Chapter Headings
Chapter Headings in Context
Quotes From Philip Pullman

Quotes from His Dark Materials:

First Sentence:

"Lyra and her dæmon moved through the darkening hall, taking care to keep to one side, out of sight of the kitchen."

"'Oh, Pan, dear, I can't go on! I'm so frightened ? and so tired ? all this way, and I'm scared to death! I wish it were someone else instead of me, I do honestly.'"

"'Why do they do these things to children, Pan? Do they all hate children so much that they want to tear them apart like this? Why do they do it?'"

"'I wish...' she said, and stopped. There was nothing that could be gained by wishing for it. A final, deep shaky breath, and she was ready to go on."

"Pantalaimon went on:
"We've heard them all talk about Dust, and they're so afraid of it, and you know what? We believed them, even though we could see that what they were doing was wicked and evil and wrong... We though Dust must be bad too, because they were grown up and they said so. But what if it isn't? What if it's?"
She said breathlessly, 'Yeah! What if it's really good...'

Last Lines of The Golden Compass:

"'And we'll do it,' she said.
She turned away. Behind them lay pain and death and fear; ahead of them lay doubt, and danger, and fathomless mysteries. But they weren't alone.
So Lyra and her dæmon turned away from the world they were born in, and looked toward the sun, and walked into the sky."

First Sentence of The Amber Spyglass:

"In a valley shaded with, close to the snow line, where a stream milky with meltwater splashed and where doves and linnets flew among the immense pines, lay a cave, half-hidden by the crag above and the stiff heavy leaves that clustered below."

"And then they were at the shore. The oily, scummy water lay still in front of them, an occasional ripple breaking languidly on the pebbles.
The path turned to the left, and a little way along, more like a thickening of the mist than a solid object, a wooden jetty stood crazily out over the water. The piles were decayed and the planks were green with slime, and there was nothing else; nothing beyond it; the path ended where the jetty began, and where the jetty ended, the mist began."

"'Pan, no one's done this before,' she whispered shiveringly, 'but Will says we're coming back and I swear, Pan, I love you, I swear we're coming back, I will take care, my dear, you'll be safe, we will come back, and if I have to spend every minute of my life finding you again, I will, I won't stop, I won't rest, I won't, oh, Pan, dear Pan, I've got to go, I've got to...'
And she pushed him away, so that he crouched bitter and cold and frightened on the muddy ground.
What animal he was now, Will could hardly tell. He seemed to be so young, a cub, a puppy, something helpless and beaten, a creature so sunk in misery that it was more misery than creature. His eyes never left Lyra's face, and Will could see her making herself not look away, not avoid the guilt, and he admired her honesty and her courage at the same time as he was wrenched with the shock of their parting."

"Part of it was physical. It felt as if an iron hand had gripped his heart and was pulling it out between his ribs, so that he pressed his hands to the place and vainly tried to hold it in. It was far deeper and far worse than the pain of losing his fingers. But it was mental, too: something secret and private was being dragged into the open, where it had no wish to be, and Will was nearly overcome by a mixture of pain and shame and fear and self-reproach, because he himself had caused it."

"'Will? I can't do it anymore? I can't do it! I can't tell lies! I thought it was so easy? but it didn't work?it's all I can do, and it doesn't work!"

"Harpies," he said, "we can offer you something better than that. Answer my questions truly, and hear what I have to say, and then judge. When Lyra spoke to you outside the wall, you flew at her. Why did you do that?"
"Lies!" the harpies all cried. "Lies and fantasies!"
"Yet when she spoke just now, you all listened, every one of you, and you kept silent and still. Again, why was that?"
"Because it was true," said No-Name. "Because she spoke the truth. Because it was nourishing. Because it was feeding us. Because we couldn't help it. Because it was true. Because we had no idea that there was anything but wickedness. Because it brought us news of the world and the sun and the wind and the rain. Because it was true."

"Tell them stories."

"Being in love was like China: you knew it was there, and no doubt it was very interesting, and some people went there, but I never would... and then someone passed me a bit of some sweet stuff, and suddenly I realized that I had been to China. So to speak. And I'd forgotten it. It was the taste of the sweet stuff that brought it back. I think it was marzipan."

"Had she thought there was no meaning in life, no purpose, when God had gone? Yes, she had thought that. 'Well there is now,' she said aloud, and again, louder: 'There is now!"

"They unfolded the cloth and ate some bread and cheese. For some reason their hands were slow and clumsy, and they hardly tasted the food, although the bread was floury and crisp from the hot baking-stones, and the cheese was flaky and salty and very fresh.
Then Lyra took one of those little red fruits. With a fast-beating heart, she turn to him and said, "Will..."
And she lifted the fruit gently to his mouth.
She could see from his eyes that he knew at once what she meant, and that he was too joyful to speak. Her fingers were still at his lips, and he felt them tremble, and he put his own hand up to hold hers there, and then neither of them could look; they were confused; they were brimming with happiness.
Like two moths clumsily bumping together, with no more weight than that, their lips touched."

