His Dark Materials is an epic trilogy of fantasy novels by Sir Philip Pullman consisting of Northern Lights (1995) (published as The Golden Compass in North America), The Subtle Knife (1997), and The Amber Spyglass (2000). It follows the coming of age of two children, Lyra Belacqua and Will Parry, as they wander through a series of parallel universes. The novels have won a number of awards, including the Carnegie Medal in 1995 for Northern Lights and the 2001 Whitbread Book of the Year for The Amber Spyglass.
His Dark Materials has been marketed to young adults, though Pullman wrote with no target audience in mind. The fantasy elements include witches and armoured polar bears; the trilogy also alludes to concepts from physics, philosophy and theology. It functions in part as a retelling and inversion of John Milton's epic Paradise Lost, with Pullman commending humanity for what Milton saw as its most tragic failing, original sin. The series has attracted controversy for its criticism of religion.
The London Royal National Theatre staged a two-part adaptation of the series in 2003–2004. New Line Cinema released a film adaptation of Northern Lights, The Golden Compass, in 2007. Pullman followed the trilogy with two shorter books set in the same universe, Lyra's Oxford (2003) and Once Upon a Time in the North (2008). La Belle Sauvage, the first book in a new trilogy, The Book of Dust, was published on 19 October 2017.
|His Dark Materials|
Cover of Scholastic collected edition, 2008
|Author||Sir Philip Pullman|
|Media type||Print (hardback & paperback)|
The trilogy takes place across a multiverse, moving between many parallel worlds. In Northern Lights, the story takes place in a world with some similarities to our own; dress-style resembles that of the UK's Victorian era, and technology has not evolved to include automobiles or fixed-wing aircraft, while zeppelins feature as a notable mode of transport.
The dominant religion has parallels with Christianity, and is at certain points in the series (especially in the later books) explicitly named so; while Adam and Eve are referenced in the text (particularly in The Subtle Knife, in which Dust tells Mary Malone that Lyra Belacqua is a new Eve to whom she is to be the serpent), Jesus is not. The Church (called the "Magisterium", the same name as the authority of the Catholic Church) exerts a strong control over society and has some of the appearance and organisation of the Catholic Church, but one in which the centre of power had moved from Rome to Geneva, moved there by Pullman's fictional "Pope John Calvin" (Geneva was the home of the historical John Calvin).
In The Subtle Knife, the story moves between the world of the first novel, our own world, and in another world, the city of Cittàgazze. In The Amber Spyglass the story crosses through an array of diverse worlds.
Into this wilde Abyss,
The Womb of nature and perhaps her Grave,
Of neither Sea, nor Shore, nor Air, nor Fire,
But all these in their pregnant causes mixt
Confus'dly, and which thus must ever fight,
Unless th' Almighty Maker them ordain
His dark materials to create more Worlds,
Into this wilde Abyss the warie fiend
Stood on the brink of Hell and look'd a while,
Pondering his Voyage; for no narrow frith
He had to cross.
— Paradise Lost, Book 2, lines 910–920
Pullman earlier proposed to name the series The Golden Compasses, also a reference to Paradise Lost, where they denote God's circle-drawing instrument used to establish and set the bounds of all creation:
|God as architect, wielding the golden compasses, by William Blake (left) and Jesus as geometer in a 13th-century medieval illuminated manuscript.|
Then staid the fervid wheels, and in his hand
He took the golden compasses, prepared
In God's eternal store, to circumscribe
This universe, and all created things:
One foot he centered, and the other turned
Round through the vast profundity obscure
— Paradise Lost, Book 7, lines 224–229
Despite the confusion with the other common meaning of compass (the navigational instrument) The Golden Compass became the title of the American edition of Northern Lights (the book features an "alethiometer", a rare truth-telling device that one might describe as a "golden compass").
In Jordan College, Oxford, 12-year-old Lyra Belacqua and her dæmon Pantalaimon witness the Master attempt to poison Lord Asriel, Lyra's rebellious and adventuring uncle. She warns Asriel, then spies on his lecture about Dust, mysterious elementary particles. Lyra's friend Roger is kidnapped by child abductors known as the "Gobblers". Lyra is adopted by a charming socialite, Mrs Coulter. The Master secretly entrusts her with an alethiometer, a truth-telling device. Lyra discovers that Coulter is the leader of the Gobblers, a secret Church-funded project, which is abducting children. Lyra flees to the Gyptians, canal-faring nomads, whose children have also been abducted. They reveal to Lyra that Asriel and Coulter are actually her parents.
