times now. Set in the 1600's this story revolves around the Tulip mania that went on(something I never knew about) during that time. An added bonus for me was that Deborah Moggach wrote the screenplay for Pride and Prejudice(the Keira Knightley version which is another favorite).
Ivan Bogdanov
Oct 19, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Книгата не е тъпа. Книгата е елементарна и наивна, но това може да се очаква от книга, силно препоръчвана от Христо Блажев.
Плоски образи, объркан сюжет, нелогични обрати. На два пъти е използван един и същ подход - второстепенен герой, който досега само се е споменавал, се натрясква и обърква работата на основните герои.
Тотално неясен край - не е хепиенд, няма поуки, добрите не печелят.
Ако сте невинна девица и четете това на фенерче под одеалото - може би ще ви хареса .
В противен случай не започ
Aug 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: i-own
Surprisingly enjoyable book with quite a few twists. I especially liked the Amsterdam setting in the 1600’s. Looking forward to the movie.
Цветозар Бонев
Sep 10, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: strongly-dislike
Няма по-лоша литература на този свят от история за изневяра, в която липсват 1) герои, които не са едноизмерни точки в черно пространство с имена окачени отгоре им, за да се различава еднородността им, 2) химия между "любовниците" и 3) какъвто и да е интерес в случващото се.

Шейсет и осем глави за книга, която е едвам 280 страници, си е лошо от само себе си, но добавете към това (за някаква незнайна причина) смесване между разказване от първо лице и трето лице (въпреки, че стилът на разказване не
Having just finished The Last Painting of Sara de Vos, I figured I'd stay in 17th century Holland just a little longer with this book. And really, I have to say that was a great decision.

Many of the reviewers have said that they feel as this is just a soap opera from the 17th century set down on paper, and they're not wrong. But what makes this book isn't so much the plot, though that is fast-paced enough to keep it interesting, it's the writing. While I suppose I would characterize this as a gr
Um romance engraçado e levezinho, com capítulos pequeninos que se lêem num instante.
Passado na Amesterdão do século XVII, conseguimos ficar a conhecer como era a vida e o dia a dia de uma família de comerciantes na Idade de Ouro da mais rica cidade europeia à data e tudo por causa de ... tulipas.
A história de um amor proibido que foi já adaptado a filme e chegará às salas de cinema até ao final do ano.
Gostei muito e recomendo!
Христо Блажев
В треската за лалета любовта търси своя шанс:

В началото не бях впечатлен особено от книгата – Могак развива обичайната за този тип романи скрита и страстна любовна история, като по аналогия с тон други книги очаквах да я смрачи със заговор за убийството на съпруга, все пак той е застанал като канара пред щастието на двамата млади, които в споделения си грях откриват щастието. Но за моя изненада авторката заплете действието по различен начин, включвайки ка
May 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
I liked this much better than I thought I would. A fast, entertaining read, with writing that is pared down, but really very good.

Amsterdam in 1632 is a prosperous city of merchants who rule the known world, at least in terms of commerce. Cornelius, a well-to-do merchant in late middle-age, has married the young and beautiful Sophia. He is a good, kind man and Sophia appreciates having been rescued from poverty when her family’s fortunes declined. The Netherlands is in the midst of a financial
Feb 13, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
Oh dear, what a disappointing read!

Tulip Fever tells the tale of Sophia, a young woman in 17th century Amsterdam, married to a much older man. Sophia’s wealthy husband, Cornelis, commissions a young painter, Jan, to paint a portrait of him and his wife. Sophia and Jan develop an intense attraction, which leads to a torrid affair.

Unfortunately, I did not enjoy Tulip Fever. The plot synopsis promised excitement but I found it rather dull. It is a book of less than 300 pages, yet it took me two wee
Feb 24, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
A quick, easy read about a doomed love affair that begs to be reviewed using phrases like "torrid affair" or "grand deception." Also, it has a "Wings Of A Dove" vibe- it is unbelievable what lengths these characters will go to in order to get what they want!
Nadya Ruskowa
Jan 26, 2018 rated it liked it
You probably won’t find a person who doesn’t know Kochenhof and the endless tulip fields in Holland. Today this is the country with biggest tulip production in the world. Every spring we can enjoy The Tulip Fest in Amsterdam where we can see different tulip cultivars selected there. This period in their history, to which the author take us, is extremely interesting for me in a professional way and also as a flowers lover.
I began reading this book with an intention to learn something new about t
Лунната мечтателка
Аристократка. Омъжена за друг. Влюбена в художник, който ѝ рисува портрет...
Мисля, че трябваше да се сетя още докато четях анотацията как ще завърши. Трябваше да се досетя, че ще имам чувството, че препрочитам "Най-красивата жена във Флоренция" на Алиса Паломбо.
Вярно, че Дебора Могак разви малко по-различно сюжета и София постъпи малко по-различно от Симонета (може би защото втората си нямаше вярна прислужница), но все пак оставам с горчив вкус от тази книга.
Може би ще изгледам и филма, но дълбо
Jul 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This book was voluptuous historical fiction without anyone's bodice actually getting ripped off. (There's sex and love in the book -- just no actual bodice-ripping or silly over-the-top romance.)

