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. GOETHE, Johann Wolfgang von.

    Faustus: from the German of Goethe.

    London: Boosey and Sons ... and Rodwell & Martin ... 1821.

    First edition of this expanded translation of Faust (Part I), long mistakenly attributed to George Soane, but now authoritatively credited to Coleridge; issued here with the Retzsch plates which had appeared separately in 1820. ‘The most striking passages and scenes ... have been translated...

    £2250

  2. GOETHE, Johann Wolfgang von.

    Die Wahlverwandtschaften. Ein Roman… Erster [-Zweyter] Theil.

    Tübingen, in der Cottaischen Buchhandlung, 1809.

    First edition of the novel which Goethe himself once called ‘mein bestes Buch’. Published when he was sixty, a year after the first complete edition of Faust, Part I, Die Wahlverwandtschaften, or Elective Affinities, has proved to be one of the most enigmatic and variously interpreted of Goethe’s works.

    £2400

  3. GOETHE, Johann Wolfgang von, and Carl Friedrich ZELTER.

    Briefwechsel zwischen Goethe und Zelter in den Jahren 1796 bis 1832. Herausgegeben...

    Berlin, Duncker & Humblot, 1833-34.

    First edition, printed on a superior paper to the regular issue, in an attractive and well-preserved contemporary binding.

    £1800

  4. [GOETHE.] REICHARDT, Johann Friedrich.

    Goethe’s Lieder, Oden, Balladen und Romanzen mit Musik von J. F. Reichardt. Erste [ -...

    Leipzig, Breitkopf & Härtel, [1809-11].

    Very rare first complete edition of Reichardt’s musical settings of Goethe’s poetry, comprising 128 settings of which 39 appear here for the first time.

    £6500

  5. GOGOL’, Nikolai Vasil’evich.

    Tarass Boulba… traduit du russe par Louis Viardot.

    Paris, Librairie de L. Hachette et Cie, 1853.

    First separate appearance of Gogol’s story in the French translation by Louis Viardot, published in the series ‘Bibliothèque des chemins de fer’. The translation had previously appeared in 1845 in the collection ‘Nouvelles russes’, where Turgenev is named as co-translator.

    £250

  6. [GOGOL’, Nikolai Vasil’evich, Mikhail Iurievich LERMONTOV, and Count Vladimir Aleksandrovich SOLLOGUB].

    Au bord de la Néva....

    Paris, Michel Lévy, 1856.

    Rare first edition of this collection (reprinted 1865), containing the first appearance in French of Gogol’s famous story, Shinel’ (The Overcoat, 1842).

    £450

  7. GOLDONI, Carlo.

    Due Commedie … coiè i Mercanti, ed il Burbero benfico, scelte e pubblicate da G. Polidori, per uso della studiosa...

    Londra, 1797. Si vendono presso l’editore … e presso Duleau (sic) e Co. … [1797].

    First edition thus, rare, edited and printed by Gaetano Polidori; intended for youth, and for the purpose of learning Italian, the volume is expunged by Polidori of anything that might make its readers blush.

    £450

  8. GOR’KII, Maksim, pseud. [i.e. Aleksei Maksimovich Peshkov].

    [Cover title:] Byvshie liudi [Former people, translated into English...

    St. Petersburg, “Znanie”, 1906.

    First edition in book form, very rare, of a powerful, darkly comic fable. It had first appeared over two issues of Novoe Slovo in October-November 1897; here it is reissued as no. 18 in a series of 32 Gorky stories issued by his publishing concern ‘Znanie’ while he was in exile after the 1905 Revolution.

    £1500

  9. GOR’KII, Maksim, pseud. [i.e. Aleksei Maksimovich Peshkov].

    Zhaloby [Complaints].

    N.p., Rabochee Knigoizdatel’stvo, 1916.

    An ephemeral publication of a short story by Gorky, first published in 4 parts in Berlin, 1910-1911. OCLC records three copies only: at University of California Riverside, Washington University, and National Library of Australia.

    £200

  10. GOR’KII, Maksim, pseud. [i.e. Aleksei Maksimovich Peshkov].

    V stepi. – Druzhki [On the Steppes. – The friends].

    Moscow, “Rodnaia rech’”, 1916

    An ephemeral edition of two early short stories. ‘V stepi’ tells the dark story of three vagrants in the Crimea, the narrator, an ex-soldier and an ex-student. Desperate for food they rob and kill a fellow traveller in the night, but the narrator refuses any moral responsibilty for the events: ‘we...

