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Bookshop Blog

Welcome to the Shapero Rare Books Blog. Here you can find articles on rare books written by our Specialists on subjects ranging from Pirate books to modern first editions; on authors such as Ian Fleming and Roald Dahl; and on illustrators including Quentin Blake. Sign up to our weekly newsletter at the bottom of this page to receive regular updates.

Here Be Dragons | Recent Travel Acquisitions

To do an injustice to Tennyson, it’s usually at this time that my fancy turns to get...

Making Connections | A Calcutta Imprint to Lin...

What makes a book desirable apart from the important fact that you like it? Rarity pla...

Eight Banned Books That Might Surprise You

Ahead of Firsts London 2022, Shapero Rare Books takes a look at some of the titles you may neve...

An Illustrious Quartet | Four Classic Narrativ...

Mary Wollstonecraft SHELLEY Rambles in Germany and Italy, in 1840, 1...

Four things to do this July

July is here and things are hotting up. Our team of specialists have...

Strangers in a Strange Land: Europeans in Tibe...

Last week I was fortunate to buy a small quantity of the original 19...

High Times: Trekking in Himalayas

I suppose that whenever people think of the Himalayas, they think of...

Five things you might not know about Masterpie...

Masterpiece London, opening next week on 30th June, is the unmissabl...

Türkiye, a new name for an ancient land

Following on from President Erdogan’s December 2021 statement, the...

Adam Blakeney writes on Graham Greene

Adam Blakeney writes – ‘I sometimes equate Graham Greene with mi...

Views of the Holy Kaaba | An Illustrative Acco...

The Holy Kaaba is the most important site in the Islamic world. The ...

Would you judge a book by its cover?

The joy of book collecting is the freedom to form a library exactly ...

The Anglo-Iranian Relationship from 1600 - 190...

PERSIA & AFGHANISTAN. Seen in the light of the past forty years, sinc...

The Magnificent Minimalist Mountaineer

I have always been fascinated by mountains and tra...

The Art Deco Designs of George Barbier

George Barbier (1882-1932) was the supreme decorative designer of A...

The Book in India from the 19th Century

Nowadays India is one of the largest and most important centres of printing and publis...

Travelling To Timbuctoo - not everyone gets th...

The first thing that needs saying is that not everybody that sets out for Timbuctoo ge...

Heinrich Schliemann - A Man Of Our Times

Heinrich Schliemann (1822-1890), although born almost 200 years ago, seems very much a...

'Dr Livingstone I Presume' - iconic meeting wa...

Today marks the 150th anniversary of one of those moments that scho...

10 Rare and Valuable Children's Books

A selection of our favourite rare books for children

Remarkable Books By Remarkable Travellers

When putting our new travel catalogue together, one of the first ...

Russian Art & Theatre - Latest Russian Calalog...

Our story begins at the end of the nineteenth century with the fairy...

Iraq, The Land Where Writing Began by Julian M...

As book lovers we all owe a debt of gratitude to the Sumerians, the ...

Qur'ans - Fine Examples from Our Shelves

Where collecting is concerned, the Qur’an is a multi-faceted text ...

The Natural History Books Of Edward Donovan

The late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries saw the publicati...

The Barbary Coast

Thinking of the British and Africa, I suppose the things that comes ...

Travels to the Roof of the World

The Tibetan plateau, situated at some 15,000 feet (4500 metres), sur...

St Petersburg

On the boggy delta of the Neva, Peter the Great founded his ‘windo...

Did they really do that?

Did they really do that? Some of the greatest feats o...

The Holy Land in the original cloth

The other day I received an e-mail offering me a copy of Brand’s H...

Aubrey Beardsley Exhibition | 'I have one aim ...

An exhibition of the illustrated works of Aubrey Beardsley who shocked and thrilled audiences.

April 28, 1789: The Mutiny on the Bounty

The Mutiny on the Bounty William Bligh (1754-1815) wi...

Books not Borders - An interview with our Gift...

An interview with Angus Robb as part of our Books not Border series, wherein we're bre...

Victorian Detective Fiction

An introduction to collecting Victorian Detective Fiction at Shapero Rare Books.

Books not Borders - An interview with our foun...

