Sim Carter's Reviews > Tulip Fever

Tulip Fever by Deborah Moggach
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's review
Mar 11, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: historical-fiction

I originally put two stars but that's a little harsh so I just added one. I usually enjoy historical fiction - this book is set in the mid 1600's. Maybe I was expecting a book as luminous as Girl with a Pearl Earring so I was setting myself up for disappointment. I was expecting a lot of lush painterly language and exquisite romance. There was some cursory broad brush strokes in terms of how the art was dealt with AND the romance was conducted more like a bad farce. The characters were ok but it was what Moggach had them do that was maddening. It was psuedo Shakespearian in the amount of mistaken identities and star-crossed lovers and betrayal that took place!
Also I just didn't care for the cheating.
What I did find fascinating was the whole aspect of Tulip Fever - the entire country went bonkers for tulip bulbs and prices went skyrocketing. As in one bulb could bring in as much money as a tradesmen might make in several weeks. Crazy!
That was the first economic bubble to break. And when it did, just like when our housing bubble broke, all hell broke loose.

I have just started reading her book, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel which is more contemporary and I'm enjoying it.
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel has been made into a movie starring Judi Dench and Maggie Smith. I hear Tulip Fever may be as well. If movies based on books interests you as much as it does me, check out my blog at

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