The Gyptians form an expedition to the Arctic with Lyra to rescue the children. Lyra recruits Iorek Byrnison, an armoured bear, and his human aeronaut friend, Lee Scoresby. She also learns that Lord Asriel has been exiled, guarded by the bears on Svalbard. Near Bolvangar, the Gobbler research station, Lyra discovers an abandoned child who has been cut from his dæmon; the Gobblers are experimenting on children by severing the bond between human and dæmon. Lyra is captured and taken to Bolvangar, where she is reunited with Roger. Coulter tells Lyra that the intercision prevents the onset of troubling adult emotions. Lyra and the children are rescued by Scoresby, Iorek, the Gyptians, and Serafina Pekkala's flying witch clan. Lyra falls out of Scoresby's balloon and is taken by the panserbjørne to the castle of their usurping king, Iofur Raknison. She tricks Iofur into fighting Iorek, who arrives with the others to rescue Lyra. Iorek kills Iofur and takes his place as the rightful king.
Lyra, Iorek, and Roger travel to Svalbard, where Asriel has continued his Dust research in exile. He tells Lyra that the Church believes Dust is the basis of sin, and plans to visit the other universes and destroy its source. He severs Roger from his dæmon, killing him and releasing enough energy to create an opening to a parallel universe. Lyra determines to stop Asriel and discover the source of Dust for herself.
Lyra journeys through Asriel's opening between worlds to Cittàgazze, an otherworldly city whose denizens have discovered a clean path between worlds at a far earlier point in time than others in the storyline. Cittàgazze's reckless use of the technology has released soul-eating Spectres, to which children are immune, rendering much of the world incapable of transit by adults. Here Lyra meets Will Parry, a twelve-year-old boy from our world. Will, who recently killed a man to protect his ailing mother, has stumbled into Cittàgazze in an effort to locate his long-lost father. Venturing into Will's (our) world, Lyra meets Dr. Mary Malone, a physicist who is researching what she calls Shadow Particles, which are the same as Lyra's Dust. Lyra encourages Dr. Malone to attempt to communicate with the particles, and when she does they tell her to travel into the Cittàgazze world.
Will becomes the bearer of the eponymous Subtle Knife, a tool forged 300 years ago by Cittàgazze's scientists from the same materials used to make Bolvangar's silver guillotine. One edge of the knife can divide even subatomic particles and form subtle divisions in space, creating portals between worlds; the other edge easily cuts through any form of matter. After meeting with witches from Lyra's world, they journey on.
Meanwhile, back in Lyra's world, Lee Scoresby seeks out Stanislaus Grumman. When Scoresby finds him, Grumman insists on being taken through the opening into the Cittàgazze world in Scoresby's balloon. Scoresby dies defending Grumman from the forces of the Church. Grumman turns out to be Will's long-lost father and he succeeds in reuniting with his son before he is murdered by a witch who loved him but was turned down. After his father's death, Will discovers that Lyra has been kidnapped and he is approached by two angels requesting his aid.
The Amber Spyglass tells of Lyra's kidnapping by her mother, Mrs. Coulter, an agent of the Magisterium who has learned of the prophecy identifying Lyra as the next Eve. A pair of angels, Balthamos and Baruch, inform Will that he must travel with them to give the Subtle Knife to Lyra's father, Lord Asriel, as a weapon against The Authority. Will ignores the angels; with the help of a local girl named Ama, the Bear King Iorek Byrnison, and Lord Asriel's Gallivespian spies, the Chevalier Tialys and the Lady Salmakia, he rescues Lyra from the cave where her mother has hidden her from the Magisterium, which has become determined to kill her before she yields to temptation and sin like the original Eve.
