59 Lamb’s Conduit Street London WC1N 3NB
Tel: 020 7242 9292
Opening hours 10-6 Monday to Friday, 12-5 Saturday
The Persephone shop and office is in Lamb’s Conduit Street. Our Grade II Listed building was built in 1702-3 and for some years was on,the northern edge of London. The street was developed by Nicholas Barbon, an economist, quoted by Marx on the second page of Das Kapital, who invented fire insurance after the Great Fire of London. Formerly called Red Lion Street, the present name derives from the conduit provided by a William Lamb, from which water ran through open wooden pipes down to the city. ‘Plenty of panelling and staircases of this date remain behind some of the later re-fronting (eg. No. 59)’ comments the modern Pevsner, praising ‘a lively local shoppping street, a rarity now in inner London, with enjoyable C19 shopfronts.’
The basement remains virtually unchanged (even the beautiful twisted balusters so typical of Barbon’s buildings are still in place) and, for reasons of cost, will remain so. The ground floor is now the office of Persephone Books, with the wooden tables and bentwood chairs in place, the mangle in the west-facing york-paved yard, the shop front painted Persephone grey.
(nearest tube stations Russell Square and Holborn). Here is a map of where we are.
All our books are available in the shop (although very occasionally a title goes out of print for a few weeks while we reprint).