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Lyra's Oxford (His Dark Materials) [Paperback]

Philip Pullman
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
RRP: 5.99
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Book Description

1 Nov 2007 His Dark Materials (Book 1)


Lyra's Oxford opens two years after the conclusion of Philip Pullman's The Amber Spyglass in the comfort and familiarity of Jordan College, where Lyra and her daemon, Pantalaimon, sit on the sun-drenched roof looking out over all of Oxford.

But their peace is shattered when a strange bird - a witch's daemon, on it's own - tumbles out of the sky, in search of a healing elixer to cure his witch of a strange new disease. Lyra and Pan decided to help - witches are friends, of course - but the closer their winding walk leads them towards the infamous Oxford alchemist, the stronger Lyra's sense that something is amiss.


Frequently Bought Together

Lyra's Oxford (His Dark Materials) + Once Upon a Time in the North (His Dark Materials) + His Dark Materials: Gift Edition including all three novels: Northern Light, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass
Price For All Three: 25.98

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Product details

  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Corgi Childrens (1 Nov 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 055255751X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552557511
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 16.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 58,248 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Philip Pullman was born in Norwich on 19th October 1946. The early part of his life was spent travelling all over the world, because his father and then his stepfather were both in the Royal Air Force. He spent part of his childhood in Australia, where he first met the wonders of comics, and grew to love Superman and Batman in particular. From the age of 11, he lived in North Wales, having moved back to Britain. It was a time when children were allowed to roam anywhere, to play in the streets, to wander over the hills, and he took full advantage of it. His English teacher, Miss Enid Jones, was a big influence on him, and he still sends her copies of his books.

After he left school he went to Exeter College, Oxford, to read English. He did a number of odd jobs for a while, and then moved back to Oxford to become a teacher. He taught at various middle schools for twelve years, and then moved to Westminster College, Oxford, to be a part-time lecturer. He taught courses on the Victorian novel and on the folk tale, and also a course examining how words and pictures fit together. He eventually left teaching in order to write full-time.

His first published novel was for adults, but he began writing for children when he was a teacher. Some of his novels were based on plays he wrote for his school pupils, such as The Ruby In The Smoke. He is best known for the award winning His Dark Materials series, consisting of Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass.

Product Description

Amazon Review

Attention all serious book collectors and fans of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials. This undoubtedly beautiful package, cloth-bound in a classy red and adorned by numerous illustrations by master engraver and illustrator John Lawrence, is sure to be a must-purchase. A pint-sized pocket volume, Lyra's Oxford packages together a short story set in the same universe as his famous trilogy, a fold-out map of the alternate-reality city of Oxford which Lyra and her daemon Pantalaimon inhabit, a short brochure for a cruise to The Levant aboard the SS Zenobia and a postcard from the inventor of the amber spyglass, Mary Malone. Pullman, in his introduction, suggests that the peripheral items within "might be connected with the story, or they might not; they might be connected to stories that haven't appeared yet. It's difficult to tell."

The story, "Lyra and the Birds", begins when Lyra and Pantalaimon spot a witch's daemon called Ragi being pursued over the rooftops of Oxford by a frenzied pack of birds. The daemon heads straight for Lyra and is given shelter. The creature was given Lyra's name as somebody who might help. The daemon is seeking one Sebastian Makepeace--an alchemist living in a part of Oxford known as Jericho. Together Lyra and Pan try to guide the daemon to the home of this man, but it is a journey fraught with more danger than they had at first anticipated.

Somehow, this is a book that puzzles and fascinates all at the same time. It's very sumptuous and lovingly crafted but tantalising brief. The fourth volume in Pullman's award-winning sequence is The Book of Dust and despite the author's reputation for taking his time in writing each of his longer works, it is now just too far away in the future to be funny anymore. (Age 10 and over)--John McLay --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


"It is one of those grand narrative strokes that Pullman can sometimes pull off with such casual looking ease and faith. This book is that gift in miniature" (John Ezard Guardian)

"Grippingly funny and infused with the vitality of a master storyteller" (Amanda Craig The Times)

"Beautifully written . . . a welcome chance to revisit Lyra that many young readers will savour" (School Librarian)

"Exquisitely produced . . . Truly a collector's piece, this is a must" (The Good Book Guide)

"This is a book for all Pullman readers and is sufficiently intriguing to entice new readers into Lyra's world" (Child Education)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars One for the fans, but better was to come 2 Jun 2008
By Andromeda Descendent TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As someone who has recently finished reading His Dark Materials and considers it one of the best series of novels ever written, I eagerly bought both this and Once Upon A Time In The North together from Amazon and - considering them both together - I am glad I did. I love miscellanies and companion books and both of these books are both great for the serious fan, containing snippets of information deliberately out of context - the idea being to make you think and fill in the gaps with your own imagination.

But if you have only read the first book (or seen the film), I would advise buying Once Upon A Time In The North - as that is a great standalone story of reasonable length - and not this one until you have read your way to the end of the His Dark Materials trilogy.

