Monday, 7 April 2008

Philip Pullman - a bibliography

Philip Pullman is one of the great living writers. His books not only sell in large numbers to both children and adults, but manage to address at the same time serious themes and issues. The prices of his books in the secondary market have not risen to the dizzy heights of the early Harry Potter novels, but routinely sell for hundreds of pounds, or in the case of Northern Lights over £1000. Pullman has been writing since the earlier 1970's, but really hit the big time in the late 1990s. He is a relatively accessible author, appearing at many literary festivals and generally willing to sign copies of his books. Although his signature is widely available, forgeries have also become paradoxically common. There is a particular problem with relatively high quality bookplates, and the collector needs to be wary in this regard. This bibliography will highlight the key features of Pullman's books and their relative scarcity, and I will be building it up to completion over the next month or so. Comments are welcome in the interim!

1972 The Haunted Storm, London: New English Library. Pullman’s first book was initially published as a hardcover, and two years later in a paperback edition. The hardcover, the true first is very uncommon. The dustwrapper carries an inscription "Joint winner of the New English Library's Young Writers' Award", and also an extract from Lady Antonia Fraser's astute assessment of the author as having "the real makings of a writer". The rear flap has a picture of a very young looking Pullman. The New English library paperback version was published in 1973, and even in this format the book is collectible and difficult to find in good condition. It has not been subsequently republished, so opportunities to read it are limited for those with restricted budgets. However, even in this first novel Pullman was clearly interested in the opposition of good and evil and in the mystical.

1978 Galatea, London, Victor Gollancz Limited, Hardcover. There was also a US edition, but Pullman has indicated in interview that he does not favour republication.

1979 Using the Oxford Junior Dictionary, Oxford University Press. Another small and very rare book, although later editions from the 1990s can be obtained relatively easily.

1981 Ancient Civilisations, Wheaton (a division of Pergamum Press), Hardcover. A rare non-fiction book for young readers, published early in Pullman's writing career. A history of eight ancient civilizations, including Greece, Rome, Egypt and China. Written simply, but never patronising, it deals with everyday life as well as beliefs. profusely illustrated with both b/w and colour photographs, drawings and maps.

1982 Count Karlstein, Chatto & Windus. The original UK hardcover first of this book is very uncommon. An illustrated edition with pictures by Patrick Aggs was published by Doubleday in 1991. However, the most easily obtainable edition is the Doubleday 2002 revised edition. The first US edition was published by Knopf in 1998.

1985 The Ruby in the Smoke,The Ruby in the Smoke, Oxford University Press, hardcover with dustwrapper. The first of the Sally Lockhart novels, recently televised by the BBC starring Billy Piper. A four novel series, set in Victorian times - the first volume is the most difficult to obtain, and the most valuable. The bright red dustwrapper is prone to spine fading, and a very good or better copy in dustwrapper will currently cost several hundred pounds.

1986 The Shadow in the Plate, Oxford University Press, hardcover with dustwrapper. The second of the Sally Lockhart novels, and somewhat easier to obtain in the first edition than the Ruby in the Smoke. Later republished under a different title - The Shadow in the North.

1987 How to be Cool, Heineman. Simultaneously published in boards without a dustwrapper, and as a more common paperback. The former, of course, is more desirable and uncommon! Explains where "cool" is created - and who controls it. As a consequence, this book is "Banned by the National Cool Board."

1989 Spring-Heeled Jack, Doubleday, London. A heavily illustrated story aimed at younger children, issued in boards with no dustwrapper. Pictures by David Mostyn. The tale of three defenceless orphans as they attempt to escape from the Alderman Cawn-Plaster Memorial Orphanage one dark and stormy London night. Closely watched by Mack the Knife and other such villainous villains, they weave their way across the dark and dangerous streets of the city in constant fear of being caught and returned to the care of the rancid Mr Killjoy and his horribly horrid assistant. Enter Spring Heeled Jack, the hooded superhero to beat all hooded superheroes, dressed like the devil and ready for action against the evil-doers and scallywags of the city's dark streets.

