Darwins Cards & Gifts 
37 Market Place 
Olney 
Buckinghamshire MK46 4AJ 
01234 711101 
 
 
 
 
 

The Darwin's Story 

Abington Book Shop
Outside Darwin's shop
Woman sat on giraffe statue outside Darwin's shop
Darwin's Cards and Gifts was set up in its current form in 2004 yet began life in 1978. At that time we opened a shop called "The Bibliopol" in Northampton run as a partnership by father and son team, Ron and Steve James.  
 
It started by selling second-hand and antiquarian books with a side line of a few cards, fine art prints and posters. The name was found in a dictionary that gave the meaning of “Bookseller at his best”, yet was often misconstrued as a religious book shop. This meant that after a few years, when a small extension was added, the shop was renamed “The Abington Bookshop” which was considered to be more to the point as the shop was in the Abington area.  
 
By 1988 Ron James retired and the stock became more concerned with the collectable and antiquarian side of the book market and the greeting card side developed to the speciality market away from the usual cards available in the multiple stores. 
 
In 1998 Darwin joined the shop. Darwin is a pedigree Border collie that from a puppy has been by Steve’s side and has become a bit of a local legend with customers, not to mention a two times Crufts Champion. For more about Darwin please click here. 
 
By 2004 it became clear that there was a decline in the book market and the book side of the business was taking most of the room for the smallest share in income and refurbishment was badly needed. So Darwin's was ironically a shop that evolved and named after the shops dog. It was at this time Esther Butcher joined the staff in Northampton after a seven year maternity break from her previous job in banking. 
 
 
After two years Esther became a partner in the business as we opened our second and larger shop in Olney during 2006. By now our jewellery range had become an important part of our business which, in the same way we pick our cards, are "cherry picked" from many sources to give us the range that gives us our unique collection. Steve has found a fascination with rare pieces of amber, especially the pieces that contain inclusions of flora and fauna, hence the speciality we give it on this web site. Our love of nature, geology and fossils has influenced us to some extent, yet we offer a range of gifts and cards far too numerous to include them all in this web site. 
 
Sadly, we closed our Northampton shop in May 2017, as Steve wanted to semi-retire and focus on other things (mainly his photography). He is currently converting some of his more popular images into canvases to sell from our Olney shop. 
 
Simply drop in to browse through our extensive range of cards & gifts, silver jewellery, confectionery and more. 
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