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Our Continental department specialises in incunabula, Greek and Latin classics, early vernacular imprints, and notable texts from the Renaissance, the Reformation and the early modern era, with a specific section devoted to medieval manuscripts, fragments and illuminations.

We regularly issue lists and catalogues, offering a wide variety of literary, historical and philosophical books printed in Italy, France, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, the Low Countries, Eastern Europe and Russia. Woodcuts, early engravings, notable bindings, notable marginalia, rare manuscript or printed survivals, and books with a remarkable provenance are among our keenest interests, and feature regularly in our stock.

  1. [KAFKA, Franz.]

    Almanach des Schocken Verlags auf das Jahr 5695.

    Berlin, Schocken Verlag, 1934/35.

    Pp. 96-103 contain Kafka’s Aufzeichnungen über eine jüdische Wandertruppe, the description of his meeting with a troupe of Yiddish actors in the Café Savoy in Prague in 1911. This encounter was to have a profound effect on his writing. The passage was later published in an extended version in the...



    Altare Christianum: or, the dead Vicar’s Plea. Wherein the Vicar of Gr. being dead, yet speaketh, and pleadeth...

    London, Printed by Richard Badger. 1637.

    First edition, from the library of Robert Southey, with an ownership inscription an eleven-line note in his distinctive diminutive hand.


  3. [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...


  4. [NAUDÉ, Philippe, attr.

    author]. Histoire abrégée de la naissance & du progrez du Kouakerisme avec celle de ses dogmes.

    Cologne, Pierre Marteau, 1692.

    First edition of the earliest work on the Quakers to be published in French. In his survey of English Quakerism the author gives voice to widespread contemporary English criticisms of the movement, radicalizing the charge of Socinianism into one of ‘pure deism’ and ultimately atheism.


  5. TUCKER, Josiah.

    Betydande frågor om handelen, wid tilfålle af de motsäjelser, som skedde emot den sista billen, om utlänningars...

    Stockholm, Jon. G. Langes [colophon: N. v. Oelreich], 1763.

    First Swedish edition, scarce, of this history on the treatment of foreign residents in Britain, Reflections on the Expediency of a Law for the Naturalization of Foreign Protestants (1751–1752). This book comprises only the main body of Part II (1752), ‘Important Queries occasioned by The Rejection...


  6. [BOLZANO, Bernard].

    Bolzano’s Wissenschaftslehre und Religionswissenschaft in einer beurtheilenden Uebersicht.

    Sulzbach, J.E von Seidels, 1841.

    First edition of this critical summary of the greatest works of Bolzano, The Theory of Science and The Science of Religion, first published in four-volume sets in 1837 and 1834, copiously illustrated with citations from the original texts.



    The Book of Common Prayer, and Administration of the Sacraments, and other Rites and Ceremonies of the Church,...

    Third and final edition of Baskerville’s octavo prayer book. The prayers for the Royal Family on cancels B8, C6, and D3 include the name of Queen Charlotte, whom George III married in 1761. This copy also includes the ‘occasional prayers’ which were only printed for part of the edition and are...


  8. [ITALIAN.]

    [BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER.] Il Libro delle Preghiere publiche ed Amministrazione de Sacramenti, ed altri Riti e Cerimonie...

    Londra, Appresso Moise Pitt Libraro … 1685.

    First edition of the first translation of the Book of Common Prayer into Italian. The project was begun by Edward Browne while chaplain to Sir John Finch in Constantinople, perhaps incorporating an earlier, unpublished translation by William Bedell (the manuscript being listed in Griffiths’ Bibliography...


  9. LE PELETIER, Laurent.

    Breviculum fundationis et series abbatum sancti Nicolai Andegavensis.

    Angers, Antoine Hernault, 1616.

    Rare first edition. This first appearance in print of documents relating to the foundation, history and abbots of the Abbaye Saint-Nicolas in Angers, in the Loire, is an important record since the original charters were dispersed and disappeared in the eighteenth century. The abbey was founded around...


  10. PALEY, William.

    Caution recommended in the use and application of scripture language. A sermon preached July 15, 1777, in the Cathedral...

    Cambridge, printed by J. Archdeacon for T. & J. Merrill (and others), 1777.

    First edition. A sermon (on 2 Peter iii, vv. 15–16) preached by Paley, author of the celebrated Evidences of Christianity (1785), at the invitation of Edmund Law, Bishop of Carlisle. ‘Paley’s connection with the Law family greatly advanced his clerical career. He regularly spent vacations with...



    or Church of England Man’s Divine Library: being an universal Illustration, Commentary,...

