Alexandre Dumass novels are notable for their suspense and excitement, their foul deeds, hairsbreadth escapes, and glorious victories. In The Black Tulip, the real hero is no musketeer but a flower. The novel, a deceptively simple story, is set in Holland in 1672 during the amazing tulipmania of the seventeenth century that brought wealth to some and ruin to many. The story weaves the historical events surrounding the brutal murder of John de Witte and his brother Cornelius into a tale of romantic love. The novel is also a timeless political allegory in which Dumas, drawing on the violence and crimes of history, makes his case against tyranny and puts all his energies into creating a symbol of justice and tolerance: the fateful tulipa negra.