I have been eagerly awaiting The Miniaturist, a three-part series on Masterpiece that airs beginning September 23, 2018. I’m excited to have a copy of the DVD to give away to one winner in the U.S. If you’d like a chance to win, just leave a comment about why you like historical fiction or Masterpiece adaptations in general.
Be sure to comment by midnight (PDT), September 24 for a chance to win. Please note: The giveaway is closed. Congratulations to Denise on winning.
Here’s more info about the miniseries, the book it’s based on, and a trailer.
Golden Age Amsterdam comes alive in all its opulence and repressed sensuality in an
adaptation of Jessie Burton’s bestselling novel The Miniaturist, starring Anya Taylor-
Joy (Split, The Witch), Romola Garai (Churchill’s Secret, The Hour) and Alex Hassell
(Genius: Picasso, Suburbicon). Gorgeously filmed on location in The Netherlands
and the U.K., the three-part drama airs Sundays, September 23 – 30 at 9pm ET on
MASTERPIECE on PBS.
Set in 1686, when the Dutch Republic was one of the world’s richest and religiously
zealous nations, The Miniaturist captures the paradox of extreme wealth combined with
puritanical abhorrence of the pleasure that riches make possible.
Petronella Oortman (Taylor-Joy), called Nella, is the unwitting victim of this clash of
values. A naïve eighteen-year-old from a bankrupt aristocratic family in the provinces,
she is wooed by Johannes Brandt (Hassell), a handsome and prosperous merchant
looking for a wife. The two wed, but he dispenses with nuptial intimacies to depart
immediately on a business trip, arranging for her to join him at his mansion in
Amsterdam a few weeks later.
When Nella arrives, Johannes is still away, leaving her in the care of his grim and
overbearing sister, Marin (Garai), and the household’s two controlling servants: the
housekeeper Cornelia (Squires) and Otto (Essiedu), a former slave who was freed
by Johannes. So begins Nella’s virtual imprisonment in the residence where she had
expected to be in charge.
After Johannes returns, he remains emotionally cool to Nella, giving evasive reasons.
Nonetheless, he shows his affection by presenting her with a singular wedding gift: an
exquisitely crafted cutaway model of the very house where she is now living, and he
instructs her to furnish it as she likes by calling on the services of one of the local
makers of miniature objects—a miniaturist. With nothing else to do, Nella embraces
this odd amusement.
The miniaturist that Nella selects (Berrington) communicates only by letter and with the first order includes items that Nella didn’t request: a tiny cradle, a replica of Johannes’ dog and a miniature upholstered chair exactly like the one where Nella is sitting as she unwraps the package. Without direction, the miniaturist keeps sending new creations, including dolls replicating Johannes, Marin, Cornelia, Otto, and others, with details that hint at closely held secrets.
Amsterdam is a city full of secrets, which Nella proceeds to unlock thanks to clues from her unseen artisan. In a community where authorities regard sugar as sinful, gingerbread men as idolatrous, and certain sexual behaviors as grounds for execution, secrecy can be a life-or-death matter.
Published to wide acclaim in 2014, The Miniaturist is Jessie Burton’s debut novel, inspired by her visits to the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, where an elaborate 17th-century dollhouse is on display. One can’t help but admire the artistry of this antique cabinet—and wonder at the hidden obsessions, incidents, and secrets
that spawned its creation.
Click here to watch the trailer.