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. 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

  2. [BOUCHER, Jean].

    Apologie pour Iehan Chastel Parisien, execute a mort, et pour les peres & escholliers, de la Societé de Iesus,...

    [Paris?], 1595.

    First edition of Boucher’s pseudonymous apology for Jean Châtel’s attempted assassination of Henri IV, described by the author as an ‘acte heroique’. Boucher (1548-1644) was prior and rector of the Sorbonne and an active member of the Catholic League who openly incited violent revolt against...

    £600

  3. FRICKER, Bernard.

    Autograph working manuscript of a collection of essays and pensées entitled ‘La Marche du Jeu’.

    c. 1946-52.

    An extraordinary, unique production, with seven long, unpublished observational essays by Fricker on the post-war Parisian art world, including long discussions of the work of Francis Picabia, Marcel Duchamp, and Blaise Cendrars; assembled in hand-decorated chemises and a folding box designed by his...

    £6500

  4. OHNET, Georges.

    The Battles of Life. The Ironmaster. From the French of Georges Ohnet … by Lady G[eorgiana] O[sborne]. Authorized...

    London: Wyman & Sons … 1884.

    First edition in English. Le maître de forges (1882), one of a series of novels published by Ohnet under the title ‘Les batailles de la vie’, was a bestseller of French nineteenth-century sentimental fiction, and no less successful in England. Another English translation, by Ernest Vizetelly,...

    £450

  5. ROSTAND, Edmond.

    Chantecler. Pièce en quatre actes, en vers.

    Paris, Librairie Charpentier et Fasquelle, 1910.

    First edition, one of four copies printed on green paper, this copy printed specially for the publisher Eugène Fasquelle, and so designated on the verso of the half-title. The total edition numbered 1000 copies, with a few additional copies printed on yellow, blue, and green paper.

    £2800

  6. GARCÍA LORCA, Federico.

    Chant funèbre pour Ignacio Sanchez Mejias & Ode à Walt Whitman. Traduits par Rolland-Simon.

    [Paris], GLM, 1938.

    Rare first edition in French of Lorca’s Llanto por Ignacio Sánchez Mejías: copy no. 2 of 20 printed on hollande pannekoek (first paper) of a total edition of 470.

    £500

  7. [SOUZA, Adélaïde de].

    Charles et Marie. Par l’auteur d’Adèle de Senange.

    Paris, Maradan, 1802.

    First edition of this novel describing British society at the beginning of the 19th century, written in the form of an aristocratic young Englishman’s diary.

    £400

  8. GARCIA LORCA, Federico.

    Cinq romances gitanes, texte espagnol et traduction par Guy Lévis-Mano.

    [Paris], GLM, [1939].

    First edition, one of 475 numbered copies, of translations into French by Guy Lévis-Mano of five poems from the Romancero gitano: ‘Saint Gabriel’, ‘La casada infiel’, ‘Romance sonámbulo’, ‘Romance de la Guardia Civil española’ and ‘Romance de la luna, luna’.

    £100

  9. [COLETTE, Sidonie-Gabrielle - WILLY [i.e. Henri Gauthier-Villars]]. KELLER, Fernand, and André LAUTIER.

    Colette (Colette Willy),...

    Paris, Éditions de La Nouvelle Revue Critique, 1923.

    First edition of this critical work on Colette, with Willy’s manuscript annotations throughout. The copy was subsequently in the possession of Willy’s friend Pierre Varenne, who has added a pencilled note to the blank endleaf: ‘Annotations manuscrites de Willy. P.V.’, and a ms. postcard to Varenne...

    £900

  10. GIONO, Jean.

    Colline.

    Paris, Bernard Grasset, Les Cahiers Verts, 1929.

    First edition of Giono’s first book; it forms the first part of his successful ‘Pan trilogy’ with Un de Baumugnes (1929) and Regain (1930).

    £450

  11. JABÈS, Edmond.

    El, Ou le dernier livre.

    [Paris], Gallimard, [1973].

    First edition, one of 40 numbered copies on vélin pur fil.

    £300

  12. GUMILEV, Nikolai Stepanovich, translator. GAUTIER, Théophile.

    Emali i kamei [Émaux et camées].

    [St Petersburg, M. V. Popov, 1914.]

    First edition, very rare: Gumilev’s first published volume of translation, and Gautier’s first appearance in Russian. This is the only contemporary edition; it first received a reprint (in a bilingual edition) some 75 years later.

    £850

  13. TZARA Tristan.

    Entre-temps.

    Paris, Le Calligraphe, 1946.

    First edition of this collection of surrealist verses, the fourth volume in the Le Calligraphe collection. Number 150 of 344 numbered copies on vélin du marais.

    £350

  14. MORÉAS, Jean, pseud. [i.e. Iannis Papadiamantopoulos].

    Ériphyle, poème. Suivi de quatre Sylves.

    Paris, Bibliothèque Artistique & Littéraire, 1894.

    First edition of a collection of poems in the classical style. The Greek-born poet Jean Moréas had been a major figure in the Symbolist movement, writing its manifesto which was published in Le Figaro in 1886. In 1891, however, he defected to found the ‘École Romane’ with Charles Maurras, which...

    £200

  15. TOLMACHEV, Iakov Vasil’evich.

    Frantsuzskaia grammatika, razpolozhennaia legchaishim sposobom, s prisovokupleniem khrestomafii...

    Moscow, University Press, 1809.

    First edition, rare. The polyglot academic Iakov Tolmachev (1779–1873) published his highly successful French grammar the year he arrived in St Petersburg from Ukraine, where he grew up. Other editions came out in 1814, 1819, and 1827.

    £2800

  16. PARADIN, Guillaume.

    Gulielmi Paradini Anchemani Epigrammata ...

    Lyons, Ant. Gryphius, 1581.

    First and only edition of this French historian’s poetry including verses about or addressed to Ronsard, Pontus de Tyard, Claude Rouillet, and the Lyons printers Sébastien and Antoine Gryphe, and Jean de Tournes.

    £950

  17. VILLEHARDOUIN, Geoffroy de (Charles du Fresne DU CANGE, editor).

    Histoire de l’empire de Constantinople sous les empereurs françois,...

    Paris, Imprimerie Royale, 1657.

    First collected edition, comprising the third edition of Villehardouin’s chronicle, edited and translated by Du Cange, and the first edition of Du Cange’s history of the Latin empire in the Levant. The original and modern French versions of Villehardouin’s chronicle are printed on opposite pages....

    £1400

  18. [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

  19. [TOULOUSE-LAUTREC, Henri de, illustrator]. MARSOLLEAU, Louis, and Arthur BYL.

    Hors les lois. Comédie en un acte, en vers …

    Paris, P.-V. Stock (formerly Tresse & Stock), 1898.

    First (and only) edition. Toulouse-Lautrec was commissioned by André Antoine to create a design for the play’s premiere on 5 November 1897 at the Théâtre Antoine. It represents actors, in full period costume, mingling with theatre-goers during the interval.

    £750

  20. 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