    London: Printed for Alex. Hogg … [1784-5.]

    First edition thus, rare, published in 36 weekly parts, each originally accompanied with an illustration, and now correctly bound according to the complicated ‘Directions to the Binder’ at the end. Wright’s exhaustive compilation, with notes and commentary on each page, assembled calendars, the...


  12. RENAN, Ernest (1823-1892), French philologist and philosopher.

    A collection of 26 autograph letters and notes signed, with one...

    Paris and Sèvres, 1853-1889 (and undated).

    A fine collection of letters from Renan, providing an insight into the breadth of his academic pursuits, his publications, his contacts in France and abroad, and his personality.


  13. AUGUSTINE, Saint.

    De civitate Dei.

    Germany, ?Westphalia, c. 1300.

    A handsome bifolium from a large folio copy of St. Augustine’s greatest work, a vindication of Christianity against pagan critics.


  14. PAPPUS, Johannes.

    Defensiones duae, quibus D. Ioannis Sturmii rectoris Antipappis duobus respondetur, Maiori, & Epitomico. De charitate,...

    Tübingen, Georgius Gruppenbachius, 1580.

    Rare first edition of Pappus’s most important work in his pamphlet war with Johannes Sturm over the Lutheran Formula of Concord and its imposition in Strasburg. Pappus (1549-1610) studied in Tübingen and Basel before becoming professor of Hebrew and then of history at Strasburg. In 1578 he was appointed...



    De rebus a Iudaeoru[m] principibus in obsidione fortiter gestis, deq[ue] excidio Hierosolymorum, aliarumq[ue]...

    Cologne, Jaspar Gennepaeus, 1544.

    An early edition of this popular Latin account of the Jewish War of 66-73 AD, with a dedication by Philipp Melanchthon. The text borrows heavily from the Jewish War and Jewish Antiquities of the first-century Jewish historian Josephus, and is attributed in extant manuscripts either to Hegesippus –...


  16. KERKHERDERE, Jan Gerard.

    De situ Paradisi Terrestris ... Praecedit... conatus novus de Cepha reprehenso ex Galatarum secundo capite.

    Louvain, Martin van Overbeke, 1729.

    First edition. Kerkherdere addresses the question of the location of the Garden of Eden, the earthly Paradise, accompanying his conjecture with a map engraved by P. E. Boultats of Antwerp; the perusal of various sources, geographical studies and toponymic considerations lead the author, an Imperial historian,...


  17. [CHANDIEU, Antoine de la Roche de.]

    De vera peccatorum remissione, adversus humanas satisfactiones et commentitium ecclesiae Romanae...

    Morges, D. Bern for Jean le Preux (colophon: Genevae, excudebatur a Gabriele Cartier, sumptibus Ioan. et Franc. le Preux), 1582.

    First edition, rare. This work, bearing the imprint of the small Swiss town of Morges, is the third of three treatises by Chandieu (1534–1591) which reiterate Calvinist standpoints on key aspects of theology. Concerned with the remission of sins and the existence of Purgatory, it is divided into six...


  18. [BENEDETTI, Giovanni Battista.]

    Difesa de’ missionarii cinesi della Compagnia di Giesù, in risposta all’apologia de’ PP....

    ‘.In Colonia. Per il Berges’, 1700

    First edition of this substantial defence of the Jesuit position in the Chinese Rites Controversy. It is a rebuttal of Noël Alexandre’s Apologia de Padri Domenicani missionarii della China (published, also under a false Cologne imprint, in both French and Italian in 1699); Alexandre,...


  19. [SAVONAROLA]. POLITO, Ambrogio Caterino.

    Discorso … contra la dottrina, et le profetie di Fra Girolamo Savonarola.

    Venice, Giolito, 1548.

    First edition, very rare (‘raro e ricercato’, Bongi), of a condemnation of Savonarola’s theology, doctrine and prophecies by a former Savonarola acolyte, ‘one of the most fiery Catholic polemicists of his times’ (ibid., our translation), who four years earlier had published a...


  20. MUSSI, Antonio.

    Disegno di lezioni e di ricerche sulla lingua ebraica. Prefazione recitata nella adunanza della R. Università...

    Pavia, Bolzani, [1792].

    First edition of this rare history of the Hebrew language. Including a preface delivered as a lecture at the University of Pavia, the first part of the work discusses Hebrew grammar, noting its consanguinity with other Eastern languages, including Greek, Syriac, Ethiopic and Arabic. Choosing standard...