Book Shop and Gifts

We have a range of books and pamphlets on Erasmus, his interests, his contemporaries and fellow members of the Lunar Society.  We also stock science books for children and books for herb garden enthusiasts.

Our most popular books are The Lunar Men by Jenny Uglow and Desmond King-Hele’s biography of Erasmus Darwin, A Life of Unequalled Achievement.

A list of the books available can be found below.  As space in our shop is limited, some items may not be on display, so please ask at the reception desk if you cannot find a copy of the book you require.

Anna Seward’s Life of Erasmus Darwin

RRP £14.99          Our price £7.50

In 1804, at a time of industrial, political and intellectual ferment, Anna Seward (1742-1809) published the first biography of “Erasmus Darwin” (1731-1802). Darwin was one of Britain’s foremost physicians, scientists, poets and observers of nature. Anna Seward was a leading poet, critic and commentator. Both flourished in the effervescent cultural landscape of the late-eighteenth century and made Lichfield a provincial centre for intellectual activity.


Erasmus Darwin: A Life of Unequalled AchievementErasmus Darwin: A Life of Unequalled Achievement by [King-Hele, Desmond]

Author: Desmond Hele-King

Price: £25.00

A splendid biography of Erasmus Darwin by Desmond King-Hele, who is the leading authority on Erasmus Darwin, having studied his life and work for three decades. One of our most popular books.



The Lunar Men: The Friends Who Made The Lunar Men: The Friends Who Made the Future 1730-1810the Future

Author: Jenny Uglow

Price: £14.99

The Lunar Men is a vivid group portrait that brings to life the Lunar Society of Birmingham, a group of eighteenth-century amateur experimenters led by the larger-than-life Erasmus Darwin.



Erasmus Darwin and Evolution

Author: Desmond King-Hele

Price: £8.00

A study of Erasmus Darwin’s theories concerning the evolution of all life on earth from a ‘single living filament’. His work influenced his grandson, Charles Darwin,although the grandson did not always acknowledge his debt. This book puts Erasmus Darwin’s evolutionary thinking into its historical context, drawing on his poetry and prose to demonstrate the originality of much of his work in this field.

The Darwin Farms

Author: Peter

Price: £10.00

Erasmus Darwin was a larger-than-life character and a leading member of the Lunar Society or ‘lunatics’, an eighteenth century group of entrepreneurs. His grandson Charles Darwin, best known for his epic book, The Origin of the Species, was descended from two famous scientific families; the Darwins and the Wedgwoods. But until now the history of the Darwins as owners of several farms in Lincolnshire has been little appreciated. The letters, financial accounts, photographs and maps discussed in this book reveal how the Darwin family influenced the lives of their tenant farmers, and provide new insights into the nature of rural Lincolnshire from the Elizabethan era right through to the mid-twentieth century.

The fall and rise of aspirin cover

The Rise and Fall of Asprin

Author: Peter Sheldon

Price: £12.99

The author has long been interested in how plant derived substances can prove beneficial to Medicine. Writings on papyrus from the earliest times have described the use of willow bark for soothing inflamed wounds. Major contributions by the Reverend Edward Stone of Chipping Norton, and Dr. Thomas Maclagan of Dundee are covered, along with the unique discovery by Professor John Vane and his team, of the fundamental effect of aspirin on prostaglandin synthesis. The book includes fascinating memorabilia on the early days of aspirin, kindly donated from the Bayer archive

The Life and Times of William Withering

Author: Peter Sheldon

RRP £19.95

Our price £8.00

William Withering whilst travelling from Birmingham to Stafford and stopping to change horses, was asked to see a patient suffering from the dropsy. A few weeks later, enquiring about her progress, he was told she had improved following the use of a remedy of an old woman in Shropshire. He was able to discern that of all its ingredients, the one likely to be responsible was derived from the purple foxglove. His most famous contribution to the world of medicine was to study its optimum dosage, and accurately to chart its side effects. Withering was also a mineralogist and botanist. He was a member of the Lunar Society of Birmingham. Within this book we traverse world events of the 18th century – wars and riots, the Industrial Revolution, the effects in the Midlands of the French Revolution, the events in India, and many others. We chart the lives of other physicians, famous politicians, artists, playwrights, cabinet makers and others, who collectively weave the tapestry of the time. Then we move into modern times with the advent of digoxin, the current version of digitalis. We assess its place in the medicine of today. This book is intended not only for members of the medical and allied professions, but for all who, like Withering, seek truth from the Nature that surrounds us

Elizabeth Anne Galton(1808-1906)Elizabeth Anne Galton (1808-1906): A Well-connected Gentlewoman

By Andrew Moilliett (Editor)

RRP £10.99

Our price £6.99



How to Create the Perfect Wife

Author: Wendy Moore

Price: £8.99How to Create the Perfect Wife: The True Story of One Gentleman, Two Orphans and an Experiment to Create the Ideal Woman

This is the story of how Thomas Day, a young man of means, decided he could never marry a woman with brains, spirit or fortune. Instead, he adopted two orphan girls from a Foundling Hospital, and set about educating them to become the meek, docile women he considered marriage material.




Fifty Plants That Changed the Course of History

Author: Bill Laws50 Plants That Changed the Course of History - Hardback - 9780857624864 - Bill Laws

RRP £14.99

Our Price £6.99

Fifty Plants That Changed The Course Of History is a beautifully presented guide to the plants that have had the greatest impact on human civilisation.  Entries range from crops like rice and wheat that feed whole populations, to herbs and spices that are highly prized for their medicinal qualities.  Weaving together strands of economic political and agricultural history, each entry is a fascinating look at the most influential plants known to mankind.

101 Brilliant things for Kids to Do With Science

Author: Dawn Isaac101 Brilliant Things For Kids to do With Science

RRP £14.99

Christmas Special Offer £6.99

Science is one of those things that some grown ups think has to be taken very seriously, with lots of very long words and textbooks. This isn’t that sort of science.  This is the good sort.  The messy, fun, exciting, noisy sort.  The sort that involves launching rockets, making sherbet, creating snow storms – that kind of thing.

Horrible Histories Gorgeous Georgians

Author: Terry Deary

RRP £5.99

Our price £4.99

It’s history with the nasty bits left in!



The Enlightenment Series

Author: Jonathon Powers

Price £5 or 3 for £12

All books can be purchased from our shop or by contacting the Office on 01543 306260 or – please note we charge postage and packaging.