"Understand this," said Xaphania: "Dust is not a constant. There's not a fixed quantity that has always been the same. Conscious being make Dust?they renew it all the time, by thinking and feeling and reflecting, by gaining wisdom and passing it on."

'"But when I saw you, I liked you straightaway because you were brave."
"No, I liked you first."
"You didn't! You fought me!"
"Well," she said, "yes. But you attacked me."
"I did not! You came charging out and attacked me."
"Yes, but I soon stopped."
"Yes, but," he mocked softly.
He felt her tremble, and then under his hands the delicate bones of her back began to rise and fall, and he heard her sob quietly. He stroked her warm hair, her tender shoulders, and then he kissed her face again and again, and presently she gave a deep shuddering sigh and fell still."

"Nevertheless, she smiled.
One last kiss, rushed and clumsy so that they banged cheekbones, and a tear from her eye was transferred to his face; their two dæmons kissed fairwell, and Pantalaimon flowed over the threshold and up into Lyra's arms; and then Will began to close the window, and then it was done, the way was closed, Lyra was gone."

"'We have to be all those difficult things, like cheerful and kind and curious and patient, and we've got to study and think and work hard, all of us, in all our different worlds, and then we'll build..'
Her hands were resting on his glossy fur. Somewhere in the garden a nightingale was singing, and a little breeze touched her hair and stirred the leaves overhead. All the different bells of the city chimed, once each, this one high, that one low, some close by, others farther off, one cracked a peevish, another grave and sonorous, but agreeing in all their different voices on what the time was, even if some of them got to it a little more slowly than others. In that other Oxford where she and Will had kissed good-bye, the bells would be chiming too, and a nightingale would be singing, and a little breeze would be stirring the leaves in the Botanic Garden."
"And then what," said her dæmon sleepily. "Build what?"
"The Republic of Heaven," said Lyra.


HeadingsIn the front of The Golden Compass and in The Amber Spyglass, Philip Pullman has included a few quotes from various authors that he felt were related or important to the His Dark Materials story.

Into this wild abyss,
The womb of nature and perhaps her grave,
Of neither sea, nor shore, nor air, nor fire,
But all these in their pregnant causes mixed
Confusedly, and which thus must ever fight,
Unless the almighty maker them ordain
His dark materials to create more worlds,
Into this wild abyss the wary fiend
Stood on the brink of hell and looked a while,
Pondering his voyage...

-John Milton, Paradise Lost, Book II

The morning comes, the night decays, the watchmen
Leave their stations;
The grave is burst, the spices shed, the linen wrapped up;
The bones of death, the cov'ring clay, the sinews shrunk & dry'd
Reviving shake, inspiring move, breathing, awakening,
Spring live redeemed captives when their bonds & bars are burst.
Let the slave grinding at the mill run out into the field,
Let him look up into the heavens & laugh in the bright air;
Let the inchained soul, shut up in darkness and in sighing,
Whose face as never seen a smile in thirty weary years,
Rise and look out; his chains are loose, his dungeon doors
Are open;
And let his wife and children return from the oppressor's scourge.
They look behind them at every step & believe it is a dream,
Singing: "The Sun has left his blackness & has found a
Fresher morning,
And the fair moon rejoices in the clear & cloudless night;
For Empire is no more, and now the Lion & Wolf shall cease."

-from "America: A Prophecy" by William Blake

(In place of the full 'America: A Prophecy' quote in the American edition of The Amber Spyglass, Enitharmon reports that the following quote is in the UK editions):

"O tell of his might, O sing of his grace
Whose robe is the light, whose canopy space
His chariots of wrath the deep thunder clouds form
And dark is his path on the wings of the storm"

-Attributed to Robert Grant, in Hymns Ancient and Modern

O stars, Isn't it from you that the lover's desire for the face
Of his beloved arises? Doesn't his secret insight
Into her pure features come from the pure constellations?

-From "The Third Elegy" by Rainer Maria Rilke

Fine vapors escape from whatever is doing the living.
The night is cold and delicate and full of angels
Pounding down the living. The factories are all lit up,
The chime goes unheard.
We are together at last, though far apart.

-from "The Ecclesiast" by John Ashberry

There were also quotes at the beginning of each chapter of The Amber Spyglass. Only the British editions and the latest American edition of The Amber Spyglass has these quotes (no reason has ever been given as to why the quotes were not included in the hardback American TAS).

