Foreign Literature

Contact Donovan Rees or Joanna Skeels

This department specialises in rare and important works of French, German, Italian, Russian, Spanish and South American literature from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries.

Here you can find first editions and signed or presentation copies of authors as diverse as Akhmatova, Balzac, Borges, Camus, Chekhov, Dostoevsky, Goethe, Goldoni, Hugo, Kafka, Leopardi, Lorca, Manzoni, Pirandello, Pushkin, Schiller, Tolstoy, Zola, and many others. Among the important works which have passed through our hands are the original working manuscript of Turgenev's Fathers and Sons, now in the Pushkin House in St Petersburg, the only known copy of the first edition of Brecht's first play, Baal (1920) with his working notes, and an extraordinary collection of Pushkin first editions.
  1. ALBERTI, Rafael.

    13 Bandas y 48 estrellas. Poema del Mar Caribe.

    Madrid, Manuel Altolaguirre, 1936.

    First edition. ‘The thirteen poems collected in 13 bandas y 48 estrellas, first published in 1936 and later recollected in part 3 of De un momento a otro, are songs of protest against, and critical evaluations of, the role of “el imperialismo yanki”, “la diplomacia del horror”,...

    £650

  2. LEBEDEV, V. P.

    175 godovshchina Pervago Kadetskago korpusa. 17 fevralia 1907 g. [175th Anniversary of the First Corps of Cadets,...

    [St Petersburg,] Press of the First Corps of Cadets, 1906.

    Only edition of this collection of poems commemorating the 175th anniversary of the First Corps of Cadets, set up under Anna Ivanovna. Each of the ten ‘scenes in verse’ is narrated by a cadet, once for each Tsar under which the Corps has served.

    £180

  3. BOLAÑO, Roberto.

    2666.

    Barcelona, Editorial Anagrama, [2004].

    First edition of the Chilean writer’s last novel, the major preoccupation of the last five years of his life. 2666, a cryptic, stylistically rich and violent tale centred around murders of young women in Cuidad Juarez (Santa Teresa in the novel), was published a year after Bolaño’s death...

    £500

  4. LANGE, Norah.

    45 Días y 30 marineros. Novela.

    Buenos Aires, Editorial Tor (Colección Cometa), 1933.

    First edition: Norah Lange’s second novel, which follows a 20-year old girl, Ingrid, the only woman on the ship, on a voyage from Buenos Aires to Oslo.

    £100

  5. SOKOLOV, Ippolit Vasilevich, et al.

    A.

    [Moscow, 1921.]

    First edition: four short poems from the leading Soviet film critic Ippolit Sokolov, together with lyric pieces by two minor writers, Boris Pereleshin and Aleksandr Rakitnikov.

    £150

  6. KUNZE, Reiner.

    Aber die Nachtigall jubelt. Heitere Texte.

    Halle, Mitteldeutscher Verlag, 1962.

    First edition. An early collection of poems illustrated by three contemporary Czech artists, Jaroslav Bejček, František Peterka and Richard Tápal. In 1962 Kunze married his German-Czech wife Elisabeth Littnerova, and through her came into contact with many Czech artists and poets.

    £300

  7. [TORGA, Miguel, pseud.] ROCHA, Adolpho Correia da.

    Abismo. Poemas.

    [Coimbra, “Atlantida”, 1932.]

    First (and only) edition of one of the very rare early collections of poetry of Miguel Torga, published under his own name while he was still a medical student in Coimbra.

    £3500

  8. KARAMZIN, Nikolai Mikhailovich.

    Aglaja. Romantische und historische Erzählungen. Nach dem Russischen des Karamzin herausgegeben...

    Leipzig, Brockhaus, 1819.

    First appearance of a collection of eight prose pieces by Karamzin (1766–1826) in German translation. Although the work takes the title of the first Russian literary almanac, Aglaia, published by Karamzin in two volumes, 1794–5, it is actually a selection of pieces by Karamzin taken both from Aglaia...

    £750

  9. KUSIKOV, Aleksandr Borisovich, pseud. [i.e. Boris Kusikian].

    Al’-barrak. Poemy.

    Berlin, “Skify”, 1922.

    First edition, containing five poems on Islamic themes: ‘Al-Barrak’, ‘Al-Kadr’, ‘Julfikar’, ‘Iskandar Namah’ (1921), and ‘Ko-gospel-ran’.

    £150

  10. JARRY, Alfred.

    Albert Samain (Souvenirs).

