About Us

About Rooke Books

A small and friendly team with a wealth of experience going back thirty years. We are based in the historic and literary City of Bath, and our shop is housed in The Eastern Dispensary. Built in 1845, the building was the first unified medical and dispensing centre in the world. The building was designed in the Neoclassical style, that Bath is so well known for, by Henry Edmund Goodridge.

Today the building houses our collection of over thirty thousand rare, collectible and antiquarian books.


Interesting items we have handled include:

  • Shakespeare’s ‘Third Folio’, slightly singed by the Great Fire of London in 1666.
  • Byron's annotated copy of Polydori's Vampyre.
  • A first edition of Jane Austen’s first work, Sense and Sensibility, complete with the very scarce half titles.
  • A copy of the ‘Red Barn Murders’ this copy belonging to the brother of the victim with his annotations on what was true and was not in this famous case.
  • The exceptionally scarce 1577 second and best edition of the History of Travayle in The West and East Indies, including the first description of Japan in English.

We stock a wide variety of works from sixteenth century texts all the way up to modern first editions. We pride ourselves on our comprehensive listings and detailed photography, and take great care to ensure our descriptions are accurate and thorough. We guarantee all our descriptions. Rooke Books grew from a personal collection, with all at Rooke Books having maintained the passion for literature and the written word from which the company began.