Will, Lyra, Tialys and Salmakia journey to the Land of the Dead, temporarily parting with their dæmons to release the ghosts from their captivity. Mary Malone, a scientist from Will's world interested in "shadows" (or Dust in Lyra's world), travels to a land populated by strange sentient creatures called Mulefa. There she comes to understand the true nature of Dust, which is both created by and nourishes life which has become self-aware. Lord Asriel and the reformed Mrs. Coulter work to destroy the Authority's Regent Metatron. They succeed, but themselves suffer annihilation in the process by pulling Metatron into the abyss. The Authority himself dies of his own frailty when Will and Lyra free him from the crystal prison wherein Metatron had trapped him, able to do so because an attack by cliff-ghasts kills or drives away the prison's protectors. When Will and Lyra emerge from the land of the dead, they find their dæmons. The book ends with Will and Lyra falling in love but realising they cannot live together in the same world, because all windows — except one from the underworld to the world of the Mulefa — must be closed to prevent the loss of Dust, because with every window opening, a Spectre would be created and that meant Will must never use the knife again. Also because each of them can only live full lives in their native worlds. This is the temptation that Mary was meant to give them; to help them fall in love and then choose whether they should stay together or not. During the return, Mary learns how to see her own dæmon, who takes the form of a black Alpine chough. Lyra loses her ability to intuitively read the alethiometer and determines to learn how to use her conscious mind to achieve the same effect.
All humans in Lyra's world, including witches, have a dæmon. It is the physical manifestation of a person's 'inner being', soul or spirit. It takes the form of a creature (moth, bird, dog, monkey, snake, etc.) and is usually the opposite sex to its human counterpart. The dæmons of children have the ability to change form - from one creature to another - but towards the end of a child's puberty, their dæmon "settles" into a permanent form, which reflects the person's personality. When a person dies, the dæmon dies too. But if the dæmon dies, the person does not. Armoured bears, cliff ghasts and other creatures do not have dæmons. An armoured bear's armour is his soul.
One distinctive aspect of Pullman's story is the presence of "dæmons" (pronounced "demon"). In the birth-universe of the story's protagonist Lyra Belacqua, a human individual's inner-self manifests itself throughout life as an animal-shaped "dæmon", that almost always stays near its human counterpart. During the childhood of its associated human, a dæmon can change its animal shape at will, but with the onset of adolescence it settles into a fixed, final animal form.
Pullman has identified three major literary influences on His Dark Materials: the essay On the Marionette Theatre by Heinrich von Kleist, the works of William Blake, and, most important, John Milton's Paradise Lost, from which the trilogy derives its title. In his introduction, he adapts a famous description of Milton by Blake to quip that he (Pullman) "is of the Devil's party and does know it".
Critics have compared the trilogy with The Chronicles of Narnia, by C. S. Lewis. Pullman however has characterised the Narnia series as "blatantly racist", "monumentally disparaging of women", "immoral", and "evil". The trilogy has also been compared with such fantasy books as Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson and A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle.
The Amber Spyglass won the 2001 Whitbread Book of the Year award, a prestigious British literary award. This is the first time that such an award has been bestowed on a book from their "children's literature" category.
The first volume, Northern Lights, won the Carnegie Medal for children's fiction in the UK in 1995. In 2007, the judges of the CILIP Carnegie Medal for children's literature selected it as one of the ten most important children's novels of the previous 70 years. In June 2007 it was voted, in an online poll, as the best Carnegie Medal winner in the seventy-year history of the award, the Carnegie of Carnegies.
On 25 May 2005, Pullman received the Swedish government's Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award for children's and youth literature (sharing it with Japanese illustrator Ryōji Arai). Swedes regard this prize as second only to the Nobel Prize in Literature; it has a value of 5 million Swedish Kronor or approximately £385,000.
The trilogy came third in the 2003 BBC's Big Read, a national poll of viewers' favourite books, after The Lord of the Rings and Pride and Prejudice. At the time, only His Dark Materials and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire amongst the top five works lacked a screen-adaptation (the film version of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, which came fifth, was released in 2005).
Cynthia Grenier, in the Catholic Culture, said: "In the world of Pullman, God Himself (the Authority) is a merciless tyrant. His Church is an instrument of oppression, and true heroism consists of overthrowing both". William A. Donohue of the Catholic League has described Pullman's trilogy as "atheism for kids". Pullman said of Donohue's call for a boycott, "Why don't we trust readers? [...] Oh, it causes me to shake my head with sorrow that such nitwits could be loose in the world".
