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. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. [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

  5. [WAGNER, Richard.]

    Wagner Festival. Royal Albert Hall, May 1877. Selections from the German texts of Der Ring des Nibelungen, Rienzi,...

    London: [The Elzevir Press for] Hodge and Essex, [but 1877].

    First edition, very rare, an attractive volume collecting the separately-issued programmes for the initial run of six concerts during the first Wagner Festival at the Royal Albert Hall in May 1877, with a general title-page. The texts are printed in German and English in parallel – the first...

    £2500

  6. WOLZOGEN, Caroline von.

    Literarischer Nachlass. Erster [-Zweiter] Band.

    Leipzig, Breitkopf & Härtel, 1848-9.

    First edition of this collection of the miscellaneous writings of Schiller’s sister-in-law, Caroline von Wolzogen (1763-1847).

    £300

  7. 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 the...

    £200

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  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