The Tulip: The Story of the Flower That Has Made Men Mad

by Anna Pavord

Paperback, 2001



Bloomsbury USA (2001), 296 pages


"A twentieth anniversary edition of the classic, featuring new material by the author. Anna Pavord's internationally bestselling sensation, The Tulip, is the story of a flower that has driven men mad. Greed, desire, anguish, and devotion have all played their part in the development of the tulip into a worldwide phenomenon. Today, the United States alone imports three thousand million tulip bulbs each year. No other flower has ever carried so much consequence; it charts political upheavals, illuminates social behavior, mirrors economic booms and busts, plots the ebb and flow of religious persecution. Why did the tulip dominate so many lives through so many centuries in so many countries? Anna Pavord, a self-confessed tulipomaniac, spent six years looking for answers, roaming through Asia, India, and the Ottoman Empire to tell how a humble wildflower of the Asian steppes made its way to Turkey and from there took the whole of Western Europe by storm. Sumptuously illustrated from a wide range of sources, this irresistible volume has become a bible, a unique source book, a universal gift book, and a joy to all who possess it. This beautifully redesigned edition features a new Preface by the author, a completely revised listing of the best varieties of this incomparable flower to choose for your garden, and a reorganized listing of tulip species, to reflect the latest thinking by taxonomists."--… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member jwl
I picked this book up at the Smithsonian because The Botany of Desire is one of my favorite books and includes a section on tulips which I found to be especially interesting. Pavord's account of the tulip is very interesting although it, for me at least, moves a bit slowly. I've found myself having
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difficulty finishing it, but I don't think that is a reflection on the subject.
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LibraryThing member frobozz
A history of the domestication of the tulip and its spread into western Europe, with the subsequent explosion in popularity as it entered new regions. This book contains quite a bit of interesting information about the growth and fashion of tulips when they were first introduced as garden plants,
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as well as history of the layout and fashion of gardens in general, however it is slow-moving and somewhat repetitive. Part of this I believe is due to trying to expand the subject matter to fill more pages than it needs to be covered adequately, part due to the choice of dividing chapters by country or region and chronicling the flower's rise to - and fall from - the height of fashion in each one; the similarity in each region leads to a lot of "didn't I just read this?"
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LibraryThing member isabelx
I read some parts of this book but it was a bit heavy going, so I am afraid that I will be passing it on unfinished.
LibraryThing member mms
A great history of the flower.
LibraryThing member dylkit
Really interesting read. And so nice to think about tulips and Spring when the weather is so dreich.

Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

296 p.; 5.96 inches


1582341303 / 9781582341309
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