1990 The Broken Bridge, MacMillan Children's Books. Originally published in the UK as a paperback, and in 1992 in the US by Knopf as a hardcover with dustwrapper. Over the course of a long summer in /wales, sixteen-year-old Ginny, the mixed- race, artist daughter of an English father and a Haitian mother, learns that she has a half-brother from her father's earlier marriage, and that herown mother may still be alive.

1990 The Tiger in the Well. Third of the Sally Lockhart novels. First appeared in the US (Knopf 1990) before being published in the UK by Viking in 1991. Both hardcovers with dustwrapper.

1992 The White Mercedes, Macmillan. Hardcover with dustwrapper - print run apparently 1250 copies. "Chris Marshall met the girl he was going to kill on a warm night in early June." Reissued as The Butterfly Tattoo in 1998.

1993 The Wonderful Story of Aladdin and the Enchanted Lamp, Scholastic, London. An oversized illustrated book for younger children, hardcover in dustwrapper, with pictures by Sophy Williams.

1994 The Tin Princess, Knopf, New York. The fourth and final (to date) Sally Lockhart book was issued originally in the US as a hardcover with dustwrapper, and in the same year in the UK as a Puffin paperback. The US edition is relatively common, and can be easily picked up for £30 - 40. The UK paperback is much less common, but can be picked up for around the same price.

1994 The New Cut Gang - Thunderbolt's Waxwork. Viking UK. Pictorial Boards without dustwrapper. The New Cut Gang is a group of urchins ranging from 6-year-old Sharkey Bob to 13-year-old Bridie Malone. They inhabit the streets around Lambeth Walk and the New Cut. In 1892, it is a place full of gangsters, bookies, pickpockets, swindlers, horse thieves and the occasional tentative policeman. This was the first of two books featuring these characters. Uncommon in the original edition.

1995 TheNew Cut Gang - The Gas Fitters' Ball. Viking UK . Pictorial Boards without dustwrapper. Also uncommon.

1995 The Firework-Maker's Daughter. Doubleday, London. Brightly covered boards, no dustwrapper. Illustrated by Nick Harris. Uncommon.

1995 Nothern Lights, Scholastic, London. The first in the Northern Lights trilogy, which brought Pullman to fame and has subsequently won many prizes. A relatively small print run, with only 1000 copies published in hardback. The true first edition has the following features - no number line on copyright page, states 'first published by Scholastic Publications Ltd , 1995'; dj: 'Point' on spine, the address 7-9 Pratt Street to the rear flap, price £12.99 to front flap. 'Northern Lights' exists with or without a Gold Carnegie Prize medal attached to upper cover. It is NOT a point of Issue. The book was first published in the summer of 1995 and was a slow seller- it was not reprinted until September 1997. Pullman won the 1995 Carnegie Prize, which was awarded in 1996. At that time any current and future bookshop stock was stickered with the Prize medal. There are plenty of copies of this book available, and in reality it is much easier to obtain than many of Pullman's earlier books. However, it remains relatively expensive, although prices have fallen significantly from their peak. There seem to be a large number of ex-library copies, often disguised with signed bookplates to cover the library stamps - these are clearly less desirable. Subsequently published by Knopf, New York as The Golden Compass in 1996.

1996 Clockwork, or, All Wound Up. London, Doubleday. Brightly coloured boards with no dustwrapper, and grey endpapers. Several illustrations throughout the text, all by Peter Bailey. Relatively uncommon in the original edition and currently priced at over £300 by online dealers.

1997 The Subtle Knife, Scholastic, London. The second volume of the Northern Lights trilogy, first printings in dustwrapper from around £100 at present. An anomoly appears to have occurred whereby a later printing (second or third) was published with the following number line: 4 6 8 10 9 7 5 3 1. The true first printing contains a full number line: 2 4 6 8 10 9 7 5 3 1. The American edition was published by Knopf, also in 1997.

