Heads up! It's a two part update this week, so there's another page ahead of this one. Click back a page to make sure you see both!
A quick history note: some historians argue that propaganda from Dutch Calvinists exaggerated the impact of tulipmania on Dutch society in an effort to combat avaricious behavior in the burgeoning merchant class, and that its economic and social impact was far less pronounced than the popular narrative suggests.
Anna Pavord's book The Tulip is the version of events I've relied on in conducting background research for this comic, because she tends to be very critical of some of the apocryphal stories that emerged after the tulip bubble popped. For example, the tale of the visiting Englishman who was jailed for eating a valuable bulb he mistook for an onion (not very realistic, but delightful nonetheless, and oft repeated).
I tend to think the "minor economic crisis exaggerated via propaganda" theory is probably right on. The folks who were impacted most significantly by speculation in the tulip market belonged to the same class of people who penned the majority of historical accounts. So class bias almost certainly played a role.
But we'll revisit this topic again shortly...