Foreign Literature

Contact Donovan Rees

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. AEMYLIUS, Paulus (Paolo EMILIO).

    Historici clarissimi de rebus gestis Francorum…

    Paris, Michel Vascosan, 1550.

    Early editions of the three classical complementary chronicles of France from the fifth to the mid-sixteenth century, often issued and bound together.

    £750

  2. AKHMATOVA, Anna Andreevna.

    Stikhotvoreniia (1909–1960) [Poems (1909–1960)].

    Moscow, Gosudarstvennoe Izdatel’stvo Khudozhestvennoi Literatury, 1961.

    First edition: a severely censored selection of poems, taken both from the early books Evening (1912), Rosary (1914), White Flock (1917), and Plantain (1921), and also from Akhmatova’s later collections Reed and Seventh Book. Some of these latter poems are...

    £250

  3. AKHMATOVA, Anna Andreevna, translator.

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

    Moscow, “Progress”, 1965.

    First edition: translations by Akhmatova of a selection of pieces by Polish, Czech, Slovak, Bulgarian, Yugoslavian, Norwegian, and Indian poets. She published six volumes of translations during her lifetime but, despite her success, she complained that for a poet translating was ‘comparable to devouring...

    £450

  4. AKHMATOVA, Anna Andreevna.

    Podorozhnik [Plantain].

    Petrograd, “Petropolis”, 1921.

    First edition: a collection of 38 poems written between 1917 and 1919, and later included in the larger collection Anno Domini MCMXXI published in early 1922. These were Akhmatova’s first poems about the civil war.

    £600

  5. 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 pp. Exposición by the Toledo ascetic writer and scholar Alejo Venegas (1495?–1554?).

    £3800

  6. 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

  7. 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”,...

    £650

  8. 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

  9. ALBERTI, Rafael, and Carlos RODRIGUEZ-PINTOS.

    Dos Oraciones a la Virgen.

    Paris, [Carlos Rodriguez-Pintos], 1931.

    First edition, rare, one of 325 copies privately printed by Rodriguez-Pintos (ours is unnumbered). The two poems comprise ‘Nuestra Señora de la Cinta’ by the Uruguayan poet Carlos Rodriguez-Pintos (1895-1985), with an illustration by Alberti; and ‘Nuestra Señora de la Buena Leche’ by Alberti,...

    £900

  10. ALEICHEM, Sholem [pseud. Solomon Naumovich Rabinovich].

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

    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

  11. ALEIXANDRE, Vicente.

    Historia del Corazón.

    Madrid, Espasa-Calpe, 1954.

    First edition of this important work by the Nobel prize-winning poet.

    £300

  12. 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 a...

    £350

  13. [ALTOLAGUIRRE, Manuel, translator.] MILTON, John.

    Fragmento de El Paraíso perdido. Traducción y nota de Manuel Altolaguirre.

    Madrid, Cruz y Raya, 1935.

    A rare off-print from Cruz y Raya, the periodical edited by José Bergamín. This is the first appearance in print of Altolaguirre’s translation from Book II of Milton’s Paradise Lost.

    £150

  14. [ALTOLAGUIRRE, Manuel, translator.] PUSHKIN, Aleksandr.

    Teatro (El Convidado de piedra. Festin durante la Peste). Traducción de...

    Barcelona, Editado por la Asociación de Relaciones con la U.R.S.S. en el primer centenario del poeta, 1938.

    First edition: Altolaguirre’s translation of two of Pushkin’s Little Tragedies, ‘The Stone Guest’ and ‘A Feast During the Plague’ produced for the Russian poet’s centenary; apparently printed on Altolaguirre’s own press.

    £300

  15. ANDREEV, Leonid Nikolaevich.

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

    [St Petersburg,] ‘Shipovnik’, 1908.

    First edition of this play by one of the most popular writers in Russia during the first decade of the 20th 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 modernism,...

    £800

  16. 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

  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. 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...

    £250

  19. BAL’MONT, Konstantin Dmitrievich, translator.

    Sochineniia Shelli... Vypusk 7-i, Chenchi, tragediia, 1819 [The Works of Shelley......

    Moscow, Mamontov, 1899

    First edition of Balmont’s translation of Shelley’s The Cenci, volume 7 of his verse translation of the complete works of Shelley into Russian. Balmont was a polyglot, having studied some forty languages, but he admired English above all and in addition to Shelley he translated nearly all...

    £900

  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