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. SOLOGUB, Fedor Kuzmich, pseud. [i.e. Fedor Teternikov].

    Koster dorozhnyi [A wayside fire].

    Moscow and Petrograd, [“Tvorchestvo”,] 1922.

    First edition, containing three cycles of verse by the leading Symbolist: ‘Vneshnii krug’ (Outer circle), ‘Put’’ (Path), and ‘Predel’ (Limit). This was one of the last collections of Sologub’s poems to appear before the state banned any further publication of his work in 1923. He continued...


  2. SOLOGUB, Fedor Kuzmich, pseud. [i.e. Fedor Teternikov], translator. VOLTAIRE, François Marie Arouet de.

    Roman. Perevod s nemetskago…...

    St Petersburg, “Panteon”, 1909.

    First edition, very rare, of Sologub’s translation of Candide. A second edition was published in 1919. The leading Symbolist poet, short-story writer, novelist and dramatist, dubbed by Volynsky ‘a kind of Russian Schopenhauer’, was one of the most famous writers of his day. He also translated a...


  3. SOLZHENITSYN, Aleksandr Isaevich.

    Pis’mo vozhdiam Sovetskogo Soiuza [Letter to the Soviet Leaders].

    Paris, YMCA, 1974

    First printed edition of a letter written by Solzhenitsyn in September 1973 to a number of upper echelon Soviet officials - his last attempt to address the powers of the Soviet Union before his deportation in February 1974. When it first appeared in English, printed in The Times on March 3rd 1974, it...


  4. SOLZHENITSYN, Aleksandr Isaevich.

    Amerikanskiie rechi [American speeches].

    Paris, YMCA, 1975

    First edition, comprising 3 speeches delivered by Solzhenitsyn to the American people in 1975.


  5. [SOUZA, Adélaïde de].

    Charles et Marie. Par l’auteur d’Adèle de Senange.

    Paris, Maradan, 1802.

    First edition of this novel describing British society at the beginning of the 19th century, written in the form of an aristocratic young Englishman’s diary.



    Lenore. Vaterländisches Schauspiel mit Gesang in drei Abtheilungen.

    Berlin, Duncker and Humblot, 1829.

    First edition of one of Holtei’s best-known plays, inspired by a ballad by Gottfried Bürger.


  7. STRAPAROLA, Giovanfrancesco.

    Le piacevoli notti di messer Giovanfrancesco Straparola da Caravaggio.

    Venice, Domenico Giglio, 1558.

    An early edition of both volumes of Straparola’s Facetious nights, first published in 1550–53.


  8. STRINDBERG, August.

    Tschandala. Berättelse fran 1600-talet.

    Stockholm, C. & E. Gernandts Förlags, 1897.

    First Swedish edition: a Gothic tale, set in Skane thirty years after the Swedes took the province from the Danes in 1658. Tschandala (the word is taken from Nietzsche and designates the lowest caste in India) was first published in Danish translation in 1889.


  9. STRINDBERG, Johan August.


    Stockholm, Albert Bonniers Förlag, [1909].

    First separate edition of a collection of poems which was first published in the collection Fagervik och Skamsund in 1902.


  10. TAMAMSHEV, Aleksandr Artem’evich.

    Iz plamia i sveta [From the Flame and Light].

    Petrograd, [R. Golike & A. Vil’borg,] 1918.

    First edition. The title is taken from a poem by Lermontov (Est’ rechi—znachen’e / Temno il’ nichtozhno … ‘There are speeches – whose meaning / Is obscure or insignificant / But it is impossible to hear them without being moved … From the flame and light / The born word / Would not find...


  11. TARSIS, Valerii Iakovlevich.

    Skazanie o sinei mukhe. Krasnoe i chernoe [The legend of the bluebottle. Red and black].

    Frankfurt am Main, Posev, 1963.

    First edition in Russian of Tarsis’ first work to be published abroad, a political allegory of a philosopher who kills a fly and then asks himself why he cannot likewise kill people who get in his way. It was first published in English translation in London the previous year. Tarsis was placed in a...


