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. [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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. [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

  5. 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

  6. BIZET, Georges.

    L’Arlésienne. Drame en 3 Actes de Alphonse Daudet. Partition, Chant & Piano.

    Paris, Choudens, [1872].

    First edition, earliest issue (with the incorrect time signature to no. 5), of the first appearance in print of Bizet’s incidental music for Daudet’s tragedy L’Arlésienne, composed in 1872 to a commission from Léon Carvalho. It was first performed at the Théâtre du Vaudeville on 1 October...

    £800

  7. [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

  8. [CANAPE and CORRIEZ]. RÉGNIER, Henri de.

    La Sandale Ailée.

    Paris, Société des amis des livres modernes, 1914.

    Limited edition, Comte Foy’s copy, number 35 of 125 copies produced for the members of the Société of this compendium of free verse by the Mallarmé-circle symbolist poet Henri de Régnier, attractively illustrated with reproductions of watercolours by noted French artist Antoine Calbet.

    £3500

  9. [CELAN, Paul, translator]. CHAR, René.

    Poésies. Dichtungen [– II].

    [Frankfurt,] S. Fischer, 1959–68.

    First edition of Celan’s translations of poems by René Char, with a preface by Albert Camus. Celan’s translations, Hypnos. Aufzeichnungen aus dem Maquis (‘Feuillets d’Hypnos’) and Einer harschen Heiterkeit (‘A une sérénité crispée’), appear in the first volume. Other translators who...

    £150

  10. [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

  11. DESENFANS, Noel Joseph.

    Les deux Hermites, dédié a mylord Lyttelton …

    A Londres; chez R. Davis … J Ridley … W Owen … 1773.

    First and only edition, uncommon, of an epistolary novel by the future art dealer Noel Joseph Desenfans. The scene is Paris in the 1680s, the theme is Enlightenment, and the author’s aim was to inspire ‘l’horreur de l’oppression, sentiment nécessaire à l’harmonie de la Société, & vertu...

    £650

  12. DUMAS, Alexandre, père.

    Les Trois Mousquetaires.

    Paris, Michel Lévy, 1846.

    Rare early edition of The Three Musketeers, first published in 8 volumes in 1844. This is the third edition published in France, although there were several Brussels printings of the novel in the interim. The half-title of the present edition announces ‘Oeuvres complètes d’Alexandre Dumas’, but...

    £950

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. GARCÍA LORCA, Federico.

    Ode à Salvador Dalí. Texte espagnol & traduction par Louis Parrot & Paul Eluard.

    [Paris], GLM, [1938].

    First separate edition of Lorca’s Ode to Salvador Dalí, and first appearance in French, in a translation by the French surrealist poets Paul Eluard and Louis Parrot. The poem was first published in the original Spanish in April 1926 in the Revista de Occidente; a luxury edition to be published by...

    £600

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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