Moggach paints a convincing and resonant portrait of a world poised between religion and secularism, tradition and trade, city and globe. Her appreciation for Rembrandt, Vermeer, and other painters of their ilk infuses her physical descriptions as well as her verbal renderings of visual art. Like the Dut
Frances Thompson
I read Tulip Fever in almost one sitting on the flight to Dubai from Amsterdam, where I now live. It was recommended to me by my favourite fellow reader - my mother - because of the setting of Amsterdam in the first half of the seventeenth century, its focus on the fast-growing trend of portrait painting and the rise and fall of Tulipmania on the stock market, something I knew little about.

I found the historical references, descriptions, facts and details fascinating and I wildly appreciate all
Aug 05, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Despite liking the paintings and enjoying every other book of Moggach's that I've read (and so coming to this optimistically) this left me cold. I liked Cornelis, Maria and Willem, but Sophia and Jan left me at first bemused and then rather repelled. Their love story came out of nowhere; there was no insight into their motivations and their love affair felt sleazy - which is odd because the love between Willem and Maria felt real indeed. A few plots twists in the end made it feel like a morality ...more
If you liked "Girl with a Pearl Earing" You will like this tale. Set in 17th Century Amsterdam, a city in the grip of tulip mania - it's a story of love, romance, money & deception and the art of painterly intrigue & reckless gambles. A pacy plat with twists and turns written well Moggach keeps the tension building till the sad, funny and tragic end.

Illustrated with paintings from Vermeer, Maes, de Hooch, Steen, Terborch, van Rijin, and others in the dutch style.
May 04, 2015 rated it it was ok
I found this book quite unsatisfactory. It is a gripping tale of complicated affairs and webs of deceit but it lacked character development and I found the fact that the chapters switched between first and third person quite unsettling. It is one of those novels where you're not quite sure who you should be rooting for. Easy to read but difficult to love.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Play Book Tag: Tulip Fever - Moggach - 3 stars 2 8 Jan 01, 2019 02:28PM  
Screen & Page: Tulip Fever 2 4 Oct 15, 2017 05:50AM  
Contemporary YA: Tulip Fever 6 33 Jul 09, 2016 07:42AM  
  • The Golden Tulip
  • Rembrandt's Whore
  • Lydia Cassatt Reading the Morning Paper
  • The Painted Kiss
  • The Miracles of Prato
  • As Above, So Below: A Novel of Peter Bruegel
  • Master of Shadows: The Secret Diplomatic Career of the Painter Peter Paul Rubens
  • Life Studies: Stories
  • Claude & Camille: A Novel of Monet
  • Vermeer's Hat: The Seventeenth Century and the Dawn of the Global World
  • The Sidewalk Artist
  • The Tulip
  • The Haunting at Blackwood Hall
  • Scapegallows
  • The Ruby Ring
  • Kurt Seyt & Shura
  • With Violets
  • Vampire Dreams Revamped (Sons of Navarus, #0.5)
Deborah Moggach is a British writer, born Deborah Hough on 28 June 1948. She has written fifteen novels to date, including The Ex-Wives, Tulip Fever, and, most recently, These Foolish Things. She has adapted many of her novels as TV dramas and has also written several film scripts, including the BAFTA-nominated screenplay for Pride & Prejudice. She has also written two collections of short sto ...more
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“The world is chaotic. All artists know this, but they try to make sense of it. Sophia has made sense of it for him. She has stitched it together like the most beautiful cloak. Her love has sewn it together and they can wrap it around themselves and be safe from the world. Nobody can reach them.” 6 likes
“Sophia will not come. How mad he is to imagine, for a moment, that she might. Why should she risk everything for him? He can offer her nothing, only love.” 3 likes
More quotes…