In a November 2002 interview, Pullman was asked to respond to the Catholic Herald calling his books "the stuff of nightmares" and "worthy of the bonfire". He replied: "My response to that was to ask the publishers to print it in the next book, which they did! I think it's comical, it's just laughable". The original remark in Catholic Herald (which was "there are numerous candidates that seem to me to be far more worthy of the bonfire than Harry Potter") was written in the context of parents in South Carolina pressing their Board of Education to ban the Harry Potter books.
Pullman expressed surprise over what he considered to be a relatively low level of criticism for His Dark Materials on religious grounds, saying "I've been surprised by how little criticism I've got. Harry Potter's been taking all the flak... Meanwhile, I've been flying under the radar, saying things that are far more subversive than anything poor old Harry has said. My books are about killing God". Others support this interpretation, arguing that the series, while clearly anticlerical, is also anti-theological because the death of god is represented as a fundamentally unimportant question.
Pullman found support from some other Christians, most notably from Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury (spiritual head of the Anglican Communion), who argued that Pullman's attacks focus on the constraints and dangers of dogmatism and the use of religion to oppress, not on Christianity itself. Williams also recommended the His Dark Materials series of books for inclusion and discussion in Religious Education classes, and stated that "To see large school-parties in the audience of the Pullman plays at the National Theatre is vastly encouraging". Pullman and Williams took part in a National Theatre platform debate a few days later to discuss myth, religious experience and its representation in the arts.
Pullman renames various common objects or ideas of our world with archaic terms or new words of his own. Below are some of these renamings and new words.
Pullman also uses archaic or adapted names for otherwise familiar peoples, regions and places.
The first of two short books, Lyra's Oxford takes place two years after the timeline of The Amber Spyglass. A witch who seeks revenge for her son's death in the war against the Authority draws Lyra, now 15, into a trap. Birds mysteriously rescue her and Pan, and she makes the acquaintance of an alchemist, formerly the witch's lover.
This novella serves as a prequel to His Dark Materials and focuses on the Texan aeronaut Lee Scoresby as a young man. After winning his hot-air balloon, Scoresby heads to the North, landing on the Arctic island Novy Odense, where he is pulled into a conflict between the oil tycoon Larsen Manganese, the corrupt mayoral candidate Ivan Poliakov, and his longtime enemy from the Dakota Country, Pierre McConville. The story tells of Lee and Iorek's first meeting and of how they overcame these enemies.
A short story originally released exclusively as an audiobook by Audible in December 2014, narrated by actor Bill Nighy. The story alludes to the early life of Mrs Coulter and is set in the senior common room of an Oxford college.
In August 2007, Pullman said: "Lyra's Oxford was a dark red book. Once Upon a Time in the North will be a dark blue book. There still remains a green book. And that will be Will's book. Eventually."
BBC Radio 4 broadcast a radio play adaptation of His Dark Materials in 3 episodes, each lasting 2.5 hours. It was first broadcast in 2003, and re-broadcast in both 2008-9 and in 2017, and was and released by the BBC on CD and cassette. Cast included Terence Stamp as Lord Asriel and Lulu Popplewell as Lyra.
Nicholas Hytner directed a theatrical version of the books as a two-part, six-hour performance for London's Royal National Theatre in December 2003, running until March 2004. It starred Anna Maxwell-Martin as Lyra, Dominic Cooper as Will, Timothy Dalton as Lord Asriel and Patricia Hodge as Mrs Coulter with dæmon puppets designed by Michael Curry. The play was enormously successful and was revived (with a different cast and a revised script) for a second run between November 2004 and April 2005. It has since been staged by several other theatres in the UK and elsewhere.
A new production was staged at Birmingham Repertory Theatre in March and April 2009, directed by Rachel Kavanaugh and Sarah Esdaile and starring Amy McAllister as Lyra. This version toured the UK and included a performance in Pullman's hometown of Oxford. Pullman made a cameo appearance much to the delight of the audience and Oxford media. The production finished up at West Yorkshire Playhouse in June 2009.
New Line Cinema released a film adaptation, titled The Golden Compass, on 7 December 2007. Directed by Chris Weitz, the production had a mixed reception, and though worldwide sales were strong, its U.S. earnings were not as high as the studio had hoped.
