Philip Pullman’s eagerly awaited La Belle Sauvage has reportedly reached Dutch readers a few weeks early after a publisher’s mix-up.
The first instalment in The Book of Dust, a companion series to His Dark Materials trilogy, and one this year's biggest releases, is due to be published worldwide on 19th October. However Dutch publisher Uitgeverij Prometheus distributed copies across the Netherlands last week and lists 4th October as the publication date on its website, according to the Guardian.
The books have reportedly now been recalled and the publisher said that no copies are believed to have been sold.
A journalist, Kimberly Camu, brought the issue to the author's attention on Wednesday (4th October), tweeting: "This is so odd! Why is the Dutch version of Belle Sauvage released earlier than the original version?!" He replied: “Is it? First I’d heard … Shouldn’t have happened.”
Uitgeverij Prometheus editor Job Lisman told the Guardian: “All copies have been removed.” He said that as far as he knew, no copies had been sold.
Caradoc King, Pullman’s agent, said: "There are many plans to celebrate the publication of La Belle Sauvage: The Book of Dust Volume One across the world, and we want to ensure that the book is made available to all fans at the same time on the global publication date of 19th October, so as not to spoil the surprise.We are aware that some copies of the Dutch edition have been made available in Holland and action has been taken to recall these immediately.”
The new three-part series was announced in February and comes 22 years after the first book in Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy, which it is set to stand “beside”, with the character of Lyra “at the centre of the story”.
The series will be published jointly by Penguin Random House Children’s and David Fickling Books in the UK, while Random House Children’s will publish it in the US. There is a range of events planned for its releases including midnight openings, a “magical” event on the eve of publication and activity in several countries around the world.