Foreign Literature

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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. AKHMATOVA, Anna Andreevna, translator.

    Golosa poetov. Stikhi zarubezhnykh poetov v perevode Anny Akhmatovoi [Poets’...

    Moscow, “Progress”, 1965.

    First edition: translations by Akhmatova of a selection of pieces by Polish, Czech, Slovak, Bulgarian, Yugoslavian, Norwegian, and Indian poets.

    £450

  2. ALBERTI, Rafael.

    13 Bandas y 48 estrellas. Poema del Mar Caribe.

    Madrid, Manuel Altolaguirre, 1936.

    First edition. ‘The thirteen poems collected in 13 bandas y 48 estrellas, first published in 1936 and later recollected in part 3 of De un momento a otro, are songs of protest against, and critical evaluations of, the role of “el imperialismo yanki”, “la diplomacia del horror”, and “la...

    £650

  3. ALBERTI, Rafael.

    Cal y canto.

    Madrid, Revista de Occidente, [1929].

    First edition of Alberti’s fourth collection of poems. Cal y canto occupies a central position in the poet’s work before the Spanish Civil War, introducing themes he was to return to again and again throughout his life.

    £1100

  4. ALBERTI, Rafael.

    De los Alamos y los sauces.

    [Buenos Aires], Ediciones del Angel Gulab, 1940.

    First edition of this collection of poems: one of 120 numbered copies on Hammermill paper, signed by Alberti, of a total edition of 425. No. III in the series Cancionero de la Sirena, edited by Angel Gulab.

    £400

  5. ‘ALEICHEM, Sholem’, pseud. [Solomon Naumovich RABINOVICH].

    Sholom Aleikhem. Perevod s evreiskago S. Orlonskoi. Za sovetom....

    St Petersburg, M.G. Kornfel’d, 1911.

    Very rare first edition in Russian of three humorous stories by the ‘Jewish Mark Twain’, the Ukrainian-born author and playwright Sholem Aleichem, now probably best remembered through the musical based on his stories, Fiddler on the Roof.

    £2000

  6. ALEIXANDRE, Vicente.

    Historia del Corazón.

    Madrid, Espasa-Calpe, 1954.

    First edition of this important work by the Nobel prize-winning poet Vicente Aleixandre (1898–1984).

    £300

  7. ALEKSANDROVA, Zinaida and Dmitry GORLOV.

    Мишкины соседи [Little Bear’s neighbours].

    Moscow, VLKSM Izdatelstvo Detskoi Literaturi, 1936.

    First edition. A very nice copy of this collection of verses for young children, composed by one of the most prolific Soviet children’s poets, and illustrated by one of the most prolific of Soviet children’s artists. The tales tell of the lives of a selection of farm and wild animals, including...

    £350

  8. [ALMANACK.]

    Al’manakh dlia vsekh. Kniga vtoraia [Almanack for all. Second book].

    St Petersburg, “Novyi zhurnal dlia vsekh”, 1911.

    First edition, rare, the second of two annual literary almanacks with this title, with poems by Blok, Gorodetsky and Kuzmin, and short fiction by Chulkov, Gusev, Count Aleksei Nikolaevich Tolstoy and Ivan Poroshin.

    £200

  9. ALMEIDA, Theodoro de.

    Lisboa destruida poema, author o P. Theodoro de Almeida, da Congregaçaõ do Oratorio de Lisboa.

    Lisbon, Antonio Rodrigues Galhardo, 1803.

    First edition of this poem in six cantos, with extensive notes, on the disastrous 1755 Lisbon earthquake, by the Oratorian priest and philosopher Almeida (1722-1804). One of the deadliest in history, the earthquake almost totally destroyed the Portuguese capital and accentuated political tensions within...

    £175

  10. ANDREEV, Leonid Nikolaevich.

    Tsar Golod. Predstavlenie v piati kartinakh s prologom [King Hunger. A play in five scenes with...