  12. TASSO, Torquato.

    Aminta; Favola boscareccia …

    In Glasgua, Della Stampa di Roberto ed Andrea Foulis, 1753.

    First Foulis Press edition of Tasso’s famous pastoral verse play of 1573, an attractive production with plates from a miniature French edition by the French artist Sebastien le Clerc, acquired by Robert Foulis on his European travels.


  13. TASSO, Torquato.

    Il Goffredo overo Gierusalemme liberata del sig. Torquato Tasso. Con le figure intagliate in rame dal Tempesta.

    Rome, Filippo de Rossi, 1657.

    Attractive copy of the 1657 illustrated pocket Gerusalemme Liberata, reprinting the successful Rome edition of 1607. It includes Tasso’s Allegoria del poema, printed as introduction to the poem, and is enlivened throughout by one of the famous cycles of engravings produced by Tempesta.


  14. TOLSTOY, Count Aleksei Konstantinovich.

    Kniaz’ Serebrianyi. Povest’ vremen Ioanna Groznago. S predisloviem kn. D. N. Tserteleva....

    Moscow, V. G. Got’e [Gautier], 1892.

    First edition thus, printed on papier vélin and signed by the publisher, one of a number of bibliophile editions of Russian classics brought out by Gautier in the 1890s. Copies were also printed on japon.


  15. TOLSTOY, Count Aleksei Konstantinovich.

    Smert’ Ioanna Groznago, tragediia v piati deistviiakh [The Death of Ivan the Terrible,...

    St Petersburg, Naval Ministry Press, 1866.

    First edition: the first in the great trilogy of plays by the foremost Russian historical dramatist. It was translated into English verse, ‘with the author’s permission’, in 1869.


  16. TOLSTOY, Lev Nikolaevich.

    Khoziain i rabotnik. Povest’ [Master and Man. A Story].

    St Petersburg, V. S. Balashev and Co., 10 March 1895.

    One of the earliest printings of one of Tolstoy’s greatest late short stories, revolving around a Damascene moment in the life of an avaricious landowner.


  17. TOLSTOY, Lev Nikolaevich.

    Resurrection. A novel.

    London, The Brotherhood Publishing Co., 1900.

    Variant issue of the second edition in English in book form. This authorised translation of Tolstoy’s Resurrection by Louise Maude was first introduced to English readers in instalments in the journal The Clarion, starting in March 1899. The novel was then published during the course of 1899 and in...


  18. [TOLSTOY, Lev Nikolaevich.] BIRIUKOV, Pavel Ivanovich, editor.

    Lev Nikolaevich Tolstoi. Biografiia. Sostavil P. Biriukov po neizdannym...

    Moscow, Pechkovsky, ‘Posrednik’, 1906[-8].

    First edition, rare, of the first authorised biography of Tolstoy (then aged 78), by his friend, secretary and disciple Pavel Biriukov (1860-1931), drawing on much unpublished archival material and written in personal consultation with Tolstoy over a period of at least six years.


  19. TOLSTOY, Lev Nikolaevich.

    I. Pis’mo k Kitaitsu. (Oktabria 1906 g.) II. Kitaiskaia mudrost’. Mysli kitaiskikh myslitelei, sobrannyia...

    Moscow, “Posrednika”, 1907.

    First edition, very rare, of Tolstoy’s open letter to the Malaysian-Chinese man of letters Gu Hongming, who had sent several of his works to Tolstoy, including Papers from a Viceroy’s Yamen (1905). In Tolstoy’s view China (like Russia, Persia and Turkey) was then in transition from despotism towards...


  20. [TOLSTOY, Lev Nikolaevich.] ORLOV, Nikolai.

    Russkie Muzhiki. Kartiny khudozhnika N. Orlova, s predisloviem Leva Nikolaevicha Tolstogo...

    St Petersburg, R. Golik & A. Vilborg, 1909.

    First and only edition of this album of nine black and white reproductions of folk-art paintings by the peasant artist Nikolai Orlov, prefaced by an 8-page introduction by Tolstoy. The realistic portrayal of Russian society, especially of the peasantry, was a cause beloved by Tolstoy, and is a key feature...