Hookham, Thomas -1846)
Thomas Hookham was a bookseller, stationer, owner of a circulating library, bookbinder, and publisher who traded from 1767 to 1846 under various guises, as Hookham & Carpenter (1791-1799); Hookham & Ebers (1803-1808); T & E Hookham (1809-1813); T Hookham & Sons (1811-1815); Hookham & Sons (1817-20). Hookham's “original circulating library”, located in London on Old Bond Street, was one of the leading commercial libraries of its kind in the 1820s. Appealing mainly to the middle and upper class, it had a fan base that included the poet Shelley and the novelist and poet Thomas Love Peacock. Unfortunately, the arrival of the libraries of Mudie's and W.H. Smith's and Sons, challenged Hookham's monopoly, eventually driving him out of business by charging cheaper rates, as well as offering a far larger circulation and an efficient countryside service.