The book tells about a young man with a lot of money who grows flowers in his spare time, and tries to grow a black tulip. His name is Cornelius Van Baerle. He wants to grow the black tulip because there is a big prize offered for the first man who can grow a black tulip. The prize is 100,000 dutch money. Cornelius’s neighbor, whose name is Isaac Boxtel, is also a tulip grower and he is jealous and is afraid that Cornelius will succeed to grow the black tulip before him and will get the prize before him, so he goes to the government’s office and tells that Cornelius spoke and collaborated with government criminal, calls Cornelius De Witt, stories without any truths. Cornelius Van Baerle is thrown into prison. After a while in the prison, he meets the jailer’s daughter, Rosa, and falls in love for her.
He tells her about his wish to win and get the prize for the black tulip and she decides to help him to grow the black tulip, and this tulip is the proof of Cornelius’s innocent. After many tries to raise the black tulip, Rosa is able to bring a new black tulip to show to Cornelius, they send a message to President of Flower Growers of the same area, and write that they are able to grow the tulip. The President accepts the post, but at the same time the black tulip is stolen by Isaac Boxtel. Finally, Rosa manages to convince the prince and the president of Flower Growers that she and Cornelius are the ones who raised the black tulip and the money winners. The story ends with the wedding of Cornelius and Rosa Part of this story bases on things that happened in Holland history.
The brothers de Witt were real people. Johan de Witt was Grand Pensionary of Holland and Cornelius de Witt was inspector of dikes at the Hague. They were in good connection with king of francs and the people of Holland thought that the confections were too good so they didn’t want them as ladders and want incited of them, William prince of orange. The people furs them too sign in a paper that they agreed to William’s lidding. One of the brothers wrote on this paper that his sign was by furs, and the people of Holland were very angry about it. Someone told stories about Cornelius and he was judged to be sending away. It wasn’t enough for the people and they killed Cornelius and his brother.