Chapter 1
While the Beasts of Prey,
come from Caverns Deep,
Viewed the Maid Asleep...
-William Blake

Chapter 2
Then a spirit passed before my face;
The hair of my flesh stood up
-The Book of Job

Chapter 3
The Knight's bones are Dust,
and his good sword rust;
His soul is with the saints, I trust
-S.T. Coleridge

Chapter 4
She lay as if at Play
Her life had Leaped away
Intending to Return
But not so soon
-Emily Dickinson

Chapter 5
...With Ambitious Aim
against The Throne and monarchy of God
Rais'd Impious War in Heav'n, and Battel Proud
-John Milton

Chapter 6
Reliques, Beads Indulgences, Dispenses,
Pardons, Bulls, The Sport of Winds...
-John Milton

Chapter 7
Last Rose as in dance the stately trees,
& spread their Branches Hung with copious Fruit...
-John Milton

Chapter 8
I have been a stranger in a strange LAND -Exodus

Chapter 9
...A shade apon the mind there passes as when on noon a cloud the mighty sun encloses...
-Emily Dickinson

Chapter 10
There ariseth a little cloud out of the sea, like a man's hand -1 Kings

Chapter 11
A truth that's told with Bad Intent
Beats All the Lies you can Invent
-William Blake

Chapter 12
Still as he fled,
his eye was backward cast,
as if His Fear still FOLLOWED Him Behind
-Edmund Spencer

Chapter 13
Frowning night o'er this Desart Bright
let thy Moon Arise
while I close My Eyes -William Blake

Chapter 14
Labour without Joy is Base.
Labour without Sorrow is Base.
Sorrow without Labour is Base.
Joy without Labour is Base.
-John Ruskin

Chapter 15
As I was walking among the Fires of Hell,
Delighted with the Enjoyments of Genius
-William Blake

Chapter 16
From the Arched Roof Pendant by Subtle magic
many a row of Starry Camps and Blazing Cressets Fed
with Naphtha and Asphaltus Yielded Light... -John Milton

Chapter 17
Now the Serpent was more Subtil than any Beast of the Field Which the Lord God had made.

Chapter 18
O That it were possible we might but hold
some two days conference with The Dead...
-John Webster

Chapter 19
I was Angry with my Friend; I told my wrath, my wrath did End. -William Blake

Chapter 20
I Gained it so,
by climbing slow,
by catching at the twigs that grow between the Bliss
And Me
-Emily Dickinson

Chapter 21
I hate things All Fiction... There should Always be some Foundation of Fact...

Chapter 22
Thick as Autumnal leaves that strow the Brooks in Vallombrosa,
Where Th' Etrurian shades high over- Aran't Imbowr...
-John Milton

Chapter 23
And Ye Shall Know the Truth, and the Truth shall make You Free. -St. John

Chapter 24
As is the mother, so is her Daughter. -Ezekiel

Chapter 25
A Bracelet of Bright Hair about the Bone...
-John Donne

Chapter 26
The sun has left his Blackness & has found a Fresher Morning,
& the Fair Moon Rejoices in the clear & cloudless Night...
-William Blake

Chapter 27
My soul into the boughs does Glide:
there like a bird it sits,
And sings,
then Whets, and combs its silver wings... -Andrew Marvell

Chapter 28
For Many a Time I have Been half in Love with Easeful Death... -John Keats

Chapter 29
Each man in his Spectre's Power
until The Arrival of that hour
when his Humanity Awake... -William Blake

Chapter 30
Farr off Th' Empyreal Heav'n,
Extended Wide in Circuit,
Undetermined Square or Round,
With Opal Towrs And Battlements
Adorn'd of Living Sapphire...
-John Milton

Chapter 31
For Empire Is No More,
And now the Lion & Wolf Shall cease.
-William Blake

Chapter 32
The Morn~ ing comes, the Night DECAYS,
The Watchmen LEAVE their stations...
-William Blake

Chapter 33
Sweet Spring Full of sweet days and Roses,
A box Where sweets compacted Lie
-George Herbert

Chapter 34
Shew you all Alive the World,
Where Every Particle of Dust Breathes Forth its Joy
-William Blake

Chapter 35
The Birth- Day of my Life is come,
My Love is Come to me
-Christina Rossetti

Chapter 36
But Fate Does Iron Wedges Drive,
and Alwais crowds itself betwixt.
-Andrew Marvell

Chapter 37
My Soul, Do Not Seek Eternal Life,
But Exhaust the Realm of the Possible.

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Quotes From Philip Pullman

Pullman on what he believes:

"I know full well that the total amount of the things I know is a tiny little pinprick of light compared with the vast unlimited darkness that surrounds it - which is all the things I don't know. I don't know more than a tiny fragment of what it's possible to know about this world. As for what goes on outside it in the rest of the universe, it's a vast darkness full of things that I don't know. Now, somewhere in the things that I don't know, there may be a God.

