Innocence and Experience: The influence of William Blake on Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials

This article is an extract from my book, Dark Matter: A Thinking Fan's Guide to Philip Pullman. I have edited it lightly to remove the worst plot spoilers, but inevitably I must mention some events towards the end of the trilogy. As far as possible, I have edited these so that the details of what […]

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Philip Pullman and the Devil's Party

This article is an extract from my book, Dark Matter: A Thinking Fan's Guide to Philip Pullman. See more articles relating to Pullman and His Dark Materials. Philip Pullman was sixteen, studying for A-Levels, when he first read John Milton's Paradise Lost, first published in 1667.[1]He immediately fell in love with it: ‘I found it intensely […]

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The failure of His Dark Materials film trilogy

I stumbled across this yesterday, having missed it when it was published in The Guardian last year: The actor Sam Elliott, who starred in the 2007 adaptation of the first novel, Northern Lights (the film was called The Golden Compass), said earlier this week that books two and three were not being filmed due to […]

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Reinventing Jesus

This article was first published on Culturewatch. © Tony Watkins. When I interviewed Philip Pullman, I found him genial, generous and engaging. He has a sharp mind, a clever wit, and he’s a brilliant writer. He has justifiably been acclaimed as one of Britain’s finest writers, having won several awards including the Whitbread Book of […]

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Charlotte Higgins's response to The Good Man Jesus

Charlotte Higgins wrote this in her blog on the Guardian website yesterday. What a great response to Philip Pullman's new book: The Good Man Jesus is a fascinating story, told in the same kind of spare, lapidary prose as the Gospels themselves or a Grimm brothers fairytale. Pullman's gift for storytelling is in evidence on […]

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The God-Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Philip Pullman

Philip Pullman seems to enjoy stirring up controversy. He annoyed many Christians with his best-selling anti-church, anti-God trilogy His Dark Materials. And it’s evident that he was out to provoke when he made comments like, ‘my books are about killing God,’ and, ‘I’m trying to undermine the basis of Christian belief.’ He’s admitted that the […]

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The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ by Philip Pullman

I talked to Paul Hammond on UCB UK radio this morning about Philip Pullman's controversial new books. The conversation was put out as a podcast on Culturewatch: Click to listen Posted via email from Tony Watkins These posts may be related: Philip Pullman: not as cynical as we think? This article was first published on […]

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Philip Pullman and his atheist fiction

Philip Pullman CBE is the acclaimed author of around thirty books, mostly aimed at older children. He is best known for His Dark Materials, a brilliantly written, ambitious trilogy (Northern Lights/The Golden Compass (1995); The Subtle Knife (1997); The Amber Spyglass (2000)). He has received many awards, including the highly prestigious Astrid Lindgren Award. His […]

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Interview with Philip Pullman (from 2004)

I interviewed Philip Pullman back in 2004, before I started work on my book, Dark Matter: A Thinking Fan's Guide. It was an interesting experience, partly because I'd had car problems on the way there and arrived a little flustered. Looking at it again now, there are some ways in which I don't think I handled it all that well. If I'm honest, I guess I was somewhat intimidated. Anyway, here it is, for what it's worth (it's also available on the Culturewatch site, where it's been since 2004). With news today of his forthcoming book, The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ, it seemed a good time to repost it here.

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Another article on Pullman's next book

Canongate to publish Pullman on God 07.09.09 Catherine Neilan Canongate is to publish "a remarkable new piece of fiction" by famously atheistic Philip Pullman, in which he challenges the events of the Gospels, and puts forward his own "compelling and plausible version". Publisher Jamie Byng acquired world rights to the book, for an undisclosed sum, […]

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Pullman's next book reworks of the story of Jesus

Children's author Philip Pullman says Jesus wasn't the Son of God by Tom Kelly Bestselling children's author Philip Pullman has provoked more anger from Christians with a new book denying that Jesus was the son of God. The book, due to be published next Easter, accepts there was a holy man called Jesus but says […]

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Agenda Squabbles – Filming The Golden Compass

