The Temple of the Muses: The Biggest and Cheapest Bookstore in the World

“Small profits do great things”

– the motto on the founder of the Temple of the Muses’ carriage.

Welcome to The Temple of the Muses, a site dedicated to the one-time largest and cheapest bookshop in the world. In the late 18th and early 19th century this shop stood in Finsbury Square, London, until it burned down in 1841.

This site contains a small database of books from the catalogues of the shop along with information on the history of the shop and its founder, James Lackington. Lackington himself was a fascinating man who rose from being an illiterate shoemaker’s apprentice to the own of a bookstore whose frontage was 140 ft.

Use the headers above to navigate the site. Email siobhan.mcelduff[at] with any issues or questions.