Philip Pullman – The Secret Commonwealth @ Sheldonian Theatre
Oct 6 @ 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm

Blackwell’s is delighted to be hosting an event with Philip Pullman at the Sheldonian Theatre to celebrate the launch of The Secret Commonwealth: The Book of Dust Volume Two. The event will be recorded live for the Penguin Podcast.

The Secret Commonwealth: The Book of Dust Volume Two is a timely exploration of what it is to be human, to grow up and make sense of the world around us, from one of the UK’s greatest writers. It opens seven years after readers left Lyra Silvertongue and Will Parry on a park bench in Oxford’s Botanic Gardens in The Amber Spyglass, the final book in the His Dark Materials sequence. Lyra Silvertongue is now a 20-year-old Oxford student, about to embark on an epic journey across Europe and into Asia as she seeks out an elusive town said to be haunted by dæmons. Commenting on the plot earlier this year, Pullman said: “Things have been biding their time, waiting for the right moment to reveal their consequences for Lyra Silvertongue. The Secret Commonwealth tells the continuing story of the impact on Lyra’s life of the search for, and the fear of, Dust.”

This is one of only two author events this autumn to mark publication of this highly-anticipated book, and the only one to take place in Philip Pullman – and Lyra’s – hometown. There will be signed copies of The Secret Commonwealth available to purchase at the event, or as part of a book and ticket bundle, as well as a special independents’ edition of the book, priced £20 and featuring a frontispiece illustration by Chris Wormell and bespoke endpapers.

Philip Pullman is one of the most highly respected children’s authors writing today. Winner of many prestigious awards, including the Carnegie of Carnegies and the Whitbread Award, Pullman’s epic fantasy trilogy His Dark Materials has been acclaimed as a modern classic. It has sold 17.5 million copies worldwide and been translated into 40 languages. In 2005 he was awarded the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award. He lives in Oxford.

Tickets for this event are £10, or £25 for the book and ticket bundle. For more information please contact our Customer Service Department on 01865 333 623 or email [email protected]

Poppies and What They Mean @ Pitt Rivers Museum
Oct 9 @ 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Poppies and What They Mean @ Pitt Rivers Museum

The poppy as a recurring image in poetry and art, and as a symbol of wartime loss, is powerfully resonant in our culture. Dr Andrew Lack, Senior Lecturer in Environmental Biology at Oxford Brookes University, will talk about the poppy plant and its ancient and more recent historical associations.