    £200

  11. GOR’KII, Maksim, pseud. [i.e. Aleksei Maksimovich Peshkov].

    V liudiakh [In the world].

    St Petersburg, “Parus”, 1918.

    First edition printed in Russia of the second volume of Gorky’s memoirs, first published in Berlin in 1916. It was preceded by Childhood (1913) and followed by My university years (1923). ‘Gorky reached the apogee of his creative powers in his autobiographical trilogy, Childhood, In the World and...

    £500

  12. [GOR’KII, Maksim, pseud. [i.e. Aleksei Maksimovich Peshkov] and Nikolai Stepanovich GUMILEV.]

    Ballady o Robin Gude [Ballads of...

    St Petersburg, “Vsemirnaia Literatura”, 1919.

    First edition: a collection of translations of twelve popular songs featuring Robin Hood, published in the early Soviet series Vsemirnaia Literaura (‘Worldwide Literature’), edited by Gumilev and with a 10 pp. introduction by Gorky. After discussing the paradox of the ‘good’ robber in literature...

    £900

  13. GOR’KII, Maksim, pseud. [i.e. Aleksei Maksimovich Peshkov].

    Delo Artamonovykh [The Artamonov business].

    Berlin, “Kniga”, 1925.

    First edition. ‘[Gorky’s] best novel, The Artamonov Business (1925), follows the Artamonovs through three generations, from the uneducated grandfather, a strong and enterprising, lusty patriarch who starts a small factory and builds it into a major industrial plant, to a grandson, an intellectual...

    £450

  14. GOR’KII, Maksim, pseud. [i.e. Aleksei Maksimovich Peshkov].

    Starik. P’esa. [The old man. A play].

    Berlin, J. Ladyschnikow, n. d. [1921].

    First edition, written 1915, but not premiered until New Year’s Day 1919.

    £250

  15. GOR’KII, Maxim, pseud. [i.e. Aleksei Maksimovich Peshkov].

    Katalog izdatel’stva “Vsemirnaia Literatura” pri narodnom komissariate...

    St Petersburg, “Vsemirnaia Literatura”, 1919.

    A catalogue marking the launch of a series of popular editions of the classics of world literature by the publishing house ‘Vsemirnaia Literatura’ (‘World Literature’), established by Gorky in 1919. Following a preface by Gorky, printed in Russian, French, English, and German, the catalogue lists...

    £650

  16. GORKY, Maksim, pseud. [i.e. Aleksei Maksimovich Peshkov].

    V Amerike. Ocherki [In America. Sketches].

    Berlin, J. Ladyschnikow Verlag, [1918].

    Second edition (first, 1906): Gorky’s impressions of America after his visit there in 1906 to collect funds for the Party.

    £300

  17. GORODETSKII, Sergei Mitrofanovich.

    Iva. Piataia kniga stikhov [Willow. A fifth book of verse].

    St Petersburg, “Shipovnik”, 1913.

    First edition. Well received by the critics, this, the fifth collection from the co-founder of the Poets’ Guild and Acmeist movement, includes poems about the life of religious wanderers, pilgrims and the world of monasteries, as well as several children’s stories. Of his friend and collaborator,...

    £200

  18. GOSZCZYNSKI, Seweryn and Antoni MALCZEWSKI.

    Les Ukraïniennes … traduites par Clémence Robert.

    Paris. J. A. Merklein … 1835.

    First edition in French of two key texts of Polish Romanticism, Zamek Kaniowski (1828) [The Castle of Koniow] by Seweryn Goszczynski (1801-1876), and Maria (1825) by Antoni Malczewski (1793-1826).

    £650

  19. [GOURAUD, Stéphane, known as:] GURO, Stepan Andreevich, chevalier de.

    Rech’ o deistvii prosveshcheniia na sostoianie narodov …...

    St Petersburg, Imperial Academy of Sciences, 1826.

    First edition. This early speech on the importance of higher education was delivered by the rector of the recently founded University of St Petersburg in his native French (and in a somewhat florid style, to judge from the Russian translation by Nikita Butyrsky, a fellow academic and translator of Schiller)....

    £400

  20. GRASS, Günter.

    Gleisdreieck.

    Darmstadt, Luchterhand, 1960.

    Rare first edition of this volume of poems with Grass’s own drawings.

    £100