1998 Mossycoat. Scholastic, London. A small paperback with illustrations by Peter Bailey. A version of the Cinderalla story published for World Book day.

1999 I was a Rat! or The Scarlet Slippers. Doubleday, London. Brightly coloured boards, no dustwrapper. Illustrations by Peter Bailey. Relatively common, but still highly collectable, with dealers currently charging £50 upwards.

2000 Puss in Boots: The Adventures of That Most Enterprising Feline. Doubleday, London. Hardcover with dustwrapper and illustrations by Ian Beck. First editions still available at around £20 or less.

2000 The Amber Spyglass. Scholastic, London, 2000. The final volume in the Northern Lights trilogy was printed in large numbers and is readily available, as are all of Pullman's subsequent novels. The US edition was published by Knopf, also in 2000.

2003 Lyra's Oxford, David Fickling, London. Decorated boards, illustrated by John Lawrence. A short story or novella based in the world of Northern Lights. The first of three short books planned to link the Northern Lights Triology with the more substantial Book of Dust. Includes a fold-out map of Oxford and various "souvenirs" from the past.

2004 The Scarecrow and his Servant. Doubleday, London. Hardcover with dustwrapper andillustrations by Peter Bailey, as for all of the other fairytale books.

2008 Once Upon a Time in the North. David Fickling Books, London, 2008. Slipcase / Cloth. John Lawrence (illustrator). The second of three volumes that will link Philip Pullman's Northern Lights trilogy with the forthcoming Book of Dust. Limited edition of 1500, signed by Philip Pullman and John Lawrence and numbered on a tipped in page. There was also a trade edition without the limitation or signature.

2009 A Outrance, Oak Tree Fine Press. A limited edition of an excerpt from Northern Lights. The book tells the story of how the rightful bear-king Iorek Byrnison regained his throne through a fight to the death with the false usurper Iofur Raknison. It is limited to only two hundred and sixty five copies and features original woodcut illustrations and features original woodcut illustrations by Chris Daunt, Harry Brockway and Andy English. The book is available in three different editions.
a) The Ruscombe letterpress art edition: fifteen individual hand bound copies with unique bindings by some of the world’s leading designers). Each volume has been meticulously printed letterpress by hand on traditional cast iron Heidelberg Press one sheet and one colour at a time on paper handmade at the famous Ruscombe Mill in France. Pullman signed each book and in addition inscribed in longhand a piece of text taken from the original novel. Each volume is encased in its own unique artist designed slip case trimmed and accompanied by a set of six woodcut images used within the book. Each print is signed by the author and artist and is produced in a format suitable for framing.
b) The Somerset letterpress deluxe edition: Fifty numbered copies half-bound by hand in calf with marbled boards. Each volume has been meticulously printed letterpress by hand on traditional cast iron Heidelberg Press one sheet and one colour at a time on mould made Somerset paper. In addition to signing the book, Philip Pullman has inscribed each copy with a line of text. Each volume is encased in its own slip case trimmed in leather and accompanied by a set of six woodcut images used within the book. Each print is signed by the author and artist and is produced in a format suitable for framing.
c) The Mohawk edition: Two hundred numbered copies printed offset on Mohawk paper and half-bound by hand in Colarado blood red cloth with hand marbled boards. Each of these beautifully produced volumes is signed by the author.

2010 The Good Man Jesus and The Scoundrel Christ, Canongate, Edinburgh. Hardcover with one of two alternative dustwrappers in black and white. Also two slipcased limited editions (400 copies each at £35), again a black version and a white version. A volume in the Canongate Myths series, to which Pullman earlier wrote an introduction.
In this ingenious, spellbinding and fiercely subversive retelling of the life of Jesus, Philip Pullman reimagines the most influential story ever told. He offers a radical new take on the myths and the mysteries of the Gospel truth and the resulting church that has so shaped the course of the last two millennia. With all the magic for which Pullman's storytelling is famed, this provocative and thoughtful new book from one of Britain's best loved writers promises to be the highest profile yet in Canongate's acclaimed Myths series.

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