Janus Tulp

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Janus Tulp is a Dutch comedy in four acts by Justus van Maurik Jr (1846-1904)[1].

The original text

The play is said to have been inspired by Molière's Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme, and was apparently (also?) based on "Barber Cox, and The Cutting of His Comb", a story by William Makepeace Thackeray (1811 – 1863) published in George Cruikshank's Comic Almanak for 1840.

Van Maurik created "Janus Tulp" the "barbier en aanspreker" ("barber and orator") as a type of wealthy but foolish "Hollandse burgeredelman" (lit "citizen aristocrat").

The play was first performed on 5th November 1877 in the Amsterdam Schouwburg , becoming very popular and frequently performed. The text was published by Scheltema and Holtema, Amsterdam, 1879.

The expression "een Janus Tulp" ("a Janus Tulp") has since become a term for "a fool" in the Netherlands .

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa

1891-1892: Performed in Pretoria by the rederykerskamer Oefening Baart Kunst ("practice brings art").


Facsimile version of the original published text of 1879, Google E-book[2]

ONSTAGE (Online Datasystem of Theatre in Amsterdam from the Golden Age to the present, University of Amsterdam)[3]



Lewis Melville. "The Life of William Makepeace Thackeray" in: Richard Pearson (ed.). 2016. The William Makepeace Thackeray Library: Volume VI. Routledge[4]

F.C.L. Bosman. 1980. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel II, 1856-1912. Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik: pp.203-205

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