The filmmakers obscured the explicitly Biblical character of the Authority to avoid offending viewers. Weitz declared that he would not do the same for the planned sequels. "Whereas The Golden Compass had to be introduced to the public carefully", he said, "the religious themes in the second and third books can't be minimised without destroying the spirit of these books. ...I will not be involved with any 'watering down' of books two and three, since what I have been working towards the whole time in the first film is to be able to deliver on the second and third". In May 2006, Pullman said of a version of the script that "all the important scenes are there and will have their full value"; in March 2008, he said of the finished film that "a lot of things about it were good.... Nothing can bring out all that's in the book. There are always compromises".
The Golden Compass film stars Dakota Blue Richards as Lyra, Nicole Kidman as Mrs. Coulter, and Daniel Craig as Lord Asriel. Eva Green plays Serafina Pekkala, Ian McKellen voices Iorek Byrnison, and Freddie Highmore voices Pantalaimon.
Whilst Sam Elliott blamed the Catholic Church's opposition for forcing the cancellation of any adaptations of the rest of the trilogy, The Guardian's film critic Stuart Heritage believed poor reviews may have been the real reason.
In November 2015, the BBC announced that it had commissioned a television adaptation of His Dark Materials, to be produced by Bad Wolf and New Line Cinema. The eight-part adaptation had a planned premiere date in 2017, however in April 2017, writer Jack Thorne said to the RadioTimes that the series was still in pre-production. He said, "It's at an exciting point where we're just … trying to work out what works," and that he wanted to ensure that they were being loyal to the books. By July 2018, Dafne Keen had been provisionally cast as Lyra Belacqua, Ruth Wilson as Marisa Coulter, James McAvoy as Lord Asriel, Lin-Manuel Miranda as Lee Scoresby and Clarke Peters as the Master of Jordan College. It has been set to release in late 2019, but the specific date has not been announced. 
Random House produced unabridged audiobooks of each His Dark Materials novel, read by Pullman, with parts read by actors including Jo Wyatt, Steven Webb, Peter England, Stephen Thorne and Douglas Blackwell.
And the latest script, from Chris Weitz, is truly excellent; I know, because I`ve just this morning read it. I think it's a model of how to condense a story of 400 pages into a script of 110 or so. All the important scenes are there and will have their full value.
In Philip Pullman's writings, Dust or Rusakov Particles are elementary particles associated with consciousness that are integral to the plot. Dust features in the multiverse written about in His Dark Materials and The Book of Dust. Because Dust is attracted to consciousness, especially after maturation, the Church within the series associates it with original sin and seeks its end. Pullman described Dust in a 2017 interview as “an analogy of consciousness, and consciousness is this extraordinary property we have as human beings”.Dæmon (His Dark Materials)
A dæmon is a type of fictional being in the Philip Pullman fantasy trilogy His Dark Materials. Dæmons are the external physical manifestation of a person's 'inner-self' that takes the form of an animal. Dæmons have human intelligence, are capable of human speech—regardless of the form they take—and usually behave as though they are independent of their humans. Pre-pubescent children's dæmons can change form voluntarily, almost instantaneously, to become any creature, real or imaginary. During their adolescence a person's dæmon undergoes "settling", an event in which that person's dæmon permanently and involuntarily assumes the form of the animal which the person most resembles in character. Dæmons are usually of the opposite sex to their human, though same-sex dæmons do exist.
Although dæmons mimic the appearance and behaviour of the animals they resemble perfectly, dæmons are not true animals, and humans, other dæmons, and true animals are able to distinguish them on sight. The faculty or quality that makes this possible is not explained in the books, but it is demonstrated extensively, and is reliable enough to allow humans to distinguish a bird-shaped dæmon within a flock of birds in flight.
Dæmons frequently interact with each other in ways that mirror the behaviour of their humans, such as fighting one another when their humans are fighting, or nuzzling one another when their humans embrace, and such contact between dæmons is unremarkable. However, human contact with another individual's dæmon is taboo.His Dark Materials (TV series)
His Dark Materials is an upcoming 2019 British fantasy adventure series based on the novel series of the same name by Philip Pullman. It is being produced by New Line Cinema and Jane Tranter and Julie Gardner of Bad Wolf for BBC One and HBO, with the latter handling international distribution. Before airing, the show was renewed for a second series of eight episodes.On 27 July 2018, BBC and Bad Wolf revealed the cast and crew for the series.His Dark Materials (play)
His Dark Materials is a play written by British playwright Nicholas Wright, adapted from the Philip Pullman fantasy novel trilogy of the same title. The production premiered in the Royal National Theatre's Olivier Theatre, London, in 2003. Due to the complications in staging a piece containing the narrative of three books, the play was performed in two parts in alternate performances. The play is published by Nick Hern Books.Juvenile fantasy
Juvenile fantasy is children's literature with fantasy elements: fantasy intended for readers not yet adult.
