Penguin Random House will publish a new full-colour hardback gift edition of Lyra’s Oxford by Philip Pullman later this month, illustrated throughout for the first time by Chris Wormell.
Lyra’s Oxford is set two years after the events of His Dark Materials and tells the story of characters Lyra and Pan’s interaction with a bird that they discover to be a witch’s daemon, who claims that only Lyra can help him. The new edition will be published in hardback on 14th October, priced at £14.99. The story was first published in 2003 and was illustrated in black and white by John Lawrence.
This announcement coincides with Midsummer’s Day, which is celebrated across the globe by fans of His Dark Materials. The date relates to a promise made by the series' characters Lyra Silvertongue and Will Parry to each other: to each sit on a certain bench in the Oxford Botanic Garden in each of their respective worlds on Midsummer Day at midday every year, so they can be close to one another.
The publisher has also announced that audio rights of Pullman’s His Dark Materials series and further Pullman catalogue titles have been acquired, meaning the entirety of the His Dark Materials world is now published in audio by Penguin Random House. UK and Commonwealth rights were acquired by James Keyte, senior commissioning editor of Penguin Audio, from Millie Hoskins and Caradoc King at United Agents.
The His Dark Materials collection, comprising Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass, is re-released today (24th June) in audio, read by Pullman with a full cast. The additional 12 titles will be released in autumn 2021 with new recordings.
The audio edition of Northern Lights includes a new and exclusive conversation between Pullman and actress Ruth Wilson, who plays Mrs Coulter in the BBC One adaptation of His Dark Materials, following a recording which took place at the Bodleian Library in Oxford earlier this month.
Ruth Knowles, publisher at Penguin Random House UK Children’s, said: "The pairing of Philip’s spellbinding words with Chris’ glorious art in recent years has delighted fans as well as readers experiencing the worlds of Pullman for the first time. In this edition of Lyra’s Oxford, their partnership is on display beautifully; Lyra, Pan, witches, the roofs of Oxford—it’s an adventure-filled delight and the perfect gift to treasure. It feels extra special to be able to tell people about this book at Midsummer, a day so special to Lyra, and because in this story she has an encounter with somebody who will turn out to be as important in her life as Will has been—she just doesn’t know it yet."
Keyte said: "Publishing Philip’s work is an honour and a privilege. In recent years, we have loved producing award-winning editions of The Book of Dust, which set the standard for audio narration, and we are so excited to have the opportunity to make Philip’s audio catalogue available to the widest possible audience, and to inspire a new generation of ardent fans."