Henry Sotheran

Shopping, Bookshops Mayfair

A fine old-fashioned antiquarian bookshop, Henry Sotheran combines its well-founded association with quality, class and tradition – established in York back in 1761, the business moved to London nearly 200 years ago, in 1815 – with a surprisingly relaxed ambience. The extraordinary range of stock covers English literature (specialising in first and important editions of works from the 17th to the 20th centuries), children’s and illustrated titles, travel and exploration, art and architecture, science and natural history. Departments are run by specialists, so novices can be assured of being guided by informed hands, while opportunities for collectors are abundant (past acquisitions have included the libraries of Laurence Sterne and Charles Dickens). Prices fittingly often run into the thousands here – a first edition of The Origin of Species sold for £82,000 recently – though they start at around £20. In recent years, greater emphasis has been placed on the shop’s fine collection of prints and posters downstairs, where two or three exhibitions are put on per year – prints by William Blake were a recent attraction.


Venue name: Henry Sotheran
Address: 2-5 Sackville Street
Opening hours: Open 9.30am-6pm Mon-Fri; 10am-4pm Sat
Transport: Tube: Green Park or Piccadilly Circus tube
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