March 2017

On a quiet street in London is Persephone Books, a bookshop specialising in neglected fiction and non-fiction by women, for women and about women.

It is a tranquil getaway perfect for discovering books by lesser-known, but equally brilliant authors. With its own in-house printing press, each book is elegantly bound in silvery-grey paper and lined with exquisitely patterned paper taken from fabric designs from the period in which the book was written.

Aside from neglected female authors better known female authors are also published but in a genre that they’re less known in; Richmal Crompton, for example, established herself as the author for the beloved Just William adventures. However, Persephone Books publishes and sells a selection of her other novels, including Family Roundabout from 1948. The shop shot to fame in 2001 when it reprinted the novel Miss. Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred Watson, later being made into a film in 2008 and staring Amy Adams. The book continues to outsell many others and brings good fortune to the store.

Named after the daughter of Zeus, Persephone is a symbol of female creativity, as well as the dawn of new beginnings – a somewhat apt name for a beautiful store sharing a world of adventure, possibility and intelligence.

All photography © Persephone Books
Persephone Books 59 Lamb’s Conduit Street London WC1N 3NB