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. TOLSTOY, Lev Nikolaevich.

    Posmertnyia zapiski startsa Fedora Kuz’micha umershago 20-go ianvaria 1864 goda v Sibiri, bliz goroda...

    St Petersburg, V. Vrublevskii, 1912.

    First edition, very rare, of an unfinished story, begun in 1905, exploring the popular legend that Tsar Alexander I had staged his own death in 1825 and had gone into hiding as the hermit Fedor Kuz’mich. Kuz’mich, St Fedor of Tomsk in the Russian Church, was sent to Siberia as a vagrant, where he...

    £1750

  2. TOLSTOY, Lev Nikolaevich.

    Posmertnyia khudozhestvennyia proizvedeniia… pod redaktsii V Chertkova. Tom I [-III] [Posthumous artistic...

    [Moscow], A. L. Tolstoy, [1912].

    A reprint, in slightly smaller format than the first edition of 1911, of Tolstoy’s posthumous works, which included the first appearance of many important pieces: ‘Hadji Murad, as well as The Memoirs of a Madman and The Devil, was published only in 1911, in the collected edition of Tolstoy’s posthumous...

    £800

  3. [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

  4. [TRENTO, Giulio].

    Gli spiriti. Paragoni poetici. Dialogo d’un giovine, ed un cinico dell’andare alla Guerra. Diario mensuale...

    Treviso, G. Trento, [1788].

    Only edition, mentioned only in one or two pieces of local antiquarian history but not recorded in any of the usual library catalogues. An ephemeral publication containing a short story, a literary divertissement linking passages from Parini’s Mattino with an unidentified poem on gambling and an ode...

    £300

  5. TRET’IAKOV, Sergei Mikhailovich.

    Rychi, Kitai! Stikhi [Roar, China! Poems].

    Moscow, “Ogonek”, 1926.

    First edition, very rare. Tretyakov wrote these lyrics during an extended visit to China in 1924, during which he collected material for his subsequent work on contemporary China. The name of the title poem (Rychi, Kitai!) was used again for Tretyakov’s famous avant-garde play of the same name, published...

    £350

  6. TRISSINO, Giangiorgio.

    La Poetica.

    [Vicenza, Tolomeo Ianicolo, 1529 (colophon)].

    First edition, the corrected issue, of Trissino’s milestone essay on language, aesthetic and poetry. The first issue bears the erroneous date of 1549.

    £2200

  7. TURGENEV, Ivan Sergeevich.

    Sochineniia… (1844-1874.) Izdanie brat’ev Salaevykh. Chast’ pervaia [-vos’maia] [Works… (1844-1874)....

    Moscow, Grachev, 1874

    A handsome set of this rare lifetime edition of Turgenev’s works, the fourth to be published by the Moscow booksellers Ivan and Fyodor Salaev. This edition includes for the first time two of Turgenev’s later prose works, Spring Torrents (1873) and the autobiographical story Punin and Baburin (1874).

    £2750

  8. TURGENEV, Ivan Sergeevich.

    Nov’. Roman [Virgin Soil. A Novel].

    Moscow, 1878.

    First edition printed in Russia of Turgenev’s novel about the Populists of the 1870s. It was first published in the journal Vestnik Evropy in 1877, followed shortly afterwards by an edition published in Leipzig.

    £1500

  9. 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

  10. TURGENEV, Ivan Sergeevich.

    Stikhotvoreniia [Poems].

    St Petersburg, [V Tipografii Glazunova], 1885.

    First edition: a collected volume of Turgenev’s poems omitted from the Complete collected works of 1883 (see previous item).

    £1200

  11. TYRTAEUS and CALLINUS.

    Les chants...traduits en vers par Firmin Didot.

    Paris, Firmin Didot, pere et fils, 1827.

    One of only 100 copies - all hors de commerce - of this deluxe folio Didot edition of some of the oldest martial elegy verses of the Western tradition: the surviving works of the Spartan poet Tyrtaeus and the Ephesian poet Callinus (7th-6th century BC). The text is preceded by an engraved Lettre...

    £4000

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. [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

  15. [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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. ZOSHCHENKO, Mikhail Mikhailovich.

    Chort znaet chto takoe [Devil knows what it is] …

    [Riga, “Van’ka-Vstan’ka”,] 1927.

    First editions, very rare, of five collections of sketches, short stories and poems, mostly comic, most with a brief biography of the author; these make up the first five books (published in June 1927) of a series of 31 to be published at monthly intervals alongside a humorous newspaper Van’ka-Vstan’ka.

    £350

  19. 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

  20. ZUZORIĆ, Bernard.

    Besjedde Duhovne oza Bernarda Zuzzeri Dubrovcjanina Druscbe Jesussove recene prid skupsctinom dobre smærti...

    Dubrovnik, Andrea Trevisan, 1793.

    First edition of a collection of sermons by the Croatian Jesuit Bernard Zuzorić (1683-1762). The Jesuit College in Dubrovnik had been established in 1658, but Zuzorić became a novitiate in Rome; although the praise of his superiors led him towards a professorship of rhetoric, he abandoned his studies...

    £650