Way back in 1792, on Little Grosvenor Street in London a new vendor named Henry Walton Smith was first opening the doors of H W Smith (later to become WHSmith). Little did he know that his small newsagent would go on to become the first chain store company in the world, passing ownership through four generations of the family, revolutionising the books industry multiple times and going on to become a household name around the world.
To start the celebrations, we take a look at favourite reads over those years - from Victorian times to modern classics.
Enjoy these classic titles with artwork specially commissioned for WHSmith - Yellow back editions are based on the original Victorian covers.
A popular sensation since its first publication since 1847, Charlotte Bronte’s tale of a woman’s search for love and freedom continues to capture the imagination of readers all over the world.
Arthur Conan Doyle first introduced his legendary detective in A Study in Scarlet in 1887. Published five years later in 1892, this collection brings together Holmes’ and Watson’s most famous and perplexing mysteries.
Tess of the D’Urbervilles
First published in 1891, Thomas Hardy’s tale of Victoria double-standards was condemned by contemporary critics as immoral, but is today recognised as one of the author’s greatest works.
First published in 1891, George Eliot’s tale of redemption is also a loving portrait of a long-lost rural way of life.
First published in 1855, The Warden is the first in Anthony Trollope’s well-loved and celebrated series of novels known as The Barchester Chronicles.
The Turn of the Screw
First published in 1898, Henry James’s ghost story still retains its power to fascinate and appal. It is accompanied in this edition by three other haunting tales, ‘The Romance of Certain Old Clothes’, ‘The Friends of the Friends’ and ‘The Jolly Corner’.
Harry Potter is a series of fantasy novels written by British author J. K. Rowling. The novels chronicle the life of a young wizard, Harry Potter, and his friends, all of whom are students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
Harry Potter thinks he is an ordinary boy – until he is rescued by a beetle-eyed giant of a man, enrols at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, learns to play Quidditch and does battle in a deadly duel.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Ever since Harry Potter had come home for the summer, the Dursleys had been so mean and hideous that all Harry wanted was to get back to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
For twelve long years, the dread fortress of Azkaban held an infamous prisoner named Sirius Black. Convicted of killing thirteen people with a single curse, he was said to be the heir apparent to the Dark Lord, Voldemort.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
It is the summer holidays and soon Harry Potter will be starting his fourth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Harry is counting the days: there are new spells to be learnt, more Quidditch to be played...
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Harry Potter is due to start his fifth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. His best friends Ron and Hermoine have been very secretive all summer and he is desperate to get back to school and find out what has been going on.
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
but there is an unseasonal mist pressing against the windowpanes. Harry Potter is waiting nervously in his bedroom at the Dursleys’ house in Pivet Drive for a visit from Professor Dumbledore himself.
Top Travel Reads
Escaping into a good book is one of travel's pleasures - these are the most popular reads
Girl on The Train
Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She’s even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses. ‘Jess and Jason’, she calls them. Their life – as she sees it – is perfect. If only Rachel could be that happy.
Fifty Shades of Grey
When literature student Anastasia Steele interviews successful entrepreneur Christian Grey, she finds him very attractive and deeply intimidating. As they embark on a passionate love affair, Ana discovers more about her own desires...
Fifty Shades Darker
Daunted by the dark secrets of the tormented young entrepreneur Christian Grey, Ana Steele has broken off their relationship to start a new career with a US publishing house. But desire for Grey still dominates her every waking thought.
The Da Vinci Code
Harvard professor Robert Langdon receives an urgent late-night phone call while on business in Paris: the elderly curator of the Louvre has been brutally murdered inside the museum. Alongside the body, police have found a series of baffling codes.
Florence: Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon awakes in a hospital bed with no recollection of where he is or how he got there. Nor can he explain the origin of the macabre object that is found hidden in his belongings.
The Lost Symbol
The Capitol Building, Washington DC: Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon believes he is here to give a lecture. He is wrong. Within minutes of his arrival, a shocking object is discovered. It is a gruesome invitation into an ancient world of hidden wisdom.