We talk to our Founder and CEO, Bernard Shapero, as part of our Books not Border serie...

Reopening 12th April

From Monday 12th April, the doors to our bookshops and galleries at ...

Iran Zamin - Highlights From The Catalogue

Highlights from our recently published catalogue Iran Zamin, as pick...

Books not Borders - An interview with our Lite...

An interview with our Literature specialist Roddy Newlands as part of our Books not Bo...

Books not Borders - An Interview with our Seni...

As part of our Books not Borders series, where we're breaking down the barriers to the...

Books not Borders - an interview with our head...

The second in our Books Not Borders series, where we're breaking down the barriers to ...

Books not Borders - an interview with our Sale...

Today we begin the first in a new blog series, Books Not Borders or for the French Livres Sans ...

Islamic & Near East: A New Department

We are delighted to announce the launch of our new Islamic departmen...

Arterritory - 'I am sort of 100 percent a book...

Arterritory recently interviewed our CEO & Founder, Bernard Shap...

Mail Online - A hidden fortune on your bookshe...

London-based bookstore Shapero's children's book expert Roddy Newlands told MailOnline children...

Whatever the Tier, We're Still Here

Whatever the Tier might be, we are still open online for all your book buying needs. Our online...

Christmas & into the New year

Whilst our Bookshops and Gallery at 105 and 106 New Bond Street will...

New Emporium Opens on Bond Street

2020 has seen an exciting period of expansion for Shapero Rare Books...

Good Icons: An Online Exhibition

Good Icons installed at 106 New Bond Street Shapero Rare Books and Sh...

It's Business As Usual

We will be open for business as usual online whilst the doors to our Bookshop and Gallery at 1...

Art Exhibition: The Book of Neil Gaiman by Lor...

Lorna May Wadsworth installs striking portraits of Neil Gaiman at Shapero Rare Books a...

Richard Burton in West Africa: Three fine firs...

One of the great men of his age, Richard F. Burton (1821-1890) was a true polymath. With an ext...

New Year, New Beginnings…

We're moving! After nearly twenty-five years in Saint George Street, the sale of our much-loved...

Why Collect Rare Books?

For the non-collector among us (are there really people who don’t collect books?), the idea t...

Time Travel: The History of Baedeker Guidebook...

Long before mobile travel apps there was the Baedeker Guide, indispensable for helping thousand...

On Her Majesty's Secret Service: Writers and S...

Writers and spies - exploring all things cloak and typewriter by delving into the murky world o...

An update from our CEO Bernard Shapero

I am delighted to be able to announce that following changes in the ...

The Layered Legacy of Captain Cook

On the anniversary of Cook’s arrival in Botany Bay, we look back at an articl...

'The Artist in their Studio' by Gallery Manage...

Artists’ studios are the perfect place to see and understand the creative process th...

William Morris & The Kelmscott Chaucer

Kelmlscott Press founder William Morris was also a serious book collector; he amassed a library...

The Best Exhibitions and Events in December 20...

A selection of the best events & exhibitions taking place in November 2019 both in London and a...

The Best Exhibitions & Events in November 2019

A selection of the best events & exhibitions taking place in November 2019 both in London and a...

An Interview With Quentin Blake

Ahead of Quentin Blake’s exhibition of new works here at Shapero HQ, our Digital Content Mana...

Banned Books: The Freedom to Read

Celebrating the freedom to read, Banned Books Week has become a focal point in the literary yea...

Can You Guess the Rare Books in Emoji?

All of these Rare Books in emoji can currently be found on the shelves at here at Shap...

Shiver me Timbers! Rare Pirate & Corsair Books

Rare Book Review article slicing through the cut-throat stories from the earliest pirate books ...

Rare Books & Works on Paper: A Celebration of ...

As the publishing & art world finally become more gender inclusive, we celebrate some of the fa...

Shapero Rare Books and Shapero Modern feature ...

The past month has seen Shapero Rare Books and our Gallery, Shapero Modern included in Tatler a...

Banned Books

Books have been banned for a variety of reasons over the centuries, ranging from racism, anti-r...

Book Launch | Exceptional Women and their Stor...

Shapero Rare Books are delighted to be hosting the European la...

Millicent Fawcett inspires the first female st...