The story in Lyra's Oxford - Lyra and the Birds - is great if you want to find out more about Lyra Silvertongue's life after the end of The Amber Spyglass, but as a standalone story it is - I have to sadly admit - a bit boring. I think Philip Pullman definitely learned a lesson from this though, because the next short story - Once Upon A Time In The North (out now) - sees him return to form with a genuinely exciting short story that requires no prior knowledge of the series to enjoy.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a little goes a long way... 5 Nov 2003
By coatgal
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Oh, how is it possible to be so pleased and yet so dissappointed in a book? Readers left wanting more after His Dark Materials will find that there is not much more on offer, as the major content of Lyra's Oxford is a short (note that word - the entire book is only 50 pages long), intriguing story set 2 years after the end of the trilogy. But what a beautiful book: it's binding and presentation make it a item to treasure and Pullman's way of dropping significant, and often seemingly unrelated pieces of information in front of the readers' eyes allows you to walk away with thoughts, possibilities and perhaps's developing in your own mind. A tonic to the imagination and a perhaps an appertiser for the promised Book of Dust?
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38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A bridge of dust 5 Nov 2003
With the earlier publication of The Amber Spyglass, it seemed that Philip Pullman had finished his involvement with Lyra and the other characters of His Dark Materials. Thankfully, Lyra's Oxford shows that is not the case, and far from being just a tacked-on addition to that series, it's a full story in it's own right and also possibly a tantalising teaser for The Book of Dust, whenever it finally arrives.
The story within the book ('Lyra And The Birds') is an interesting tale of itself, excitingly detailing Lyra and Pantalaimon's dangerous trip across Oxford to help a witch's daemon. It's similar to the early chapters of Northern Lights, with Lyra front and centre, surrounded by fascinated descriptions of Pullman's strange alternate Oxford.
However, it's the other ephemera that really make the book a must-read and turn it from being just a story into a true mystery. Children and adults alike will have lots of fun looking over the map and the other items, looking for little clues that cast new light on both the story and His Dark Materials, making this book into a bridge between His Dark Materials and The Book Of Dust.
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59 of 65 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Little Goes a Long Way... 15 Jun 2006
Firstly, I've really wanted to review this book. I recieved it earlier today and I thought I'd share my input.

It must be said that this book is very small, it's smaller than a normal novel, and it has far less pages, in total I think there may be around 70 pages to the book, though I have not officially counted. The book itself is presented very well, and Pullman's writing is on top form once more.

The story is set 2 years after the end of 'The Amber Spyglass', and so it is best that you have read the first three books, although not necessary, however if you haven't, then it will be very confusing. Having being said, this book seemingly has nothing to do with the previous three, however a new character - in the form of an alchemist with a secret - has been introduced, and a likely new plot could unfold as the book does end with a cliffhanger.

Previous reviews have slated this book as being 'confusing' and 'pointless', I would strongly disagree, I may be wrong but this book seems a very likely 'starting point' for the next novel, if indeed there ever will be another. I myself very much enjoyed Pullman's His Dark Materials set, and I hope this review aids anyone in the choice of buying, and I shall be eagerly anticipating the film-adaptation next year. Thank you.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Where are they now? 4 Aug 2008
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
If you have read "His Dark Materials Trilogy" and enjoyed them you might be asking yourself the very question my title asks; where are they now?
Well... If you take a chance to read this book you will get some idea.
Here we look in on Lyra about two years after the end of the book "The Amber Spyglass".
Some people might describe this as a cheap money making ploy, but I think true fans (like myself) that were left at the end of the last book sobbing into their tissues, would enjoy this.
Yes, it might be a bit pricely, let us not forget that this short story is about the same length as a long chapter. But, we get the cool map and other paraphernalia that have fallen out between worlds into ours.

If the trilogy was nothing more than a story to you, you probably won't be all that excited about this, nor will you be very happy at paying a regular book price for a chapter long story. But, if it was more; if you fell in love with Lyra and Pan and all her friends then you should check this book out as it gives you that little bit more of a connection to that world and its magic.
It shows you that even though the trilogy is finished and all's right with the world(s), Lyra may be dealing with the aftermath for years to come!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it
BRILLIANT! I listen to this over and over again
Published 8 days ago by carolemery
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Read in a few hours - fantastic!
Published 23 days ago by Hanneloire
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
thought there would be a bit more of a book to read and get stuck in too !
Published 26 days ago by G Campbell
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice little book
I wish the book didn't have to end
Published 2 months ago by Abbi G
1.0 out of 5 stars Very bad condition of Book on delivery
The book arrived in very poor condition, it looked as though someone had used it as a coffee mug coaster and spilt coffee on it, part of the cover was missing................. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Fife
4.0 out of 5 stars His Dark Materials
A good addition to the series well presented and full of interest and should fit nicely with the upcoming book
Published 3 months ago by Graeme Mullen
3.0 out of 5 stars Bit disappointing
This follow up to the story of Lyra iiis a bit disappointing both in its shortness and its failure to document Lyra's progress in her studies into the reading of the alethiometer
Published 6 months ago by AJE17
4.0 out of 5 stars Christmas present
My son in law requested this book as a present. It is the kind of thing he loves to read.
Published 9 months ago by Erinboo
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
As a filler it's superb. The extra material (flyers, etc.) are beautifully done too. It makes me desperate for the next Lyra installment. Do they ever re-unite!?
Published 13 months ago by Nick
4.0 out of 5 stars His Dark Materials fix
I was hoping for more of a sequel to His Dark Materials. But it is a good short story, and a lovely reunion with Lyra and Pan. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Ana Pereira
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