HISTORIANS talk about the spoils of war.

Now the Oxfam bookshop in Chipping Norton has benefited after a mystery donor handed in his entire collection of books on history, war and politics.

Managers at the store, off Market Place, were delighted when they received the donation of 500 books, which will go on sale from 9.30am on Saturday.

It is the largest single donation of books the shop has been given since it opened four years ago.

Volunteers are now sorting through the collection so it can be valued and priced before the books go on the shelves.

The income generated will go towards Oxfam’s Lift Lives For Good campaign.

Manager Tony Cooper, 56, from Finstock, West Oxfordshire, said: “The shop has been open coming up to four years and it’s easily the biggest single donation we have had here. The books are reasonably new copies and will go on sale priced from £1.49 to £10.

“There are history titles from the medieval period, books on modern politics and books on the First World War, which are very topical because of the centenary. The donation came in about a month ago and the person who donated the books is very much alive but wants to remain anonymous.

“Many people bring in book collections to us because they want to make room for fresh stock.

“I think we are talking about raising more than £1,000 for Oxfam through the sale of these books and that can go a long way to helping the people we support.”

Titles in the collection include Hundred Days: The End of the Great War by Nick Lloyd and July 1914: Countdown to War by Sean McMeekin.

Volunteer John Dunleavy, 68, a retired IT consultant, who lives with his wife Paula in Chipping Norton, said: “The books filled about 20 to 30 cardboard boxes.

“I don’t think there are any books of outstanding value but the collection will raise a lot of money for Oxfam.”

Individual books can raise thousands of pounds for Oxfam.

In 2008, an early Graham Greene novel, Rumour at Nightfall, raised £15,000 after volunteer Andrew Chapman recognised its potential value at the Oxfam bookshop in St Giles, Oxford.

  • For further information about Lift Lives for Good, visit oxfam.org.uk