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. UNAMUNO, Miguel de.

    Teresa. Rimas de un poeta desconocido.

    Madrid, Renacimiento, [1924].

    First edition: a collection of love poems, with a prologue by Rubén Darío.

    £400

  2. URCEO, Antonio [or Codro].

    Hoc Codri volumine haec continentur. Orationes, seu sermones ut ipse appellabat. Epistolae. Silvae....

    Bologna, Giovanni Antonio Benedetti, 7 March 1502.

    First edition of a quintessential piece of Italian humanism, annotated by a sixteenth-century reader particularly interested in the philology of the texts.

    £3000

  3. VIRGIL Maro, Publius, and Giovanni Andrea dell’ANGUILLARA (trans.). 

    Il primo libro della Eneida di Vergilio,...

    Padua, Gratioso Perchacino, 1564. 

    First edition of the first book of Anguillara’s verse translation of the Aeneid, a copy printed on strong paper and inscribed by the author.  The humanist, poet, and successful translator of Ovid Giovanni Andrea dell’Anguillara (1517–1572) undertook to translate into Italian ottava...

    £2500

  4. VOLOSHIN, Maksimilian Aleksandrovich.

    O Repine [On Repin] …

    Moscow, “Ole-Lukoie”, 1913.

    First edition thus: three pieces written earlier in the year and published in journals on the work of Ilya Repin (1844–1930), often regarded as Russia’s national artist. At the end is an extract from a lecture (1885) by Landtsert on the painting ‘Ivan the Terrible and his Son’. Voloshin (1877–1932)...

    £450

  5. [VOLTAIRE.]

    Das Mädchen von Orleans. Ein komisches Heldengedicht in zwölf Gesängen nach Voltaire frei bearbeitet.

    Neustadt, ‘im Verlags-Comptoir’, n. d. [mid nineteenth century].

    A good copy of this very rare German rendition of Voltaire’s La Pucelle d’Orleans. Fromm gives the date as around 1865 (and the place of publication as Hamburg), the online Staatsbibliothek catalogue (the only copy listed by KVK) as c.1830. The translator remains anonymous.

    £100

  6. [VOLYNSKII, A., pseud. [i.e. Akim Lvovich Flekser.]

    Parfenon. Sbornik Pervyi [Parthenon. First collection (All published)].

    St Petersburg, “Parfenon”, 1922.

    The first and only issue of a literary journal edited by A. Volynsky (1863–1926). It includes contributions from Akhmatova (the poem ‘Kak mog ty’ published in Anno Domini/i> (1922)), Fet, Marietta Shaginian (an 8-page piece on her idol Goethe and Weimar), and others.

    £250

  7. [WEDDING POETRY.]

    Applausi alli felicissimi sponsali dell’illustrissimo Sig. Cavaliere Deifebo Perini Brancadori, con l’illustrissima...

    Siena, Stamperia del Pubblico, 1699.

    Seemingly unrecorded collection of sonnets written to mark the marriage of two Sienese nobles, Deifebo Perini Brancadori and Ottavia Orlandini. The fourteen sonnets, whose authorship remains unknown, take inspiration from the family name of the groom and aspects of the arms of both families, with...

    £350

  8. ZAMIATIN, Evgenii Ivanovich.

    Nechestivye rasskazy [Impious Tales].

    [Moscow,] ‘Krug’ writers’ cooperative, 1927.

    First edition of a collection of eight short stories by the increasingly dissident Zamyatin, including ‘Iks’ [‘X’] and ‘Rasskaz o samom glavnom’ (‘Tale of the most essential thing’), ‘the single most important work of Zamjatin’s transitional period’ (Shane). ‘Iks’ tells...

    £200

  9. ZOLA, Émile.

    La Curée.

    Paris, A. Lacroix, Verboeckhoven et Cie, 1871.

    First edition of the second novel in Zola’s Rougon-Macquart series, La Curée. The first six volumes of the series were printed on ordinary paper only (no grand papier issue) and are all very rare.

    £3000

  10. ZOSHCHENKO, Mikhail Mikhailovich.

    Izbrannye rasskazy i povesti 1923-1956 [Collected stories and tales 1923-1956].

    Leningrad, ‘Soviet Writer’, 1956.

    First complete edition of Zoshchenko’s shorter prose fiction, including his stories for children; a presentation copy to his friend the dramatist, translator and poet Muza Konstantinovna Pavlova (1917-2006).

    £450

  11. ZRITEL’

    [The Observer] No. 24.

    St Petersburg, “Sever”/A. M. Lesman, 1905.

    A very rare number, confiscated by the authorities, of the very first of the satirical magazines to come out of the 1905 Revolution. 25 numbers were published, between 5 June and 11 December 1905, edited by Yu. K. Artsybyshev. Contributors include Fedor Sologub, and the artists Epifanov and Shestopalov,...

    £750

  12. ZVIAGINTSEVA, Vera Klavdievna.

    Na mostu. Stikhotvoreniia [On the Bridge. Poems.].

    Moscow, [Gostip,] 1922.

    First edition. This is one of Zviagintseva’s (1894–1972) earliest publications. She also produced translations of Armenian, Estonian, and Ukrainian poetry.

    £100