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. SOLOGUB, Fedor Kuzmich, pseud. [i.e. Fedor Teternikov], translator. VOLTAIRE, François Marie Arouet de.

    Roman. Perevod s nemetskago…...

    St Petersburg, “Panteon”, 1909.

    First edition, very rare, of Sologub’s translation of Candide. A second edition was published in 1919. The leading Symbolist poet, short-story writer, novelist and dramatist, dubbed by Volynsky ‘a kind of Russian Schopenhauer’, was one of the most famous writers of his day. He also translated a...

    £500

  2. [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

  3. [SURREALISM.]

    Le Ciel bleu. Hebdomadaire littéraire pour tous. De l’autre côté du miroir… No. 1 [-9], All published.

    Brussels, 22 February – 19 April 1945

    The complete run of this short-lived Belgian Surrealist periodical, produced during the closing months of World War II. Directed by Rose Capel, Paul Colinet, Christian Dotremont, and Marcel Mariën, it includes the first appearance in print of pieces by André Breton, Lewis Carroll, and Picasso. Magritte,...

    £1750

  4. 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

  5. [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

  6. TYRTAEUS and CALLINUS.

    Les chants...traduits en vers par Firmin Didot.

    Paris, Firmin Didot, pere et fils, 1827.

    One of only 100 copies - all hors de commerce - of this deluxe folio Didot edition of some of the oldest martial elegy verses of the Western tradition: the surviving works of the Spartan poet Tyrtaeus and the Ephesian poet Callinus (7th-6th century BC). The text is preceded by an engraved Lettre to Firmin...

    £6000

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. VOLTAIRE, François Marie Arouet de.

    Le Brutus de Monsieur de Voltaire, avec un Discours sur la Tragédie.

    Paris, J. F. Josse, 1731.

    First edition. Voltaire wrote the first act of his play Brutus in English during his 1726-29 visit to England while staying at Wandsworth with Fawkener, and finished the play in French in Paris. It was first performed in Paris on 11 December 1730 when its portrayal of tension between patriotism and love...

    £850