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. APUKHTIN, Aleksei Nikolaevich.

    Stikhotvoreniia [Poems].

    St Petersburg, F. S. Sushchinsky, 1886.

    First edition of Apukhtin’s first collection of poems, including works set to music by, among others, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov and Prokofiev.

    £750

  2. [ARNIM, Bettina von.]

    Goethe’s Briefwechsel mit einem Kinde. Seinem Denkmal. Erster [-zweiter] Theil. [Theil III: Tagebuch.]

    Berlin, Ferdinand Dümmler, 1835.

    First edition of Bettina von Arnim’s widely-acclaimed first book, a blend of biography and fiction, based primarily on her contact with Goethe and with his mother. Von Arnim was born Bettina Brentano, into a literary family well-known to Goethe (she was the sister of Clemens Brentano, and granddaughter...

    £650

  3. [AUSSOURD, René] DUMAS, Alexandre.

    Les Trois Mousquetaires.

    Paris, Calmann Levy, 1894.

    Edition de grand luxe, number 39, one of 250 copies on Chine paper, one of a 100 copies with drawings with parts of the engravings.

    £3000

  4. AZAÏS, Gabriel, and Charles LABOR.

    Illustrated manuscript volume of poetry, comprising ‘Vingt-six janvier 1836’ by Azaïs,...

    Béziers, c. 1836?

    An attractive presentation volume, with poems by Azaïs (1805-1888) and Labor (1813-1900), and fine vignette sketches. Azaïs, later author of Les Troubadours de Béziers (1869) was a member of the Félibrige, the literary organization founded by Frédéric Mistral to promote Occitan language...

    £1750

  5. BABEL’, Isaak Emmanuilovich.

    Stat’i i materialy [Articles and materials].

    Leningrad, “Academia”, 1928

    First edition, from the ‘Academia’ series ‘Masters of Contemporary Literature’, including an autobiographical sketch by Babel, and three biographical or critical essays by Nikolai Stepanov, P. I. Novitsky and G. A. Gukovsky, plus a list of Babel’s works. Other writers in the series included...

    £250

  6. BAL’MONT, Konstantin Dmitrievich, translator.

    Sochineniia Shelli... Vypusk 7-i, Chenchi, tragediia, 1819 [The Works of Shelley......

    Moscow, Mamontov, 1899

    First edition of Balmont’s translation of Shelley’s The Cenci, volume 7 of his verse translation of the complete works of Shelley into Russian. Balmont was a polyglot, having studied some forty languages, but he admired English above all and in addition to Shelley he translated nearly all...

    £900

  7. BAL’MONT, Konstantin Dmitrievich, translator. CALDERÓN, Pedro.

    [Half-title:] Sochineniia Kal’derona perevod s ispanskago [The...

    [Moscow, M. and S. Sabashnikov, 1900-1902-1912].

    First edition of all three volumes of Balmont’s translations from Calderon, comprising: El purgatorio de San Patricia (volume I); La vida es sueño, La devoción de la cruz, El príncipe constante and Amar despues de la muerte (volume II); and El médico de su...

    £1800

  8. BAL’MONT, Konstantin Dmitrievich.

    Iz Mirovoi Poezii [From the world’s poetry].

    [Berlin], “Slovo”, 1921.

    First edition: Bal’mont’s translations into Russian of a selection of poems by Rustaveli, Blake, Coleridge, Wordsworth, Byron, Shelley, Poe, Rossetti, Whitman, Tennyson, Goethe, Heine, Leopardi, Baudelaire, and others.

    £50

  9. BARBIER, Georges and Henri de RÉGNIER.

    La Double maîtresse.

    Paris, Mornay, 1928.

    First edition illustrated by Barbier. Number 138, one of 50 copies printed on montval for La Librairie Viau Y Zona of Buenos Aires, from a total edition of 1000 copies.
    A tale of the romantic and erotic misadventures of a young man, appealingly illustrated with quietly provocative illustrations...

    £500

  10. BAUDELAIRE, Charles.

    Les Epaves… avec un eau-forte frontispiece de Félicien Rops.

    Amsterdam, A L’Enseigne du Coq [Brussels, Poulet-Malassis], 1866.

    Rare first edition of Baudelaire’s last book, a collection of poems published in Brussels, containing the 6 banned poems from Fleurs du mal - their first appearance since the 1857 first edition - and 17 new poems which had previously appeared in journals and reviews.

