At the end of last year, we carried out a big move of our rare books room in order to expand the books available to browse and to create a more open and welcoming space, giving the books the respect and care they deserve.

Then, we were overrun by shop renovation efforts, shop closures and more crazy happenings that meant our Darwin room was left on the back burner as our team were kept very busy elsewhere.

So, over the last couple of weeks, we have been making time to sort through some of the waiting stock that has been piling up, and we've found over 300 beautiful antiquarian books to add to our shelves.

We thought we'd highlight a few of these here, not only to encourage you to visit, but also to allow those of you who are unable to pay us a visit a chance to enjoy the Darwin room experience.

So find a comfy spot - we recommend an armchair by a window, or a perch in the garden - and grab yourselves a nice cup of tea, while we guide you through our Darwin shelves.

Wookey Hole, Its Caves and Cave Dwellers published in 1914.


This unique and interesting local history book is a must view - and if you love its strangeness as we do, you can take it home for just £50.

Jane Austen early editions, both published in 1880.


These simple, early editions of Emma and Mansfield Park, published by Richard Bentley, the first to publish her novels as a set under her own name, could be yours for £150 each, or £250 for the pair. A real treat for the Austen lovers.

W Somerset Maugham, Anton Chekhov & Shakespeare Folio Sets, each with a decorated slipcase


Among plenty of other treats on our Folio shelves, we've got these beautiful sets of favourite authors' works. The Shakespeare set is £70, the Maugham set a bargain at £65, and Chekhov's collected stories could be yours for just £120.

The Works of William Shakespeare, published in 1896.


This beautiful edition of Shakespeare's works is pretty much irresistible. Magnificent typeface and you can't beat those deckled edges. Currently priced at just £50.

The Dictionary of Needlework, published circa 1900.


A self-proclaimed encyclopaedia of artistic, plain and fancy needlework, and it certainly lives up to the claim. Between its two beautifully decorated covers are pages and pages of instructions, tips and more, and it's only £25.

Popular Scientific Recreations, published in


A truly strange tome, detailing various scientific discoveries, experiments and more, and we can't help but agree on the use of the word "profusely" on the cover there; the pages are stuffed with illustrations, including the odd limb or body part on a plate, test tubes and equipment of all kinds, and more interesting little touches. A bargain at £38.

Greater Bristol by Lesser Columbus, published in 1893.


This wonderful old local interest book has its charms, and we don't just mean that gorgeous gilt lettering on the cover. Old fashioned advertisements sprinkled within its pages alongside illustrations of familiar parts of Bristol make for a really enjoyable read, and it could be yours for just £18.

So there you have it, just a brief glance at some of the beautiful books we have on our shelves. You can browse our antiquarian stock online here, or visit our Darwin Rare Books room during our opening hours (Wednesday - Saturday 10am - 4pm, Sundays 11am - 4pm). If you'd like to enquire after any of the books in this post, send an email to our team at, or give us call on 01761451333.

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