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. GRASS, Günter.

    Die Plebejer proben den Aufstand. Ein deutsches Trauerspiel.

    Neuwied & Berlin, Luchterhand, 1966.

    First edition of a play, ‘The Plebeians Rehearse the Uprising’, in which Bertolt Brecht appears as the Boss, who declines to leave his theatrical preoccupation to support the East Berlin workers' reformist uprising.

    £100

  2. GRASS, Günter.

    Ausgefragt.

    Neuwied & Berlin, Luchterhand, 1967.

    First edition.

    £75

  3. GRASS, Günter.

    Über meinen Lehrer Döblin und andere Vorträge.

    Berlin, Literarisches Colloquium, 1968.

    First edition, signed by Grass on fly-leaf.

    £50

  4. GRASS, Günter.

    Gesammelte Gedichte. Mit einem Vowort von Heinrich Vormweg.

    Neuwied & Berlin, Luchterhand, 1971.

    First edition.

    £50

  5. GRASS, Günter.

    Aus dem Tagebuch einer Schnecke.

    Neuwied & Darmstadt, Luchterhand, 1972.

    First edition: an account of Grass’s travels as a campaigner for the Social Democrats and Willy Brandt in the 1969 election, interwoven with a story about Hermann Ott, a collector of snails, who takes refuge from the Nazis with a Kashubian who wants to become a German.

    £75

  6. GRASS, Günter.

    Der Butt.

    Darmstadt & Neuwied, Luchterhand, 1977

    First edition: a review copy, with the words ‘Unkorrigiertes, unverkäufliches Lese-Exemplar’ printed on front cover.

    £100

  7. GRASS, Günter.

    Der Butt.

    Darmstadt & Neuwied, Luchterhand, 1977

    First edition.

    £75

  8. GRASS, Günter.

    Das Treffen in Telgte. Eine Erzählung.

    Darmstadt & Neuwied, Luchterhand, 1979.

    First edition.

    £75

  9. GRASS, Günter.

    Kopfgeburten, oder Die Deutschen sterben aus.

    Darmstadt & Neuwied, Luchterhand, 1980.

    First edition.

    £40

  10. GRASS, Günter.

    Die Rättin.

    Darmstadt & Neuwied, Luchterhand, 1986.

    First edition. The narrator receives as a present a female rat, who demonstrates in several stories that the rats will inherit the earth.

    £50

  11. GRASS, Günter.

    The Danzig Trilogy [The Tin Drum, Cat and Mouse and Dog Years].

    New York, Pantheon & Harcourt Brace & World, 1962-65.

    First US editions, all translated by Ralph Manheim, and first published in the original German in 1959, 1961 and 1963.

    £500

  12. GRASS, Günter.

    Selected Poems … With translations from the German by Michael Hamburger and Christopher Middleton.

    New York, Harcourt Brace & World Inc., 1966.

    First US edition, with the original German on facing pages, of poems originally appearing in Die Vorzüge der Windhühner (1956) and Gleisdreieck (1960).

    £50

  13. GRASS, Günter.

    Aus dem Tagebuch einer Schnecke.

    [Neuwied & Darmstadt,] Luchterhand, [1972].

    First edition: an account of Grass’s travels as a campaigner for the Social Democrats and Willy Brandt in the 1969 election, interwoven with a story about Hermann Ott, a collector of snails, who takes refuge from the Nazis with a Kashubian who wants to become a German.

    £75

  14. HAMMER-PURGSTALL, Joseph, Freiherr von.

    Memnon’s Dreiklang, nachgeklungen … in Dewajani, einem indischen Schäferspiele; Anahid,...

    Vienna, J. B. Wallishauser, 1823.

    First edition of Hammer-Purgstall’s trilogy of three oriental plays rendered into German. This copy was probably intended for presentation, and is printed on Whatman-Vélin paper and bound in an attractive contemoprary oriental-style binding.

    £1400

  15. HARINGER, Jakob.

    Die Einsiedelei. Ein Stundenblatt. Nr. VIII-XV [Poems].

    Amsterdam, Christof Brundel Verlag, [1930].

    First edition, rare, of a collection of several short pieces by the Expressionist poet Jakob Haringer. It includes: ‘Chinesische Strofen’, ‘Unbekannter Dichter/ Werke für einen Freund’, ‘Werke aus dem ägyptischen’, ‘Lieder von den Salomo-Inseln’, ‘Werke nach Ronsard’ and ‘Werke...

    £250

  16. HEINE, Heinrich.

    Zur Geschichte der neueren schönen Literatur in Deutschland.

    Paris & Leipzig, Heideloff und Campe, 1833.

    First edition of a work on contemporary German literature, intended as a sort of continuation of Madame de Staël’s De L’Allemagne. It first appeared as a series of articles in the Paris journal L’Europe littéraire. This first edition was banned on publication, and is very rare. A second, expanded...

    £1250

  17. HEINE, Heinrich.

    Französische Zustände.

    Hamburg, Hoffmann und Campe, 1833.

    First edition in book form of a series of newspaper articles, first published in the Augsburger Allgemeine Zeitung, discussing cultural and political developments in France. It was Heine’s first work of political journalism.

    £550

  18. HESSE, Hermann.

    Das Glasperlenspiel.

    Zurich, Fretz und Wasmuth Verlag, 1943.

    First edition of Hesse's last, quintessential work. It occupied him for eleven years, and was published in 1943, the year in which Hesse's name was placed on the black-list of authors in Germany.

    £750

  19. HESSE, Hermann.

    Frühe Prosa.

    Zurich, Fretz & Wasmuth, [1948].

    First edition of this collection, with new prefatory material by Hesse himself. It brings together three prose works from before the publication of Peter Camenzind (1904): Eine Stude hinter Mitternacht (1899), Der Novalis (written 1899–1902, published 1907), and Hermann Lauscher (from 1896, published...

    £100

  20. [HIPPEL, Theodor Gottlieb von.]

    Lebensläufe nach Aufsteigender Linie nebst Beylagen A, B, C. Meines Lebenslaufs. Erster [- Dritter]...

    Berlin, bey Christian Friedrich Voss, 1778-81.

    First edition: a whimsical, disguised autobiography by the German satirical writer Theodor Gottlieb von Hippel (1741-96), heavily influenced by Sterne. Hippel’s major work, the novel was originally intended to describe the lives of three generations (that of his grandfather, his father, and himself),...

    £1500