The protagonists are usually children or teens who have unique abilities, gifts, possessions or even allies that allow them to face powerful adversaries. Harry Potter is a powerful young wizard, one of the children of The Dark Is Rising series is an immature Old One with magical abilities, and in the His Dark Materials series the children have magical items and animal allies. The plot frequently incorporates a bildungsroman.
In the earlier part of the 20th century, C. S. Lewis noted that fantasy was more accepted in juvenile literature, and therefore a writer interested in fantasy often wrote in it to find an audience.La Belle Sauvage
La Belle Sauvage is a fantasy novel by Philip Pullman published in 2017, the first volume in a planned trilogy named The Book of Dust. Set around 12 years before the start of His Dark Materials, Pullman's previous trilogy, the story covers the events leading up to Lyra Belacqua's arrival as a six-month-old baby at Jordan College, Oxford.List of His Dark Materials characters
This is a list of characters from Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy and its successor, the Book of Dust trilogy.List of fictional angels
This is a list of angels in fiction. For angels in theology, see the list of theological angels.Locations in His Dark Materials
This article covers the fictional locations in the His Dark Materials trilogy and related works by Philip Pullman.Lyra's Oxford
Lyra's Oxford is a short book by Philip Pullman depicting an episode involving the heroine of His Dark Materials, Pullman's best-selling trilogy. Lyra's Oxford is set when Lyra Belacqua is 15, two years after the end of the trilogy.The book consists mainly of an illustrated short story, "Lyra and the Birds". A fold-out map of "Oxford by Train, River and Zeppelin" is bound in the book, a fictional map of the Oxford that exists in Lyra's world. It also includes some advertisements for books and travellers' catalogues. Two pages from a Baedeker published in Lyra's world (including entries for the Eagle Ironworks, the Oxford Canal, the Fell Press and the Oratory of St Barnabas the Chymist, all in the Jericho area of Lyra's Oxford), a postcard from the character Mary Malone, and a brochure for the cruise ship Zenobia are also included. The postcard contains four images of sites in the His Dark Materials trilogy: the physics lab in which Mary Malone works, the house occupied by Lord Boreal, the row of hornbeam trees where Will first discovered a window between the worlds, and the bench where Lyra and Will have pledged to visit each other in spirit once a year.
The preface by Pullman begins:
"This book contains a story and several other things. The other things might be connected with the story, or they might not; they might be connected to stories that haven't appeared yet. It's hard to tell."Lyra Belacqua
Lyra Belacqua (), also known as Lyra Silvertongue, is the heroine of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy. Lyra is a young girl who inhabits a universe parallel to our own. Brought up in the cloistered world of Jordan College, Oxford, she finds herself embroiled in a cosmic war between Lord Asriel on the one side, and the first angel to come into being, called The Authority, and his Regent, called Metatron, on the other.Marisa Coulter
Marisa Coulter (née van Zee) is a fictional character in Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy and one of the main antagonists of Northern Lights. She is the former lover of Lord Asriel and is usually called 'Mrs Coulter'.Northern Lights (novel)
Northern Lights (known as The Golden Compass in North America and some other countries) is a young-adult fantasy novel by Philip Pullman, published by Scholastic UK in 1995. Set in a parallel universe, it features the journey of Lyra Belacqua to the Arctic in search of her missing friend, Roger Parslow, and her imprisoned uncle, Lord Asriel, who has been conducting experiments with a mysterious substance known as "Dust".
Northern Lights is the first book of a trilogy, His Dark Materials (1995 to 2000). Alfred A. Knopf published the first US edition April 1996, entitled The Golden Compass. Under that title it has been adapted as a 2007 feature film by Hollywood and as a companion video game.
