|Behind the scenes|
Jessica Whitwell was a High level magician, a minister in the British Government, and the once mentor to the story's second protagonist, Nathaniel. She was considered the most powerful magician during her time. She employed the help of the afrit Shubit.
Jessica's success, an event before Nathaniel's story, was recounted by Mrs. Underwood. She defeated a group of Czech infiltrators who summoned a marid against her. She made a Void and sucked in the marid.
Jessica Whitwell first appeared in the The Amulet of Samarkand, where she interrogated Bartimaeus in the tower of London with Sholto Pinn, the magician owner of Pinn's Accoutrements. She is revealed here to be the Minister of Security, and the operator of the torturous Mournful Orbs, one of which Bartimaeus is inside. She leaves, along with Sholto, to let Bartimaeus consider his position, as she makes the Orb constantly shrink into nothing.
She would later appear at the manor house where Simon Lovelace planned his Coup D'état, and imprisoned Nathaniel within a spell moments before Lovelace summoned Rumuthra. She was one of the first magicians to retaliate against Lovelace, summoning her Afrit, Shubit, to attack Lovelace, though the attack failed. She was saved along with the majority of the Ministers by Nathaniel, and took him on as her apprentice.
When she appeared in The Golem's Eye, she praised Nathaniel, now John Mandrake, on his magical prowess, and gave him a job in the Ministry of Internal Affairs under Julius Tallow. She assigned him the job of catching the Resistance, and then later to investigate the attack on Piccadilly Street. By the time of the Golem's first attacks, she warned Nathaniel that he had made an enemy in Duvall. Upon discovering the possibility that the attack on Piccadilly and later the British Museum could be the work of a Golem, she sent Mandrake to Prague to try and find the source of it. By the time he returned, her position as Security Minister had been usurped by the Police Chief, Henry Duvall, and had become thoroughly displeased with Mandrake, threatening that she would not help him until he sorted himself out. When Mandrake managed to talk his way out of the Tower of London later on, she confronted him afterwards, and told him she wanted nothing more to do with him, as she knew he had been working to better himself at her expense.
At the end of book, she was proclaiming loudly of her role in his success over the Golem and Duvall.
In the third book Ptolemy's Gate, she is a part of the Council, though she is currently out of favour. Taking implications from Carl Mortenson none too well, she threatens him with a nimbus of crackling energy at one Council meeting. She is not mentioned much during the book, except at the end during the Coup of Quentin Makepeace. During the Great Spirit Rebellion, she is the only magician apart from Mandrake and Farrar to stand up to the spirits. Defying the Spirit Lord Nouda openly, she summoned her Afrit, Shubit, and attempted to escape while Shubit let off a volley of attacks. She was killed when Lord Nouda shot a clumsy number of lightning bolts all over the room, one breaking easily through her shield and striking her through the back. Her intervention unwittingly provided a necessary distraction, allowing Nathaniel and Kitty Jones the time to escape and enact their respective plans to bring about the fall of Nouda and the other rogue spirits.
Jessica Whitwell is possibly one of the most clear sighted individuals in the book. Very aware of the magician system, she exercises her considerable magical and political power efficiently and safely. She is extremely strict, very professional in her mannerisms, and above all; powerful. Nathaniel suspected that she was the most magically powerful individual in the British Government, and perhaps the world. Whitwell was also courageous, being the only magician in the Government apart from Nathaniel to stand up to the mighty Spirit, Nouda. Though she made a brave attempt to escape she was killed by one of Nouda's powerful, if badly aimed, lightning bolts.
Jessica was described as being bone thin, with cropped white hair and a sharp, very cold, voice. Her nails were apparently long. Bartimaeus once remarked on this thin anatomy by saying that he was surprised she didn't light on fire when she crossed her legs.