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Reaktion Books
01 April 2017
Gardening; Gardening: flowers
Wild tulips originally grew across Asia, often on the slopes of remote mountain ranges; the malleable genes of these progenitors gave rise to tulips' unrivalled variety of colour and form.

In Tulip, Celia Fisher traces the story of this important and highly popular plant, from its mountain beginnings to its cultivation in the gardens of Mughal, Persian and Ottoman potentates, and its migration from East to West along the silk trading routes. Cultivated oriental hybrids reached European gardens in the sixteenth century, and their unique, intensely saturated petal colour, combined with their rarity, meant that they rapidly became a coveted luxury item in the Netherlands. Tulips in fact inspired such a frenzy among aristocratic collectors that they caused the first economic bubble, which peaked in 1637 and became known as 'tulipomania'. The book explores the art and literature that tulips have inspired through history, from Dutch Masters, to Alexandre Dumas' novel The Black Tulip, to the contemporary artist Gordon Cheung setting exotically streaked tulips alongside the Financial Times. 

Fisher also describes the tulip's botanical characteristics, as well as the main, and most intriguing, species (which are still being counted, and well over a hundred have been named). Tulips may yet have the last laugh, however, because recent genetic studies have raised questions about their origins and classification.

Tulip is a stunningly illustrated botanical and cultural history of the much-loved bloom, and will appeal to all who admire and grow this beautiful flower.
By:   Celia Fisher
Imprint:   Reaktion Books
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 216mm,  Width: 138mm,  Spine: 23mm
Weight:   562g
ISBN:   9781780237596
ISBN 10:   1780237596
Series:   Botanical
Pages:   224
Publication Date:   01 April 2017
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Celia Fisher has lectured and written widely on the history of plants and gardens in art. She is the author of many books, including Flowers of the Renaissance (2011), Flower: Paintings by 40 Great Artists (2012), The Golden Age of Flowers (2013) and The Magic of Birds (2014).

Reviews for Tulip

Fisher follows these flowers throughout the course of history--from their wild origins to their horticultural development in Asia and Europe. This work is an engrossing introduction to one of the world's most loved horticultural taxa. . . . Tulip is incredibly readable and worthwhile for general readers who are interested in horticulture, botany, history, or art. . . . The text is strongly recommended for public libraries and academic institutions. . . . Highly recommended. -- Choice A concisely written account of various wild tulips, from their origins in the mountains of Central Asia, to their cultivation in the gardens of Mughal, Persian, and Ottoman rulers, and their transfer along the silk route. Tulip is an appropriately illustrated botanical and cultural history of this beloved bulb. It depicts tulip representations on a trove of art treasures across diverse formats, including charming patterns on tiles from Iznik, Turkey, lacquer book bindings, bedsheets, fabric designs, manuscripts, paintings, and the august painting from Thornton's Temple of Flora, a grand scale reproduction of it adorning the reading room of the Missouri Botanical Garden's Peter H. Raven Library. . . . Fisher's Tulip can appeal to weekend gardeners, horticulturalists, and history buffs who admire or grow this fashionable flower. --Dorothea Bedigian, Missouri Botanical Garden Plant Science Bulletin

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