The His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman has become a massive commercial success. At one time the fantasy fiction stories were outselling the Harry Potter books, and have gained fans not just in its target young adult market but also with older children and adults.
Pullman's writing is much more than just the usual combination of angels, witches and demons (or daemons in Pullman's case). Pullman created an intricate series of parallel worlds in which he examines religion, science and philosophy. The story essentially charts the transition into adulthood of its main characters. To add even greater complexitym Pullman devised a lexicon and vocabulary all of his own - one similar enough to English so that readers can still readily interpret the text.
The trilogy is a reworking of Milton's Paradise Lost. But rather than being a pseudo-religious text that charts man's descent into purgatory, he flips things on his head and openly criticizes religion itself. This has earned some scathing reviews but also support for his attempt to change people's attitudes.
A full, signed set of first editions of his famous trilogy has realized $7,000. Pullman has a number of other notable works to his name. As an example, first editions of Ruby in the Smoke, the first of his Sally Lockhart novels from 1985, can fetch $600.
Beyond writing, Pullman's position as President of the Society of Authors means that he was able to influence change in the literary world. He supported a large number of public campaigns to prevent library closures, lobbied to ensure authors receive royalties for their work, and addressed civil liberty issues.
With successful film adaptations, a refreshed interest in the genre as a whole and some controversial themes, Pullman is likely to be popular for a while yet. For collectors he presents an opportunity to own books by an author who is not only highly acclaimed, but also one who has gained respect for his stance on controversial contemporary topics.
Pullman, Philip. Galatea. Victor Gollancz, London (1978). Linda Garland (illustrator)
Pullman, Philip. Count Karlstein. Chatto and Windus, London (1982). First UK Edition
Pullman, Philip. The Ruby in the Smoke. Oxford University Press, London (1985). First UK Edition; price £6.95
Pullman, Philip. Spring-Heeled Jack. Doubleday, London (1989). Illustrated throughout by David Mostyn; priced £6.95 back cover; first u.k hardback printing
Pullman, Philip. The Tiger in the Well. Knopf, New York (1990). first American edition, which preceded the UK (Viking) version, printing sequence (2,4,6,8,10,9,7,5,3,1).
Pullman, Philip. THE TIGER IN THE WELL. Viking, London (1991). Hancock, John (illustrator);
Pullman, Philip. The White Mercedes. MacMillan, London (1992). First UK Edition;
Pullman, Philip. The Tin Princess. Knopf, New York (1994). Rare first American edition, printing sequence (10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1); $16 U.S, $20 CAN
Pullman, Philip. Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass.. Scholastic, London (1995). price of 12.99 on jacket and 7-9 Pratt Street on rear flap; 3 Volumes; Illustrated with woodcut engravings by John Lawrence; `
Pullman, Philip. The Firework-Maker's Daughter. Doubleday, London (1995). Illustrated by Nick Harris;
Pullman, Philip. The Golden Compass. Alfred A. Knopf, New York (1995). First United States Editions; priced $20; Complete set of the three books in Philip Pullman'sHis Dark Materials trilogy -The Golden Compass;The Subtle Knife; and,The Amber Spyglass
Pullman, Philip. Clockwork or All Wound Up. Doubleday, London (1996). Several black and white illustrations by Peter Bailey; First UK hardback printing; priced £9.99 back cover
Pullman, Philip. His Dark Materials. Northern Lights; The Subtle Knife; The Amber Spyglass. Alfred Knopf, New York (1996). First American Editions; DJ by Eric Rohmann; 3 volumes
Pullman, Philip. Northern Lights. Scholastic, London (1996). Full numberline 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1;
Pullman, Philip. The Golden Compass. Alfred A. Knopf, N.Y. (1996). stated first printing with the full number line
Pullman, Philip. His Dark Materials II. Scholastic, London (1997). UK first edition/first printing, with the full numberline on the copyright page 2 4 6 8 10 9 7 5 3 1; £12.99 price; Cover Illustration by David Scutt
Pullman, Philip. The Subtle Knife: His Dark Materials II.. Scholastic, London (1997). Illustrated by Eric Rohmann
Pullman, Philip. I Was A Rat! or The Scarlett Slippers. Doubleday, London (1999). Illustrated by Peter Bailey
Pullman, Philip. His Dark Materials: Northern Lights; The Subtle Knife: The Amber Spyglass.. David Fickling Books, London (2000). 2 4 6 8 10 9 7 5 3 1 on the copyright page; original price of UK £14.99; First UK edition
Pullman, Philip. His Dark Materials: Northern Lights; The Subtle Knife: The Amber Spyglass.. Alfred A. Knopf, New York (2000). First American editions; Three volumes; Illustrated by Eric Rohmann; $19.95 jacket;
Pullman, Philip. Puss In Boots. Doubleday, London (2000). Illustrated by Ian Beck;
Pullman, Philip. The Amber Spyglass His Dark Materials, Book III. Alfred A. Knopf, New York (2000). First American editions; Three volumes;Illustrated by Eric Rohmann; $19.95 jacket;
Pullman, Philip. The Amber Spyglass. Scholastic, London (2001). Black pictorial dustjacket showing the Alethiometer designed by the illustrator, David Scutt
Pullman, Philip. His Dark Materials Tenth Anniversary Edition - Northern Lights; The Subtle Knife; The Amber Spyglass. Scholastic, London (2005). 1000 Copies; Volume 1; Notes by Lord Astriel from Jordan College Library.- Vol. 2; Notes and Drawings by Colonel John Parry. - Vol. 3; Papers by Mary Malone from secret Magisterium Files
Pullman, Philip. His Dark Materials Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife, The Amber Spyglass. The Folio Society, London (2008). Volume one has an exclusive new preface by Philip Pullman
Pullman, Philip. An Outrance. Oak Tree Fine Press, London (2009). 15 letterpress copies; Full Leather; full portfolio of 6 Woodcuts. Wood-engravings by Harry Brockway, Chris Daunt and Andy English; 200 Copies;