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The Black Tulip is a historical novel written by Alexandre Dumas, père. The story begins with a historical event - the 1672 lynching of the Dutch Grand Pensionary (roughly equivalent to a modern Prime Minister) Johan de Witt and his brother Cornelis, by a wild mob of their own countrymen - considered by many as one of the most painful episodes in Dutch history, described by Dumas with a dramatic intensity. The main plot line, involving fictional characters, takes place in the following eighteen months; only gradually does the reader understand its connection with the killing of the de Witt brothers. The city of Haarlem, Netherlands has set a prize of 100,000 guilders to the person who can grow a black tulip, sparking competition between the country's best gardeners to win the money, honour and fame... 

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