Jessie Burton’s The Miniaturist was one of British publishing’s true phenomenons in 2014. The debut novel from Burton, previously an actress, remained in the top 10 hardback best-seller list for over 2 months, is currently in its 3rd week at the top of the paperback UK top 50 and, as of December 2014, has sold over 140,000 copies. In an industry where big hype too often fails and sales are dwindling across the board, booksellers across the land can’t hide their relief at this particular success, especially in the number of books sold in bookshops.
So it was only a matter of time before an adaptation appeared on the cards, and today The Bookseller announced just that. London based Company Pictures were the lucky ones to pick up the option, with plans to turn it into a television series. This route promises a level of freedom the film industry can’t quite promise, and it follows in the footsteps of giants. This year, the BBC will premiere a 6 part adaptation of the epic historical fantasy novel Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, and tonight (yes, tonight) they’ll screen the much-awaited Wolf Hall, adapted from Hilary Mantel’s hugely successful Man Booker Prize winning novel. The latter is also, coincidentally, the brainchild of Company Pictures, so ambitious history-rooted drama is right up their alley.
The Miniaturist was inspired by true events after Burton visited the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and seeing the dollhouse of Petronella Oortman. Upon finding out that this house, a miniature recreation of Oortman’s own home, cost as much to build as a real house at the time, Burton crafted a fictionalised retelling of what would inspire someone to spend such money on something so ostensibly useless. In Bibliodaze’s opinion, The Miniaturist is a rare example of a novel living up to its extreme hype, so we urge you to check it out.