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. [COLONNA, Francesco.]

    Poliphili hypnerotomachia, ubi humana omnia non nisi somnium esse ostendit, atque obiter plurima scitu sane...

    Venice, [heirs of Aldus], 1545.

    Second edition, scarcer than the first (also an Aldine, published in 1499), of the most beautiful illustrated book printed in Italy in the fifteenth century. Known for its fine woodcut illustrations, mysterious meanings, and the cryptic inclusion of Colonna’s name, the Hypnerotomachia has...

    £24000

  2. [PUSHKIN, Aleksandr.]

    Исторія пугачевскаго бунта [Istoriia pugachevskago bunta; History of the Pugachev...

    St. Petersburg, Chancellery press, 1834.

    Rare first edition, in a contemporary Russian binding. Pushkin’s undertook his foray into the genre of history-writing with the utmost regard for his sources: from archival documents and eyewitness reports to direct inspection of the places where the conflict played out, he acquired an exceptionally...

    £9500

  3. PIUS II (Nicolaus von WYLE, editor).

    Epistolae familiares.

    Nuremberg, Anton Koberger, 17 July 1486.

    Second Koberger edition of the Epistolae familiares of Aeneas Sylvius Piccolomini (1405–1464), the great Renaissance humanist who became Pope Pius II in 1458, a handsome copy enhanced with manuscript additions comprising epistolary models, a German-Latin wordlist, and German medical recipes.

    £9500

  4. PUSHKIN, Aleksandr Sergeevich.

    Sochineniia A. S. Pushkina. Tom pervyi [- shestoi + Prilozheniia]… Izdanie Ia. A. Isakova [The...

    St Petersburg, Eduard Prats, 1859-60.

    Third collected edition of the works of Pushkin, complete with the supplement volume compiled by Grigorii Gennadi; this is the first edition to be edited by Isakov. Very rare.

    £8000

  5. GARCÍA LORCA, Federico (1898-1936).

    Autograph postcard, signed ‘Federico’, addressed to his parents.

    Valladolid, 7 April [1926].

    An autograph postcard from Lorca to his parents, sent from Valladolid on the eve of his celebrated poetry reading there in April 1926 at the instigation of Jorge Guillén – an important landmark in the advance of Lorca’s growing celebrity throughout Spain.

    £7500

  6. SCHUBERT, Franz, composer.

    A fine contemporary volume of ten works containing 18 Lieder including his most famous early songs ‘Erlkönig’...

    Vienna, 1821-1833

    A rare collection of Schubert Lieder in a contemporary binding, apparently as retailed by the Czech music publisher Berra, including three first editions.

    £7500

  7. [GOETHE.] REICHARDT, Johann Friedrich.

    Goethe’s Lieder, Oden, Balladen und Romanzen mit Musik von J. F. Reichardt. Erste [ -...

    Leipzig, Breitkopf & Härtel, [1809-11].

    Very rare first complete edition of Reichardt’s musical settings of Goethe’s poetry, comprising 128 settings of which 39 appear here for the first time.

    £6500

  8. OSTROVSKII, Aleksandr Nikolaevich.

    Bednaia Nevesta, komediia v piati deistviiakh [The poor bride, a comedy in five acts].

    Moscow, Stepanova, 1852

    First edition. A rare early play by one of the leading Russian playwrights of the 19th century. Ostrovsky’s second play, The Poor Bride, was first published in the literary magazine The Muscovite (edited by Mikhail Pogodin) earlier in 1852. Initially banned from production by the censor, it was one...

    £6500

  9. FRICKER, Bernard.

    Autograph working manuscript of a collection of essays and pensées entitled ‘La Marche du Jeu’.

    Circa 1946-52.

    An extraordinary, unique production, with seven long, unpublished observational essays by Fricker on the post-war Parisian art world, including long discussions of the work of Francis Picabia, Marcel Duchamp, and Blaise Cendrars; assembled in hand-decorated chemises and a folding box designed...

    £6500

  10. SA‘DI, Abu ‘Abd Allah Musharrif al-Din (Adam OLEARIUS, translator).

    Persianischer Rosenthal. In welchen viel lustige...