    [St Petersburg,] ‘Shipovnik’, 1908.

    First edition of this play by one of the most popular writers in Russia during the first decade of the twentieth century: Andreev’s fame ‘was almost on a par with that of Chekhov and Gorky. The fact remains that his talent and topical themes, his literary techniques combining tradition and...

    £800

  11. APUKHTIN, Aleksei Nikolaevich.

    Stikhotvoreniia [Poems].

    St Petersburg, F.S. Sushchinsky, 1886.

    First edition of Apukhtin’s first collection of poems, including works set to music by, among others, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov and Prokofiev.

    £750

  12. ARISTOPHANES.

    Aristophanis comicorum principis Comoediae undecim, e graeco in latinum ad verbu[m] translatae Andreae Divo Iustinopolitano...

    Venice, 1542 [colophon: apud D. Jacob a Burgofrancho papiensem, 1538].

    First collected Latin edition of Aristophanes, translated from the Greek by Andrea Divo.

    £1200

  13. ARNIGIO, Bartolomeo. 

    Rime dell’Arnigio per la ill[ustre] signora Claudia Martinenga. 

    Brescia, Giovanni Battista Bozzola, 1566. 

    First edition of Bartolomeo Arnigio’s collection of poems addressed to Claudia Martinengo, wife to Ludovico Martinengo della Pallata, an important association copy presented by the author to fellow poet Antonio Beffa Negrini. 

    £1750

  14. ASCHEHOUG, Torkel Halvorsen.

    Social-økonomik: en videnskabelig fremstilling af det menneskelige samfunds økonomiske virksomhed.

    Christiania, H. Aschehoug, 1903–1908.

    First edition of a systematic handbook on economics written by the Norwegian lawyer, political scientist, politician, historian, and economist Torkel Halvorsen Aschehoug (1822–1909).

    £350

  15. AUDEN, Wystan Hugh, and Chester KALLMAN.

    The Magic Flute.

    London, Faber & Faber, [1957].

    First UK edition. Auden composed his translation of the Magic Flute libretto in 1956, in honour of the bicentenary of Mozart’s birth, working in conjunction with his friend and erstwhile lover, the American translator and librettist Chester Kallman (1921–1975). The dialogue is written in...

    £125

  16. AVGERINOS, Hypatios.

    Πονηµατα δραµατικα.

    [Ponemata dramatika.] Trieste, Austrian Lloyd, 1849.

    Very rare first edition of Avgerinos’ dramas of Greek Romanticism, three pieces uniting sentiments of nationalism, liberty, and philhellenism with aesthetic and literary reflections on the style and scope of dramatic poetry.

    £750

  17. 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

  18. AZORÍN, pseud. [José MARTINEZ RUIZ].

    Castilla.

    Madrid, Revista de Archivos, 1912.

    First edition, an important collection of essays attempting tocapture ‘una partícula del espiritú de Castilla’, by one of the leading members of the Generación del 1898. Subjects include railways, bulls, clouds …

    £450

  19. BABEL’, Isaak Emmanuilovich.

    Stat’i i materialy [Articles and materials].

    Leningrad, “Academia”, 1928.

    First edition, from the ‘Academia’ series ‘Masters of Contemporary Literature’, including an autobiographical sketch by Babel, and three biographical or critical essays by Nikolai Stepanov, P.I. Novitsky and G.A. Gukovsky, plus a list of Babel’s works. Other writers in the series included Zoshchenko,...

    £250

  20. BAL’MONT, Konstantin Dmitrievich, translator. CALDERÓN, Pedro.

    [Half-title:] Sochineniia Kal’derona perevod s ispanskago [The...

    [Moscow, M. and S. Sabashnikov, 1900-1902-1912].

    First edition of all three volumes of Balmont’s translations from Calderon, comprising: El purgatorio de San Patricia (volume I); La vida es sueño, La devoción de la cruz, El príncipe constante and Amar despues de la muerte (volume II); and El médico de su...

    £1800