"A REFUSAL TO LAMENT THE LOSS OF INNOCENCE": FIRST AMERICAN EDITIONS OF PHILIP PULLMAN'S HIS DARK MATERIALS TRILOGY, SIGNED BY HIM IN TWO VOLUMES, TOGETHER WITH LYRA'S OXFORD
PULLMAN, Philip. The Golden Compass. WITH: The Subtle Knife. WITH: The Amber Spyglass. WITH: Lyra's Oxford. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1996-2003. Together, four volumes. Octavo, original half navy cloth gilt (Books I, II), illustrated paper boards (Book III), original dust jackets. Lyra's Oxford: 12mo, original pictorial red cloth, mounted cover illustration. $2500.
First American editions of Pullman's celebrated trilogy—the second two books signed by Pullman on the title pages—together with the companion volume, Lyra's Oxford.
A former schoolteacher and accomplished playwright, Pullman followed several historical and realistic novels with this literate, sophisticated series, "perhaps the most highly acclaimed work of fantasy for young adults published in the 1990s… The Dark Materials series is filled with moral ambiguity rather than clear-cut didacticism, and readers as well as [protagonist] Lyra must grapple with the difficult questions raised by the story" (Fantasy and Horror 7-311). "Initially… [Pullman] simply planned to infuse his story with Miltonian atmosphere… Soon, however, Milton's theme, the Fall of Man, crept into the novel… [Pullman explains,] 'My story resolved itself into an account of the necessity of growing up, and a refusal to lament the loss of innocence'" (The New Yorker). The final installment, The Amber Spyglass, became the first children's novel ever to win the Whitbread Book of the Year Award (2001). The Golden Compass first published in Britain in 1995 as Northern Lights; other volumes published in Britain in the same years, under the same titles.
Text of Lyra's Oxford with slightest toning to edges. A fine and desirable set, signed in two volumes.