The Miniaturist

Published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson on 9th January 2003

After decades of war, Hindustan basked in the shadow of peace. Agra itself seemed secure. The city, rebuilt in the image of each of its conquerors, was a citadel of red-hewn stone. It is written in the books of Hindustan that the invaders were drawn not to the city but to its river, the Jamuna, to quench their armies after hard campaigns over mountains and deserts. It is written that the river came from a mountain too cold for humans. It blessed the soul of Agra, but brought with it lassitude and melancholia, favouring only those of like temperament…

Under the Mughals, Agra became the world. And painting became the language of love.

Kunal Basu’s new novel blends history and fiction to tell the story of the most gifted artist of his age, the young and mischievous Bihzad, court painter in the reign of the great Mughal emperor Akbar. It takes the reader on a voyage full of wonders to the dangerous and seductive world of 16th century India.