Splendidly rendered in bronze, Millicent Fawcett now stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the likes...

Collecting James Bond First Editions

One of the most internationally celebrated fictional characters of all time, James Bond first e...

The Album Amicorum of Rhaban Giese

The following text has been written by Dr Bob Miller, and represents the research he kindly und...

Total Eclipse of the Sun 1878

Trouvelot's total eclipse of the sun, one of a complete set of 15 celestial chromolithographs.....

Retracing the Footsteps of 19th Century Explor...

The great natural history museum collections have at their foundation, specimens collected by 1...

Cricket Memorabilia

The sound of leather (ball) against willow (bat) can once again be heard throughout the English...

Photography: Eternal cities

Incredible photos from over 100 years ago show how much our lives have changed.

The Bookshop: A poem

Birds sat on tables poised at every angle their feathers clouded with motes of dust, p...

The Beauty of Maps

A voyage around the history of cartography takes in sea monsters, newly charted territ...

Fine illustrated books: Highlights from 2017 c...

In our latest Fine Books catalogue, discover a selection of some of the most beautiful...

The Greatest Polar Exploration Literature

Lines in the Ice: Marginalia My recent talk at Shapero Rare Books gave me the opportun...

Mutiny! The Court-Martial Documents of the Bou...

On 28 April 1789, disaffected crewmen took control of the HMS Bounty and cast the captain, Capt...

Censorship of Books in the Soviet Union

Banned, censored, exiled: Soviet era literature After the Soviet Union was formed in 1...

Last Portraits of the Antarctic Heroes

The discovery of John Franklin's HMS Terror at the bottom of an Arctic bay this September co...

All rise: The Book of Bread by Owen Simmons

Most staple foods are never given the chance to shine, humbly carrying on, being consumed at i...

Layard and the Antiquities of Assyria

Today we are all too aware of the appalling damage inflicted by ISIS on the ancient sites of Ir...

Napoleon's Description of Egypt

The extraordinary success of a megalomaniac, an uncharted world, and a team of savant explorers

Literary Brunch - John Gimlette's 'Elephant Co...

[vcex_spacing] This Saturday, we were treated with a brilliant talk by John Gimlette fo...

Larger than Life – The Explorer Sir Richard ...

The explorer Sir Richard Burton, after the painting by Lord Leighton.   Frequentl...

Ernest Shackleton, a Tale of the Antarctic

Ernest Shackleton, born in County Kildare, Ireland, in 1874, was for many years the forgotten m...

Artists' Books

Click here to discover our selection of artists' books

Imperial Mechanisms

STAUNTON, Sir George Leonard. 'An authentic account of an Embassy' (1797) The rapid acceleratio...

Exploring the Ground Floor

In the heart of Mayfair, Shapero Rare Books is full of treasures. From John Gould to B...

Sir John Barrow - Unsung Champion of the Empir...

Civil servant, naval secretary, developer, publicist, settler, author and all-round-adventurer ...

Looking for Father Christmas – Robert Peary ...

Through the nineteenth century, interest in the North Polar region was stimulated by v...

China in Print

During late November we  journey across the high seas to China in Print, Hong Kong’s lead...

Henry Morton Stanley: 'Bula Matari'

From a workhouse in Wales to establishing one of the ...

Utagawa School - Japanese Prints

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Serge Diaghilev and The Ballets Russes

Almost a century has passed since Russian impresario Serge Diaghilev founded the fam...

Great Explorers: James Bruce

The industrial revolution in the United Kingdom spawned a host of great British explo...

Opportunity Knocks

The second part of our spectacular clearance offer presents 25 illustrated books a...

Top Ten British Colour Plate Books (Travel & T...

Produced towards the end of the age of colour plate, overlapping with the new age of p...

Top Ten British Colour Plate Books (Travel & T...

  Produced towards the end of the age of colour plate, overlapping with the new age o...

Russian Literature 2015

On occasion of the Russian week in London we are delighted to be able to offer you a ...

Jean Theodore Descourtilz

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Ideas, ideas, ideas!

Ideas, Ideas, Ideas. So many of them around, not always that great, but we are just putting the...

Exploring the Nile

One of the greatest legends associated with Africa concerned the source or sources of the River...