    £6000

  11. [BAUDELAIRE, Charles.]

    Hommage à C. F. Denecourt. Fontainebleau. Paysages – Légendes – Souvenirs – Fantaisies.

    Paris, Librairie de L. Hachette & Co., 1855.

    First edition of this anthology compiled by Fernand Desnoyers and Auguste Luchet, published in honour of the self-appointed keeper of the forest of Fontainebleau, Claude-François Denecourt. It includes texts by Asselineau, Banville, Baudelaire, Béranger, Brizeux, Champfleury, Dupont, Gautier, Hugo,...

    £750

  12. BECQUE, Henry.

    Les Corbeaux, pièce en quatre actes. Paris, Tresse, [1882.]
    [Bound with:]
    ____________. Les Corbeaux …...

    [Paris, 1882.]

    First and second editions of Becque’s innovative realist drama, inscribed by the author on the first half-title to ‘mon cher [Jules-Charles] Truffier’, with authorial marks and annotations on 33 pages in the second edition showing changes made for performance.

    £3000

  13. 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

  14. BELYI, Andrei, pseud. [i.e. Boris Nikolaevich Bugaev].

    Korolevna i rytsari. Skazki [The king’s daughter and the knights. Fairy tales].

    St Petersburg, “Alkonost”, 1919.

    First edition. The majority of this collection of poems was written between 1909 and 1915, and can be seen, according to Bely, as ‘a transition from the gloomy despair of The Urn [1909] to the consciousness of The Star [not published until 1922]; awakening from the unconsciousness of...

    £550

  15. BELYI, Andrei, pseud. [i.e. Boris Nikolaevich Bugaev].

    Stikhi o Rossii [Poems about Russia].

    Berlin, “Epokha”, 1922.

    First edition of these poems, written between 1904 and 1918.

    £300

  16. BELYI, Andrei, pseud. [i.e. Boris Nikolaevich Bugaev].

    Posle razluki. Berlinskii pesennik [After the parting. A Berlin book of songs].

    St Petersburg & Berlin, “Epokha”, [1922].

    First edition. Published the same year as Glossalolia, Bely’s ‘theory of the origin of the universe based on sound’, this collection is another illustration of the poet’s continued acoustic interests.

    £350

  17. BELYI, Andrei, pseud. [i.e. Boris Nikolaevich Bugaev].

    Tragediia tvorchestva. Dostoevskii i Tolstoi [The Tragedy of Creation. Dostoevsky...

    [Moscow,] “Musaget”, [1911].

    First edition of Bely’s important essay on Tolstoy and Dostoevsky. Tolstoy’s death at Astapovo station in November 1910 brought Bely to a new appreciation of the author’s genius. Yet along with it came a conviction of the irrelevance of ‘form’ to art and that even Tolstoy’s ‘revolutionary...

    £750

  18. BELYI, Andrei, pseud. [i.e. Boris Nikolaevich Bugaev].

    Zapiski chudaka. Tom pervyi [– vtoroi] [Notes of an eccentric. Vol. 1 – 2].

    Moscow and Berlin, “Helikon”, 1922.

    First edition of Bely’s Notes of an eccentric, a thinly veiled autobiographical memoir or ‘diary in story form’. The book describes a journey which Bely himself undertook in 1916, from Dornach in Switzerland, through France, England, Norway and Sweden, to Russia, where the narrator has been...

    £550

  19. [BELYI, Andrei, pseud. [i.e. Boris Nikolaevich Bugaev], et al].

    Kak my pishem [How we write].

    Leningrad, Izdatel’stvo pisatelei, [1930].

    First edition: sketches on the art of writing, published as an aid to young writers, with contributions from Bely, Gorky, Zamyatin, Zoshchenko, Kaverin, Lavrenev, Libedinsky, Nikitin, Pilnyak, Slonimsky, Tikhonov, Aleksei Tolstoy, Tynyanov, Fedin, Olga Forsh, Chapygin, Shishkov, and Shklovsky.

    £450

  20. BERGAMÍN, José.

    El Arte de birlibirloque (Entendimiento del toreo).

    [Madrid], Editorial Plutarco, 1930.

    First edition, no. 393 of an unspecified limited printing on thick paper. A collection of aphorisms on the subject of bull fighting, by one of the best Spanish essayists of the twentieth century.

    £350