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Philip Pullman Creates Special Edition of Northern Lights for Charity


Here’s a feel good story for today. Philip Pullman, author of the Northern Lights trilogy has created a special edition book to benefit children in Africa living with HIV and Aids.

À Outrancean old French term for a fight to the death – is an outtake from Northern Lights which describes the battle between two armored bears, Iorek Byrnison and Iofur Raknison.

“Just as that great storyteller Anton Chekhov knew that if you show a gun in the first act, you have to fire it in the next, I knew that if you have an armoured bear with a problem to overcome, he will have to overcome it by fighting. So there was going to be a battle, and Lyra would have to bring it about.” – Philip Pullman

Of the 265 books published, 15 of them are unique copies created by some of the top bookbinders, created through an initiative with Oak Tree Fine Press.  (And what is really exciting for us  is that Oak Tree Fine Press  is offering the “basic” special edition books on AbeBooks!)a-ourtrance-philip-pullman

The 15 unique books are being sold through a silent auction and are expected to sell for thousands of pounds.  The cheaper copies can be purchased for £150 (approx. US$257) and £500 (approx. US$857) apiece.

Each copy of the special edition book has been carefully printed letterpress by hand on traditional cast iron Heidelberg Press, one sheet and one colour at a time on mould made Somerset paper and comes in its own leather-trimmed slipcase. A set of six woodcut images signed by Pullman and the artist is also included.

Pullman hopes that the 15 unique editions are purchased for a large sum by collectors. “Normally I’d feel a little equivocal about being published in an edition that very few people can afford. The reason I agreed to this was that all the proceeds are going to benefit children in Africa with HIV/Aids,” he said.  “It seems a wonderful way of both making exquisite and unique objects and bringing help to children who desperately need it.”

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