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. ROBBE-GRILLET, Alain.

    Souvenirs du Triangle d’Or.

    [Paris], Les Éditions de Minuit, [1978].

    First edition, one of 87 copies on Alfa mousse (first paper).


  2. ROMANOV, Panteleimon Sergeevich.

    Domovoi [The house-sprite].

    Moscow & Leningrad, “Zemlia i Fabrika”, [1926].

    First edition, published in the ‘Worker-Peasant Library’ series, containing four short stories: Domovoi (‘The house-sprite’), Opis’ (‘The list’), Obshchestvennye raboty (‘Social work’, a fragment from Rus’), and Druzhnyi narod (‘A friendly people’).


  3. ROSSINI, Giovanni. 

    Alla memoria di Maria Antinori vedova del Marchese Consalvi di Macerata morta improvvisamente la sera del...

    Pisa, Niccolo Capurro, 1852. 

    Scarce first and only edition of this poem in memory of Maria Antinori, widow of the Marchese Consalvi, on her death at the age of thirty-five, penned by the poet, playwright, historical novelist, and art historian Giovanni Rossini (1776–1855). 


  4. ROUVEYRE, André.

    Two typescript drafts of Apollinaire (1952), here titled ‘Stature d’Apollinaire. Gravures de Henri Matisse’,

    c. 1950.

    ROUVEYRE, André, and Henri MATISSE. Apollinaire. Paris, Raisons d’Etre, 1952 [1953].


  5. ROZENGEIM, Mikhail Pavlovich.

    Stikhotvoreniia [Poems] …

    St Petersburg, Artillery Department Press, 1858.

    First edition of Rozengeim’s first book, very rare, a collection of 76 poems of patriotic martial mood. Rozengeim (1820-1887) had published his first poems in 1837 in Syn Otechestva while at Cadet School (in the footsteps of Lermontov, six years his senior), but modesty and a long military career had...


  6. RÜCKERT, Friedrich.

    Die Weisheit des Brahmanen, ein Lehrgedicht in Bruchstücken. Erstes [– Sechstes] Bändchen.

    Leipzig, Weidmann’sche Buchhandlung, 1836-39.

    First edition of one of the most important poetical works by Rückert, here in the publisher’s attractive original paper wrappers. Rückert’s large output of poetry inspired many composers, among them Schubert (‘Du bist die Ruh’), Schumann (‘Widmung’), and Mahler (‘Kindertotenlieder’...


  7. ‘RUFIANDER, Fabius Jocosus’ [pseud. Friedrich Julius ROTTMANN]. 

    Curiöse Inaugural Disputation von dem Recht / Natur...

    ‘Teutschland, Gedruckt in denen Hundes-Tagen, 1716.’ 

    First edition, very rare, of this satirical academic disputation on melancholy, dedicated to the author’s ‘unpleasant and universally despised’ peers in the hope of cheering them up (p. [4] trans.). 


  8. 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 illustrated edition, and the first edition translated by Olearius, of Sa‘di’s Gulistān or ‘Rose-garden’, with splendid engravings. 


  9. SALINAS, Pedro.

    El Contemplado. Tema con variaciones.

    Mexico, Nueva Fioresta en la Editorial Stylo, 1946.

    First edition: a set of 15 poems written in Puerto Rico between 1943 and 1945, in which the poet addresses the sea he is watching. ‘… The speaker-poet’s search for key meanings in nature leads to the very process of its writing. As this process develops, the sea in turn moves from passive subject...


  10. SALINAS, Pedro.

    El defensor.

    Bogotá, Universidad Nacional, 1948.

    First edition of this important collection of essays by one of the outstanding members of the Generación del 27. Salinas presents a series of five essays in defence of different aspects of language.


  11. SALINGER, J.D.

    Povesti. Nad propast’iu vo rzhi [Catcher in the Rye]… Rasskazyi.

    Moscow, Molodaya Gvardiya, 1965.

    First printing in Russia and first Russian translation of Catcher in the Rye (1951), together with other works by Salinger which also appear here for the first time. The translation of Salinger’s classic novel was approved by the censor, as they considered Holden Caulfield’s dissolute coming-of-age...


