Seventeenth-century Amsterdam — a city in the grip of tulip fever. Sophia's husband Cornelis is one of the lucky ones grown rich from this exotic new flower. To celebrate, he commissions a talented young artist to paint him with his beautiful young bride. But as the portrait grows, so does the passion between Sophia and the painter; and ambitions, desires and dreams breed an intricate deception and a reckless gamble. (From Vintage)
Tom Stoppard wrote the screenplay for the film adaptation of Tulip Fever, which stars Alicia Vikander, Dane DeHaan and Judi Dench. The film is coming to theatres in August 2017.
We are eating dinner, my husband and I. A shred of leek is caught in his beard. I watch it move up and down as he chews; it is like an insect caught in the grass. I watch it idly, for I am a young woman and live simply, in the present. I have not yet died and been reborn. I have not yet died a second time - for in the eyes of the world this will be considered my second death. In my end is my beginning, the eel curls round and swallows its own tail. And in the beginning I am still alive, and young, though my husband is old. We lift our wine flutes and drink. Words are etched on my glass: 'Mankind's hopes are fragile glass and life therefore also short,' a scratched homily through the sinking liquid.
From Tulip Fever by Deborah Moggach ©2012. Published by Vintage.