Hatchards is the oldest bookshop in the United Kingdom. It was founded by John Hatchard in 1797 in Piccadilly in London, from where it still trades today. Mr Hatchard's portrait can be seen on the staircase of the shop today.
Its origins were founded through a bought collection of merchandise from Simon Vandenbergh, a controversial bookseller of the 18th century. Simon Vandenbergh's grandson, John Vandenbergh Quick was the inventor of the first pop up book and his grandson created the images of Sherlock Holmes and Mother Goose as we know them today in wood carvings.
Over the years many famous authors have signed at Hatchards including J.K Rowling, Alexander McCall Smith, Peter Ackroyd, Margaret Thatcher, Lauren Bacall, Stephen Fry, Jeremy Paxman, Joanne Harris, the late Alec Guinness, David Attenborough, Michael Palin, Deborah, Duchess of Devonshire, Peter Mandelson, Hilary Mantel, Sebastian Faulks, and Howard Jacobson.
The only antiquarian books currently sold are by and about Winston Churchill, with a small selection of European Royalty books. Other specialist subjects include Gardening, Food & Drink, Biography, Art and Royalty. In 2006 Mowbrays Religious Bookshop moved into Hatchards.
All books can be ordered online through their website, by telephone or fax and can be mailed worldwide.
Twice yearly Hatchards produce a catalogue of new titles. A subscription service to have this mailed out on publication is offered by the store.
A popular annual event held in the run up to Christmas (usually the last Thursday of November) is the Hatchards Christmas Customer Evening. Over twenty well-known authors can be signing books throughout the 5 floors of the shop.
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