His Dark Materials
His Dark Materials is an epic trilogy of fantasy novels by 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
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The Golden Compass
The Golden Compass 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.