Before writing her critically acclaimed debut, Jessie Burton pursued a successful acting career appearing at the Donmar Warehouse, the National Theatre and the Old Vic in Bristol.
The Miniaturist is set in Amsterdam in the 17th century and tells the story of Nella, an eighteen year old girl who is married off to a rich merchant, Johannes. As a wedding present Johannes gives his bride an exact miniature replica of the extravagant house in which they live. Furnishing her gift with the assistance of a mysterious miniaturist, Nella begins to notice parallels between the goings on in her model house and developments in her own life.
Jessie creates original, complex female characters, inspired by her own feminism and the work of her favourite authors including Margaret Atwood and Alice Munro. Her debut was inspired by a visit to the Reijksmuseum in Amsterdam, where she was shocked to learn that a miniature house owned by a merchant’s wife had cost the same and taken as long to build as an actual 17th century residence. The Miniaturist has been praised by author Deborah Moggach as 'a remarkable debut - complex, involving and deeply atmospheric.'