“A REFUSAL TO LAMENT THE LOSS OF INNOCENCE”: PHILIP PULLMAN’S HIS DARK MATERIALS TRILOGY, FIRST EDITIONS SIGNED BY HIM IN ALL THREE VOLUMES
PULLMAN, Philip. His Dark Materials: Northern Lights. WITH: The Subtle Knife. WITH: The Amber Spyglass. London: Scholastic Publications, (1995, 1997, 2000). Together three volumes. Octavo, original cloth, original dust jackets. Housed in a custom clamshell box. $13,000.
First editions of Pullman’s celebrated trilogy—including the very scarce first volume, Northern Lights—each volume signed by Pullman on the title page.
A former schoolteacher and an 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—in part, certainly, because it can easily be enjoyed by older readers as well. The alternative 20th-century world Pullman creates is extremely imaginative, including creatures as diverse as water gypsies, witches and armored bears… 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—'the grandeur, the nobility, the overwhelming magnitude of ambition and imaginative power.' 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). Volume I, Northern Lights (renamed The Golden Compass for the American edition) earned a 1996 Carnegie Award, "the most prestigious United Kingdom award for children's literature" (Clute & Grant, 791); and the final installment, The Amber Spyglass, became in 2001 the first children's novel ever to win the Whitbread Book of the Year Award. Each volume signed by Pullman on the title page. With two bookplates signed by Pullman, two bookmarks from the 2003 stage adaptation and publisher's excerpt from The Amber Spyglass laid in. The Amber Spyglass dust jacket with bookstore price sticker to rear panel.
A fine set, desirable signed in each volume by the author.