This gem of a bookshop was established and is run by Peter Ellis, a former partner in the well-known Bloomsbury firm of rare booksellers, Ulysses.
The shop is located in Cecil’s Court, a passageway in London’s bustling West End, which is lined with other second hand and antiquarian booksellers.
The stock is mainly comprised of first editions of classic literature, most of them in pristine condition and some of which are signed or inscribed. When inside, the shop can feel quite crammed but despite its small size, ceiling-high shelves are stacked with genres spanning from fiction and poetry to illustrated books and history. And of course, the shop is filled with that lovely 'old book' smell. Ellis himself seems to be the quintessential Englishman and bookshop owner. His knowledge of antiquarian books matches his varied stock and he is able to tell customers little facts about authors and books they are considering as a purchase. He also knows a great deal about what kind of books to buy if you're looking for an investment or an heirloom to pass down to generations. There's a lot to consider such as the edition of the book, when it was printed and the material used as well as the condition of the books. His more recent notable acquisitions include a sixteenth century copy of Osip Mandelstam's rare
first book, a collection of books by and about the Surrealists and a perfect first edition of The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes. All of which are surely set the buyer back a few hundred and maybe even a few thousand pounds!
For those customers not looking to spend a great deal, Ellis also has some great recommendations. In fact, outside the shop, there are reasonably priced books kept in crates and shelves. This will certainly make walking past without a quick browse a particular challenge for book lovers!
Address: 18 Cecil Court London WC2N 4HE
Nearest Tube Stations: Leicester Square and Charing Cross
Tel: 020 7836 8880
Fax: 020 8318 4748
- Monday-Friday - 10.30am - 7pm
- Saturday 10.30am - 5.30pm