  12. SALTYKOV-SHCHEDRIN, Mikhail Evgrafovich.

    Blagonamerennyia rechi. Tom I [– II] [Well-meaning speeches. Volume I [–II]].

    St Petersburg, A. A. Kraevsky, 1876.

    First edition: a volume of social and political satires by the greatest satirist of nineteenth-century Russia. The title is ambiguous – the word ‘well-meaning’ was widely used by the administration to mean ‘loyal’, i.e. ‘politically reliable’.


  13. SANNAZARO, Jacopo. 

    Iacobi Sannazarii Opera omnia latine scripta, nuper edita. 

    Venice, heirs of Aldus Manutius and Andreas Asulanus, September 1535. 

    Enlarged posthumous Aldine edition of the collected Latin works of the Neapolitan poet Jacopo Sannazaro. 


  14. SCHNITZLER, Jean-Henri.

    Rostopchin i Kutuzov. Rossiia v 1812 godu. Perev. s predisloviem i primechaniiami A. El’nitskago [Rostopchin...

    St. Petersburg, “Luch”, 1912

    First edition in Russian of La Russie en 1812, Rostopchine et Koutousof (1863), a history of Russia during the Napoleonic wars. The generals Rostopchin and Kutuzov would appear as major characters in War and Peace (1865 7), and Schnitzler’s original appeared just as Tolstoy began work on his novel.


  15. SEL’VINSKII, Il’ia Lvovich.

    Rekordy [Records].

    Moscow, “Uzel”, 1926.

    First edition; one of 700 copies. ‘Selvinsky led an eventful life. He worked at odd jobs, including stevedore and circus wrestler, then graduated from the Moscow University Faculty of Social Sciences (1923). A leader of the Literary Center of constructivists since its inception in 1924, Selvinsky brought...


  16. SEL’VINSKII, Il’ia Lvovich.

    Ulialaevshchina: epopeia [The Ulialaev uprising: an epic].

    Moscow, Gosizdat “Khudozhestvennaia literatura”, 1935.

    Fourth edition (first, 1927) of Sel’vinskii’s first and most successful verse epic. Ulialaevshchina describes the fortunes of a kulak, Ulialaev, ‘who seized an estate from its pre-Revolutionary owner and was later defeated in an anarchist rebellion by the Red Army. Selvinsky’s depictions are...


  17. SHAGINIAN, Marietta Sergeevna.

    O blazhenstve imushchago: poeziia Z. N. Gippius [On the bliss of the propertied: the poetry of Z....

    Moscow, “Al’tsiona”, [1912].

    First edition, a critical essay by Shaginian published in the same year as Orientalia (advertised here), the collection of poetry that brought her fame.


  18. SHAGINIAN, Marietta Sergeevna.

    Puteshestvie v Veimar [Journey to Weimar].

    Moscow & Petrograd, Gosizdat, 1923.

    First edition of Shaginian’s account of a pilgrimage to Weimar, written in 1914 but delayed from publication by war and revolution. The volume closes with Goethe’s poem sequence ‘Zu meinen Handzeichnungen’, the German text alternating with Shaginian’s translations.


  19. SHAGINIAN, Marietta Sergeevna.

    Gëte [Goethe].

    Moscow and Leningrad, Academy of Sciences of the USSR, 1950.

    First edition. Goethe was Shaginian’s idol, as attested by Puteshestvie v Veimar (Journey to Weimar). Here she presents a scholarly work on the great German writer, which particularly examines Russian (and Soviet) appreciations.


  20. [SHERSHENEVICH, Vadim Gabrielevich, translator and editor.] VILDRAC, Charles, and Georges DUHAMEL.

    Teoriia svobodnogo stikha (zametki...

    Moscow, “Imazhinisty”, 1920.

    First edition of Shershenevich’s translation of Vildrac and Duhamel’s Notes sur la technique poétique (1910), ‘which served as the basis for Shershenevich’s theory of the “vers libre of images,” in his imagist book, 2 × 2 = 5 (1920)’ (Terras).