But if we come down - like coming close up with a camera - getting closer and closer to this little pinprick of light, so that it begins to expand and gets bigger and bigger until we find ourselves inside it... I can see no evidence in that circle of things I do know, in history, or in science or anywhere else, no evidence of the existence of God.

So I'm caught between the words 'atheistic' and 'agnostic'. I've got no evidence whatever for believing in a God. But I know that all the things I do know are very small compared with the things that I don't know. So maybe there is a God out there. All I know is that if there is, he hasn't shown himself on earth. " (Source)

Pullman on the Republic of Heaven

"Firstly, a sense that this world where we live is our home. Our home is not somewhere else. There is no elsewhere. This is a physical universe and we are physical beings made of material stuff. This is where we live. Secondly, a sense of belonging, a sense of being part of a real and important story, a sense of being connected to other people, to people who are not here any more, to those who have gone before us. And a sense of being connected to the universe itself. All those things were promised and summed up in the phrase, 'The Kingdom of Heaven'. But if the Kingdom is dead, we still need those things. We can't live without those things because it's too bleak, it's too bare and we don't need to. We can find a way of creating them for ourselves if we think in terms of a Republic of Heaven. This is not a Kingdom but a Republic, in which we are all free and equal citizens, with - and this is the important thing - responsibilities. With the responsibility to make this place into a Republic of Heaven for everyone. Not to live in it in a state of perpetual self-indulgence, but to work hard to make this place as good as we possibly can." (Source)

"I do believe very profoundly in this notion of the Republic of Heaven--that we are all ourselves responsible for making things better, and we can't escape it by blaming anyone else for it or by shoving off the responsibility onto somebody else. It is up to each of us. I'm not trying to preach in the book, Heaven forbid, all I'm trying to do is tell a story. But if the story does resonate and reverberate in people's minds and makes them feel certain things, then perhaps that's to the good." (Darkness Visible Interview)

Pullman on Religion:

"When you look at organized religion of whatever sort - whether it's Christianity in all its variants, or whether it's Islam or some forms of extreme Hinduism - wherever you see organized religion and priesthoods and power, you see cruelty and tyranny and repression. It's almost a universal law.

It's not just Christianity I'm getting at. The reason that the forms of religion in the books seem to be Christian is because that's the world I'm familiar with. That's the world I grew up in and I knew. If I had been brought up as an orthodox Jew, I would no doubt find things to criticize in that religion. But I don't know that world as well as I know Christianity." (Source)

"We don't need lists of rights and wrongs, tables of do's and don'ts: we need books, time, and silence. Thou shalt not is soon forgotten, but Once upon a time lasts forever." -(Pullman, Carnegie Acceptance Speech)

Pullman on C.S. Lewis:

"When you criticise Narnia, what you're doing, I've discovered, is not what you think. You think you're offering an opinion about the literary or moral qualities of a work of fiction. In fact, unless you offer unqualified and unstinting praise, you're blaspheming. His followers are unhinged. I got two kinds of responses to my Guardian piece: half of them said Hoorah, you've said exactly what I've been feeling for years but never dared say; and the other half accused me of mean-mindedness, spite, and every kind of twisted malevolence. A correspondent in Canada forwarded to me some of the Internet stuff (this was before I knew how to subscribe to discussions groups, so I hadn't seen it for myself). I was amazed by the frothing swivel-eyed barminess of some of it. Apparently one of my motivations was envy, because Lewis's books have sold more than mine. Well, they would, with a fifty-year start, wouldn't you think? But that was the quality of the response. So you can't criticise C.S. Lewis with any hope of a rational discussion coming out of it." (Source)

"I didn't read the whole of Narnia as a boy: I read The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, and felt slightly queasy, as if I were being pressured to agree to something I wasn't sure of. Now I can see what that was, and why I felt odd. Reading the whole sequence for the first time as an adult, I was angered and nauseated by the sneakiness of that powerful seductive narrative voice, that favourite-uncle stance, assuming my assent to his sneering attitude to anything remotely progressive in social terms, or to people with brown faces, or to children who don't seem like his own favourites." (Source)

"There's a distinction between the things Lewis says as a critic, which are very acute and full of sense and full of intelligent and sometimes subtle judgements - much of which I agree with - and the things he said when was possessed by the imp of telling a story, especially in his children's fiction." (Source)

"Narnia has always seemed to me to be marked by a hatred of the physical world. When I bring this up, people say, oh no, what nonsense! He loved his beer, loved laughter and smoking a pipe, and the companionship of his friends and so on. And so he might have done. But that didn't prevent perhaps his unconscious mind from saying something quite different in the form of a story." (Source)

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