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. TURGENEV, Ivan Sergeevich.

    Sochineniia… (1844-1874.) Izdanie brat’ev Salaevykh. Chast’ pervaia [-vos’maia] [Works… (1844-1874)....

    Moscow, Grachev, 1874

    A handsome set of this rare lifetime edition of Turgenev’s works, the fourth to be published by the Moscow booksellers Ivan and Fyodor Salaev. This edition includes for the first time two of Turgenev’s later prose works, Spring Torrents (1873) and the autobiographical story Punin and Baburin (1874).

    £2750

  2. TURGENEV, Ivan Sergeevich.

    Nov’. Roman [Virgin Soil. A Novel].

    Moscow, 1878.

    First edition printed in Russia of Turgenev’s novel about the Populists of the 1870s. It was first published in the journal Vestnik Evropy in 1877, followed shortly afterwards by an edition published in Leipzig.

    £1500

  3. TURGENEV, Ivan Sergeevich.

    Polnoe sobranie sochinenii … Posmertnoe izdanie [The Complete collected works … Posthumous edition].

    St Petersburg, Glazunov, 1883.

    First complete collected edition of Turgenev, the author’s last literary undertaking.

    £4500

  4. TURGENEV, Ivan Sergeevich.

    Stikhotvoreniia [Poems].

    St Petersburg, [V Tipografii Glazunova], 1885.

    First edition: a collected volume of Turgenev’s poems omitted from the Complete collected works of 1883 (see previous item).

    £1200

  5. VOLOSHIN, Maksimilian Aleksandrovich.

    O Repine [On Repin] …

    Moscow, “Ole-Lukoie”, 1913.

    First edition thus: three pieces written earlier in the year and published in journals on the work of Ilya Repin (1844–1930), often regarded as Russia’s national artist. At the end is an extract from a lecture (1885) by Landtsert on the painting ‘Ivan the Terrible and his Son’. Voloshin (1877–1932)...

    £450

  6. [VOLYNSKII, A., pseud. [i.e. Akim Lvovich Flekser.]

    Parfenon. Sbornik Pervyi [Parthenon. First collection (All published)].

    St Petersburg, “Parfenon”, 1922.

    The first and only issue of a literary journal edited by A. Volynsky (1863–1926). It includes contributions from Akhmatova (the poem ‘Kak mog ty’ published in Anno Domini/i> (1922)), Fet, Marietta Shaginian (an 8-page piece on her idol Goethe and Weimar), and others.

    £250

  7. ZAMIATIN, Evgenii Ivanovich.

    Nechestivye rasskazy [Impious Tales].

    [Moscow,] ‘Krug’ writers’ cooperative, 1927.

    First edition of a collection of eight short stories by the increasingly dissident Zamyatin, including ‘Iks’ [‘X’] and ‘Rasskaz o samom glavnom’ (‘Tale of the most essential thing’), ‘the single most important work of Zamjatin’s transitional period’ (Shane). ‘Iks’ tells the...

    £200

  8. [ZHUKOVSKII, Vasilii Andreevich.] SEIDLITZ, Carl von.

    Wasily Andrejewitsch Joukoffsky. Ein Russisches Dichterleben.

    Mitau, E. Behre, 1870.

    First edition: a biography of the poet and translator Vasily Zhukovsky (1783–1852), ‘the founder and leading representative of early Romanticism in Russian literature’ (Terras).

    £250

  9. ZOSHCHENKO, Mikhail Mikhailovich.

    Izbrannye rasskazy i povesti 1923-1956 [Collected stories and tales 1923-1956].

    Leningrad, ‘Soviet Writer’, 1956.

    First complete edition of Zoshchenko’s shorter prose fiction, including his stories for children; a presentation copy to his friend the dramatist, translator and poet Muza Konstantinovna Pavlova (1917-2006).

    £450

  10. ZOSHCHENKO, Mikhail Mikhailovich.

    Chort znaet chto takoe [Devil knows what it is] …

    [Riga, “Van’ka-Vstan’ka”,] 1927.

    First editions, very rare, of five collections of sketches, short stories and poems, mostly comic, most with a brief biography of the author; these make up the first five books (published in June 1927) of a series of 31 to be published at monthly intervals alongside a humorous newspaper Van’ka-Vstan’ka.

    £350

  11. ZRITEL’

    [The Observer] No. 24.

    St Petersburg, “Sever”/A. M. Lesman, 1905.

    A very rare number, confiscated by the authorities, of the very first of the satirical magazines to come out of the 1905 Revolution. 25 numbers were published, between 5 June and 11 December 1905, edited by Yu. K. Artsybyshev. Contributors include Fedor Sologub, and the artists Epifanov and Shestopalov,...

    £750

  12. ZVIAGINTSEVA, Vera Klavdievna.

    Na mostu. Stikhotvoreniia [On the Bridge. Poems.].

    Moscow, [Gostip,] 1922.

    First edition. This is one of Zviagintseva’s (1894–1972) earliest publications. She also produced translations of Armenian, Estonian, and Ukrainian poetry.

    £100

  13. RUSSIAN SATIRICAL MAGAZINES
    FROM THE 1905 REVOLUTION

    The boom years of 1890s Russia came to an abrupt halt at the turn of the century when an economic slump left many of the new urban working class jobless and led to unrest in the countryside. The Tsar’s popularity took another knock when hopes of a quick military victory in the Russo-Japanese War (1904)...

    £18000