    Paris, Victor Lemasle, 1907.

    First edition of Jarry’s memoir of the fin-de-siècle poet, Albert Samain (1858-1900). One of 20 copies printed on hollande (of a total of 40 numbered copies).

    £750

  11. [PUSHKIN, Aleksandr Sergeevich.]

    Al’bom Pushkinskoi Iubileinoi Vystavki v Imperatorskoi Akademii Nauk v S. Peterburg, Mai 1899...

    Moscow, K. A. Fisher, 1899.

    The catalogue of an exhibition to celebrate the centenary of Pushkin’s birth, held at the Imperial Academy of Sciences in St Petersburg. The album is edited by L. N. Maikov and B. L. Modzalevsky, and contains 250 photographic reproductions of portraits, drawings, engravings, sculpture, manuscripts, etc.

    £800

  12. [BLOK, Aleksandr Aleksandrovich.] ASHUKIN, Nikolai Sergeevich.

    Aleksandr Blok. Sinkhronisticheskie tablitsy zhizni i tvorchestva...

    Moscow, “Novaia Moskva”, 1923.

    First edition: a chronology of Blok’s life and a bibliography of his works, together with a list of secondary literature.

    £300

  13. KUZMIN, Mikhail Alekseevich.

    Aleksandriiskiia pesni [Alexandrian songs].

    St Petersburg, “Prometei”, [1921].

    First separate edition of Kuzmin’s Alexandrian Songs, originally published as part of his first collection, Nets, in 1908. ‘Kuzmin’s fame as a poet rests largely with his cycle “Alexandrian Songs” (1905–1908). These are love poems with different personas, male and female, mostly homoerotic,...

    £400

  14. [KAFKA, Franz.]

    Almanach des Schocken Verlags auf das Jahr 5695.

    Berlin, Schocken Verlag, 1934/35.

    Pp. 96-103 contain Kafka’s Aufzeichnungen über eine jüdische Wandertruppe, the description of his meeting with a troupe of Yiddish actors in the Café Savoy in Prague in 1911. This encounter was to have a profound effect on his writing. The passage was later published in an extended version in the...

    £180

  15. [BLOK, KUZMIN, Aleksei TOLSTOI, et al.]

    Al’manakh dlia vsekh. Kniga vtoraia [Almanac for all. Second book].

    St Petersburg, “Novyi zhurnal dlia vsekh”, 1911.

    First edition, rare, the second of two annual literary almanacs with this title, with poems by Blok, Gorodetsky and Kuzmin, and short fiction by Chulkov, Gusev, Count Aleksei Nikolaevich Tolstoy and Ivan Poroshin.

    £200

  16. SOLZHENITSYN, Aleksandr Isaevich.

    Amerikanskiie rechi [American speeches].

    Paris, YMCA, 1975

    First edition, comprising 3 speeches delivered by Solzhenitsyn to the American people in 1975.

    £150

  17. TASSO, Torquato.

    Aminta; Favola boscareccia …

    In Glasgua, Della Stampa di Roberto ed Andrea Foulis, 1753.

    First Foulis Press edition of Tasso’s famous pastoral verse play of 1573, an attractive production with plates from a miniature French edition by the French artist Sebastien le Clerc, acquired by Robert Foulis on his European travels.

    £125

  18. BOWRING, Sir John.

    Ancient Poetry and Romances of Spain …

    London, for Taylor and Hessey, 1824.

    First edition. Bowring had long had a soft spot for Spain (‘I love Spain as a country, and Spaniards as a people. In other lands I single out special objects for my regard … in Spain, my affections pervade and cling to the whole population’, London Magazine, 1823, quoted in Hitchcock)....

    £200

  19. BELISHEVA, S. P., translator.

    ‘An die Fantasie, aus dem russischen.’ Manuscript on paper of an apparently unrecorded poem in...

    Germany, c. 1830

    A contemporary manuscript of an early 19th century Russian poem, translated into German, and signed by the, possibly pseudonymous, translator ‘Fräulein S. P. Belischef’. We have been unable to identify the original poem, in praise of poetic imagination and the heights it can attain, from which the...

    £1750

  20. NERUDA, Pablo and Tomas LAGO.

    Anillos. Prosas.

    Santiago de Chile, Editorial Nascimento, 1926.

    First edition: a collection of twenty lyrical prose pieces, ten by Neruda and ten by his great friend Tomás Lago, Director of the Museum of Popular Arts in Santiago.

    £700