    Schleswig, Johann Holwein for Johann Nauman in Hamburg, 1654.

    Rare first edition of Olearius’s translation of Sa‘di’s Gulistān or ‘Rose-garden’, richly and engagingly illustrated.

    £6500

  11. BERRYAT, Jean, et al., editors.

    Receuil de Mémoires, ou Collection de Pièces Académiques, concernant la Médicine, l’Anatomie...

    Dijon, Auxerre, Paris and Liège, F. Desventes, F. Fournier, et al., 1754-86.

    The scarce first collected edition of these scientific papers from all over Europe (lacking only the last five volumes of the Partie Française), including among its contributors such famous names as Huygens, Leeuwenhoek, Hevelius, De La Hire, Mariotte, Réaumur, La Condamine, Haller, Maupertuis, Boyle,...

    £6000

  12. KAFKA, Franz.

    In der Strafkolonie.

    Leipzig, Kurt Wolff, 1919.

    First edition, one of 1000 copies printed, of Kafka’s story In the Penal Colony.

    £5500

  13. [GLUCK, Christoph Willibald.]

    Paride ed Elena. Dramma per musica . . . dedicato a sua altezza, il Signor Duca Don Giovanni di Braganza.

    Vienna, Johann Thomas von Trattner, 1770.

    First edition of Gluck’s Paride ed Elena, which tells the story of events between the judgment of Paris and the flight of Paris and Helen to Troy. It was premiered at the Burgtheater in Vienna on 3 November 1770.

    £5000

  14. PISEMSKII, Aleksei Feofilaktovich.

    Povesti i razskazy … v trekh chastiakh [Stories and tales … in three parts] …

    Moscow, Stepanova, 1853.

    Very rare first collected edition of the works of Pisemsky, including the first appearance in book form of many of his acclaimed early stories (Tiufiak (The Muff, translated into English as The Simpleton), Pitershchik (The Petersburger), Mr Batmanov, Brak po strasti (Marriage by Passion), and Komik (The...

    £4800

  15. 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

  16. [MELO, Antonio de.]

    La Famosa y temeraria compañia de Rompe Columnas. Traduzida, y acrescentada, por el Capitan Flegetonte, comico...

    Paris, Joseph Cotterau, 1609.

    First edition, rare, a loose translation by Antonio de Melo of the burlesque Della compagnia de Tagliacantoni (1601), by Tommaso Buoni.

    £4500

  17. BAUDELAIRE, Charles.

    Les Epaves … avec un eau-forte frontispiece de Félicien Rops.

    Amsterdam, ‘A L’Enseigne du Coq’ [Brussels, Poulet-Malassis], 1866.

    Rare first edition of Baudelaire’s last book, a collection of poems published in Brussels, containing the six banned poems from the Fleurs du mal – their first appearance since the suppressed 1857 first edition – and seventeen new poems which had previously appeared in journals and...

    £4500

  18. ALBERTI, Leon Battista.

    El Momo. La moral e muy graciosa historia del Momo; compuesta en Latin por el docto varon Leon Bapista...

    Alcalá de Henares, Joan Mey Flandro, 1553.

    First edition in Spanish of Alberti’s Momus [or De principe], translated by Augustín de Almaçan and with an introductory 8-page Exposición by the Toledo ascetic writer and scholar Alejo Venegas (1495?–1554?).

    £3800

  19. BRODSKII, Iosif Aleksandrovich.

    Novye stansy k Avguste. Stikhi k M. B., 1962-1982 [New stanzas to Augusta. Poems to M. B., 1962-1982]....

    [Soviet Union, c. 1983].

    A rare samizdat of Brodsky’s poems, prepared in typescript for clandestine circulation in the Soviet Union at a time when his works could not be published or circulated there. The typescript comprises two collections: New stanzas to Augusta, dedicated to Marina Basmanova, with whom Brodsky had...

    £3500

  20. [TORGA, Miguel, pseud.] ROCHA, Adolpho Correia da.

    Abismo. Poemas.

    [Coimbra, “Atlantida”, 1932.]

    First (and only) edition of one of the very rare early collections of poetry of Miguel Torga, published under his own name while he was still a medical student in Coimbra.

    £3500