There’s nothing like controversy to promote a film. A row in the media grabs the public’s attention more effectively than official publicity campaigns ever can. So New Line Cinema and director Chris Weitz must be delighted at the fuss being made over The Golden Compass which opens in cinemas next week. There was already a […]

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The Golden Compass: Parents’ Briefing

Click here for a printable version There’s nothing like controversy to promote a film. A row in the media grabs public attention better than official publicity campaigns ever can. So New Line Cinema and director Chris Weitz must be delighted at the fuss being made over The Golden Compass. There was already a great deal […]

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Mini interview on Publishers Weekly

As well as reviewing Dark Matter, Publishers Weekly also conducted a short email interview with me which was published in Religion BookLine. Here's an extract: . . . rather than a screed against Pullman's books—which portray the Church as a corrupt corporation and God as a sick old man whose place has been taken by […]

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Review of Dark Matter: A Thinking Fan's Guide to Philip Pullman

My Review of Dark Matter: A Thinking Fan's Guide to Philip Pullman has now been published in the USA by IVP. Publishers Weekly, a major trade publication for the book world, has published a favourable review: 'Philip Pullman's acclaimed His Dark Materials trilogy, a sweeping retelling of Milton's Paradise Lost and The Fall , has […]

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Dark Matter

Dark Matter: A Thinking Fan's Guide to Philip Pullman was published on 22 September 2004. Response has been very positive from readers and the few reviewers who ever saw a copy. Unfortunately, it fell foul of major changes in the way Damaris books were published and distributed so it had virtually no marketing. You can […]

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A Clash of Other Worlds: Pullman's Critique of Lewis

C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is now delighting cinema audiences across the world, but not everyone is so pleased. One of its most vocal critics Philip Pullman has been particularly outspoken in his condemnation of the stories for years, calling the series, ‘one of the most ugly and […]

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Philip Pullman: 'The Most Dangerous Author in Britain'?

Note: This article is incomplete because it developed into my book, Dark Matter: A Thinking Fan’s Guide to Philip Pullman. Nevertheless, it gives a shortish introduction to some of the key ideas. Philip Pullman is a writer, author of a number of books mostly aimed at older children, including I was a Rat, The Ruby in […]

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Stories Run Like Clockwork

Philip Pullman believes that: 'Stories are the most important thing in the world. Without stories, we wouldn't be human beings at all.'1 They stick in our minds and we are all hungry for them; stories feed our imaginations, help us to see the world through different eyes, and make us consider some of the big […]

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Lyra's Oxford - Discussion Guide

Summary Two years after the events of Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass , Lyra is once more on the roof of Jordan College with her daemon, Pantalaimon. They see a large flock of starlings attacking a bird, which turns out to be a witch's daemon. They rescue him into the safety of […]

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The Amber Spyglass Discussion Guide

This article was first published on Culturewatch.org Summary The Subtle Knife concluded with Will and his father meeting just moments before his father is killed (by a witch whose love he had spurned) and the abduction of Lyra from their camp. The Amber Spyglassbegins immediately afterwards with Will finding that he has two new companions, […]

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The Subtle Knife Discussion Guide

First published on Culturewatch.org Summary Will Parry’s mother believes that enemies are all around her, watching her every move. And Will is beginning to think that, after all these years, she’s right – there are some suspicious men wanting to know about his father who disappeared while Will was just a baby. Leaving his mother […]

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Northern Lights (The Golden Compass) Discussion Guide

First published on Culturewatch.org, 2004. Summary Lyra is a high-spirited eleven-year-old girl who is growing up under the care of the Master and scholars of an Oxford college . . . that happens to be in a parallel universe. In this other world, everyone has adæmon – an animal-shaped companion which is actually part of […]

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Firework-makers and fairy tales

'A thousand miles ago, in a country east of the jungle and south of the mountains, there lived a Firework-Maker called Lalchand and his daughter Lila.' Lila's mother died when Lila was very young, so she has spent much time in her father's workshop. More than anything else Lila wants to be a Firework-Maker too; […]

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© Tony Watkins, 2020
The Tony and Jane Watkins Trust oversees and supports the ministries of Tony and Jane Watkins in Christian training, education, and communication. It is a charity registered in England and Wales, no. 1062254.
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