His Dark Materials

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His Dark Materials is a trilogy of fantasy novels by Philip Pullman comprising 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 against a backdrop of epic events. The three novels have won various awards, most notably The Amber Spyglass, the 2001 Whitbread Book of the Year prize, while the trilogy as a whole took third place in the BBC's Big Read poll in 2003.[1]

The story involves fantasy elements such as witches and armoured polar bears, and alludes to a broad range of ideas from fields such as physics, philosophy, theology and spirituality. The trilogy 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.[2] The series has drawn criticism for its negative portrayal of Christianity and religion in general.

Pullman's publishers have primarily marketed the series to young adults, but Pullman also intended to speak to adults.[3] North American printings of The Amber Spyglass have censored passages describing Lyra's incipient sexuality.[4][5]

Pullman has published two short stories related to His Dark Materials: "Lyra and the Birds", which appears with accompanying illustrations in the small hardcover book Lyra's Oxford (2003), and "Once Upon a Time in the North" (2008). He has been working on another, larger companion book to the series, The Book of Dust, for several years.

The London Royal National Theatre staged a major, two-part adaptation of the series in 2003–2004, and New Line Cinema released a film based on Northern Lights, titled The Golden Compass, in 2007.

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