3 journalers for this copy...
Please journal this book, describing where you found it, and then what you thought of it. You can remain anonymous if you want to, but if you create a screen name you will be able to get notification each time someone else journals this book.
When you have finished please release the book and let it continue its journey. Following this books travels can be very fun.
Amsterdam in the 1630s: considered by some to be the wealthiest city in the world. For do they not possess the riches of art, literature, music and the refinement of society in addition to commercial wealth?
The painters of the time are busy: the city's inhabitants intend to guarantee their immortality with gold. Sitting for such a portrait is Sophia Sandvoort, beside her elderly husband Cornelis. They are surrounded by objects showing her husband's piety, yet he has not been able to resist including a tulip, its petals full and on the point of dropping. For Cornelis, like many of his fellow Dutchmen, has made money from the speculation on this exotic flower and its bulbs.
As the painter, Jan van Loos, starts to capture Sophia's likeness on his canvas so a slow passion begins to burn. And as the execution of the painting unfolds, so a slow dance is begun between the household's inhabitants. Ambitions, desires and dreams breed a grand deception, and as the lies multiply, events move towards a thrilling and tragic climax.
"Deborah Moggach's Tulip Fever takes place in 17th-century Amsterdam, where roguish Rembrandt wannabes like Jan van Loos are just waiting to fall into ticklish situations. In this case, a paunchy merchant named Cornelis Sandvoort wanders into the artist's studio, hoping to impress posterity with a portrait of himself and his young wife. Apart from the fat commission, which van Loos can use, there is the bride to consider. Beautiful and bored, Sophia is easily swayed by his youthful passion--but this time, the raffish van Loos actually falls in love with one of his sexual conquests. The two carry out their affair with increasing doses of rashness and deception, meanwhile becoming dependent on the complicity of a servant, the astonishing gullibility of the old man, and the fast cash to be made on the tulip-bulb exchange.
The plot of Moggach's 13th novel neatly matches the speculative frenzy of the period, careening from one improbable thrill to the next. It was, to be sure, a time of stunning economic lunacy, when a single Semper Augustus bulb could be sold for "six fine horses, three oxheads of wine, a dozen sheep, two dozen silver goblets and a seascape by Esaias van de Velde." The author expertly dabs in this sort of period detail, and her chapter epigraphs quote some charming 17th-century Dutch sources on morals and conventional wisdom. Indeed, it's these quasi-surreal touches--whales washing up on the coast, chimney pots toppling into the street, women rubbing goose fat into their hands--that make the lovers' overheated sentiments so plausible. "For centuries to come," the narrator says, "people will gaze at these paintings and wonder what is about to happen." Tulip Fever gives us the chance to do exactly that. --John Ponyicsanyi
CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
This has been released as part of Hyphen8's "D for December 2012" release challenge. It's my first release for it, and I hope for many more this month.
Thankfully, eyed drops for five days should be all my kitty needs. Sadly, though, I saw a dog through the open door who was very, very ill. They suspect that he had eaten some poison. I am thinking of the dog as I write this, and hope, miraculously, that he recovers.