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William Pryor, a descendant of the evolutionary scientist, is the owner of Bookbarn International, which sells used books both from its own website and via platforms such as Amazon and Abebooks.

During the past two years, he has compiled a selection of rare, collectable and antiquarian books from the Bookbarn stock of almost 800,000 volumes.

Now, 2500 rare, antiquarian and collectable books and pieces of ephemera, priced from £10-500, are available for visitors to browse and buy at the new shop, Darwin Rare Books. It is located at Bookbarn’s headquarters just outside Bristol where there is also a café and a large emporium of £1 used books.

With “sales of physical books up 8% in the last year and Kindle sales continuing to dwindle”, Pryor says that it is an ideal time to open Darwin Rare Books. It launched on June 29 with an evening of book-themed improvisation by Wardrobe Theatre.

Pryor adds: “My great-great-grandfather would be pleased that one of his descendants should establish a book emporium selling beautiful rare and antiquarian books. It took him 40 years to publish On the Origin of Species, so he would forgive me for taking another 150 to establish Darwin Rare Books.”