Pullman won the 1995 Carnegie Medal from the Library Association, recognising the year's outstanding British children's book. For the 70th anniversary of the Medal, it was named one of the top ten winning works by a panel, composing the ballot for a public election of the all-time favourite. Northern Lights won the public vote from that shortlist and was thus named the all-time "Carnegie of Carnegies" on 21 June 2007.Philip Pullman
Sir Philip Pullman, CBE, FRSL, is an English novelist. He is the author of several best-selling books, including the fantasy trilogy His Dark Materials and the fictionalised biography of Jesus, The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ. In 2008, The Times named Pullman one of the "50 greatest British writers since 1945". In a 2004 poll for the BBC, Pullman was named the eleventh most influential person in British culture.The first book of Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy, Northern Lights, won the 1995 Carnegie Medal from the Library Association, recognising the year's outstanding English-language children's book. For the 70th anniversary of the Medal it was named one of the top ten winning works by a panel, composing the ballot for a public election of the all-time favourite. It won the public vote from that shortlist and was thus named the all-time "Carnegie of Carnegies" in June 2007. It was adapted as a film under the book's US title, The Golden Compass.Races and creatures in His Dark Materials
This is a list of fictional races and creatures in the His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman.The Amber Spyglass
The Amber Spyglass is the third novel in the His Dark Materials trilogy, written by English author Philip Pullman. Published in 2000, it won the 2001 Whitbread Book of the Year award, the first children's novel to do so. It was named Children's Book of the Year at the 2001 British Book Awards, and was the first children's book to be longlisted for the Man Booker Prize.The Book of Dust
The Book of Dust is an as-yet-uncompleted trilogy of fantasy novels by Philip Pullman, which expands Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy. The epic focuses on a battle for free speech and thought against a theocratic totalitarian organisation.
The first book, La Belle Sauvage, was published in October 2017, and is set 12 years before Northern Lights, the first book of the original trilogy. It describes the 11-year-old protagonist Malcolm Polstead's efforts, with a girl named Alice, to protect the baby Lyra Belacqua, the events which left Lyra in the care of Jordan College, the early research by academics and other free-thinkers into Dust, a mysterious subatomic particle related to consciousness, and the origins of Lyra's "alethiometer". The second and third books, as yet unpublished, are described as being set after the events in the original trilogy.
Pullman said the trilogy addresses consciousness: "Perhaps the oldest philosophical question of all: are we matter? Or are we spirit and matter? What is consciousness if there is no spirit? Questions like that are of perennial fascination and they haven’t been solved yet, thank goodness.” He added that the series might be slightly darker than the original, and quipped that it alternatively be titled "His Darker Materials".The Golden Compass (film)
The Golden Compass is a 2007 fantasy adventure film based on Northern Lights, the first novel in Philip Pullman's trilogy His Dark Materials. Written and directed by Chris Weitz, it stars Nicole Kidman, Dakota Blue Richards, Daniel Craig, Sam Elliott, Eva Green, and Ian McKellen. The project was announced in February 2002, but difficulties over the script and the selection of a director caused significant delays. At US$180 million, it was one of New Line Cinema's most expensive projects ever, and its disappointing results in the US contributed to New Line's February 2008 restructuring.The film depicts the adventures of Lyra Belacqua, an orphan living in a parallel universe where a dogmatic ruling power called the Magisterium opposes free inquiry. Children in that universe are being kidnapped by an unknown group called the Gobblers who are supported by the Magisterium. Lyra joins a tribe of sea-farers on a trip to the far North, the land of the armoured polar bears, in search of the missing children.
Before its release, the film received criticism from secularist organisations and fans of the His Dark Materials trilogy for the dilution of elements of the story which were critical of religion, as well as from some religious organisations for the source material's anti-religious themes. The studio ordered significant changes late in post-production, which Weitz later called a "terrible" experience. Although the film's visual effects (which Weitz has called the film's "most successful element") won both a BAFTA and an Academy Award, critical reception was mixed and revenue lower than anticipated.The Subtle Knife
The Subtle Knife, the second book in the His Dark Materials series, is a young-adult fantasy novel written by Philip Pullman and published in 1997. The novel continues the adventures of Lyra Belacqua as she investigates the mysterious Dust phenomenon and searches for her father. Will Parry is introduced as a companion to Lyra, and together they explore the new worlds to which they have both been introduced.
Works by Philip Pullman
|His Dark Materials|
Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials
|The Book of Dust|