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Marvellous Melbourne’s own Willy Wonka

Tess McLaughlin
Tess McLaughlan
Jodi Kok
Jodi Kok
Black and white image of E.W. Cole's Book Arcade
Black and white image of E.W. Cole's Book Arcade

About the episode

Everyone has heard of Willy Wonka, the magical owner of the incredible Wonka Chocolate Factory. But few know very much about E.W. Cole, Melbourne's own Willy Wonka, who ran a bookstore even more magical than the books it sold. E.W. Cole’s Marvellous Book Arcade lived on the south side of Bourke Street. It sprawled across three stories of eccentric departments and boasted over a million books.

In this episode, you'll hear from State Library Victoria librarian, Jodi Kok, who first came across E.W. Cole as a child, and later wrote about him on the Library blog. She’ll share everything about this magical place, and the even more magical man behind it.

Further reading

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