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. [COLETTE, Sidonie-Gabrielle - WILLY [i.e. Henri Gauthier-Villars]]. KELLER, Fernand, and André LAUTIER.

    Colette (Colette Willy),...

    Paris, Éditions de La Nouvelle Revue Critique, 1923.

    First edition of this critical work on Colette, with Willy’s manuscript annotations throughout. The copy was subsequently in the possession of Willy’s friend Pierre Varenne, who has added a pencilled note to the blank endleaf: ‘Annotations manuscrites de Willy. P.V.’, and a ms. postcard to Varenne...

    £900

  2. CORTÁZAR, Julio.

    Bestiario.

    Buenos Aires, Editorial Sudamericana, [1951]

    First edition, with a signed presentation inscription ‘Para Norma y Jean Luc, con la amistad de Julio, 1955’, on the first (blank) page.

    £1500

  3. [DANIEL, Iulii Markovich] ARZHAK, Nikolai, pseud.

    Govorit Moskva. Povest’ [This is Moscow Speaking. A Story].

    Washington, Filipoff, 1962.

    First edition, printed in Germany, of one of the books which led directly to Daniel’s arrest and trial in 1966.

    £150

  4. DESENFANS, Noel Joseph.

    Les deux Hermites, dédié a mylord Lyttelton …

    A Londres; chez R. Davis … J Ridley … W Owen … 1773.

    First and only edition, uncommon, of an epistolary novel by the future art dealer Noel Joseph Desenfans. The scene is Paris in the 1680s, the theme is Enlightenment, and the author’s aim was to inspire ‘l’horreur de l’oppression, sentiment nécessaire à l’harmonie de la Société, & vertu...

    £650

  5. DEVOTO, Daniel.

    Libro de las fabulas. Ilustraciones de Atilio del Soldato.

    [Buenos Aires], Gulab y Aldabahor, 1943.

    First edition of this collection of Devoto’s poems, in the copy printed especially for him. This is one of five copies printed on Whatman paper, of a total edition of 555: ‘Ejemplar II, Especialmente impreso para Daniel Devoto’.

    £400

  6. DÖBLIN, Alfred.

    Berlin Alexanderplatz. Traduit de l’Allemand par Zoya Motchane. Préface de Pierre Mac Orlan.

    [Paris], Librairie Gallimard, [1933].

    With a punning signed presentation inscription to front endleaf, perhaps addressed to a female fellow-drinker in Paris: ‘Hommage respectueux à Mlle Bouvoirde! Alfred Döblin, Paris, 23.XII.36’. If this is a word-play on ‘bavarde’ (she who talks too much) and ‘buveuse’ (she who drinks too...

    £750

  7. DON-AMINADO, pseud. [i.e. Aminad Petrovich SHPOLIANSKII].

    Neskuchnyi sad [Bare garden].

    Paris, [Imprimerie E. I. R. P.,] 1935.

    First edition, no. 38 of 150 copies, a poetical collection by the émigré poet, satirist and feuilletonist Aminad Shpolyansky. A journalist during the First World War, Shpolyansky emigrated to Paris shortly afterwards. ‘With his poetry and prose … he continued the classical tradition of Russian...

    £150

  8. DUMAS, Alexandre, père.

    Les Trois Mousquetaires.

    Paris, Michel Lévy, 1846.

    Rare early edition of The Three Musketeers, first published in 8 volumes in 1844. This is the third edition published in France, although there were several Brussels printings of the novel in the interim. The half-title of the present edition announces ‘Oeuvres complètes d’Alexandre Dumas’, but...

    £950

  9. DVIGUBSKII, Ivan Alekseevich.

    Opyt estestvennoi istorii vsekh zhivotnykh Rossiiskoi Imperii … S izobrazheniiami zhivotnykh. [Fly-title:]...

    Moscow, University Press, 1831

    First edition, rare, one of a series of six works on the flora and fauna of the Russian Empire, published 1829-1833 under the same general title. The present volume covers molluscs, including cephalopods and gastropods.

    £2000

  10. DZHEMBULAT, E.

    Krai ottsov [Land of the fathers].

    Berlin, Parabola, [1934?].

    First edition: a collection of poems.

    £100

  11. [ERENBBURG, BAL’MONT, BLOK, LERMONTOV, PUSHKIN, TOLSTOY, TURGENEV, et al.]

    Izbrannye stikhi russkikh poetov. Seriia sbornikov...

    [St Petersburg, Stasiulevich,] 1914.

    First edition of a patriotic anthology of poems on the theme of ‘Russia’, organised chronologically from Odoevsky to Kliuev. The theme is religiously adhered to, with contributions from both dead and living authors, including, as well as those listed above, Aksakov, Bely, Soloviev, Fofanov, Sologub,...

    £250

  12. [ERENBURG, GUMILEV, MANDELSHTAM, et al, translators].

    Poety frantsuzskogo vozrozhdeniia, antologiia [Poets of the French Renaissance,...

    Leningrad, Goslitizdat, 1938

    First edition of a rare anthology of translations from Villon, Marot, Ronsard, Du Bellay, and others. Two of the Villon translations are attributed in the index to Mandelshtam, but are in fact by Nikolai Stepanovich Gumilev (1886-1921), husband of Anna Akhmatova, who had been arrested and executed for...

    £1750

  13. ERENBURG, Il’ia Grigorievich.

    Ogon’ [Fire].

    [Gomel], “Veka i Dni”, 1919.

    First edition. Although primarily known in the West as a prose writer and journalist (his novel Ottepel’ (The Thaw, 1954) coined the term for the era in the post-Stalin period), Ehrenburg (1891–1967) in fact wrote poetry all his life. The title for this collection, published in the south-eastern...

    £200

  14. ERENBURG, Il’ia Grigorievich.

    Ogon’ [Fire].

    [Gomel], “Veka i Dni”, 1919.

    First edition of this collection of poems. With a long signed presentation inscription in Russian on title-page to the actress Varvara Alekseeva-Meskhieva (b. 1898) in pencil, covering the title-page: ‘To dear Varvara Vladimirovna Alekseeva-Meskhieva, from the heart, Ehrenburg. On the eve of departure...

    £2000

  15. ERENBURG, Il’ia Grigorievich.

    Rasskazy [Tales].

    Moscow, “Ogonek”, 1926.

    A very rare ephemeral publication comprising two short stories by Ehrenburg: ‘Aktsionernoe obshchestvo “Merkiur-de-Riussi”’ and ‘Opytno-pokazatel’naia koloniia No. 62’. Both stories had been published four years earlier in a collection of six stories by Ehrenburg with illustrations by El...

    £350

  16. FEDIN, Konstantin Aleksandrovich.

    Sad [The Orchard].

    Petrograd, 1922.

    Rare first edition of Konstantin Fedin’s first book, a short story which was awarded first prize by the House of Writers. An old gardener watches sadly as the orchard he cared for and the manor house of the old owners are turned over to a Soviet orphanage and fall into neglect. In the end the gardener...

    £1100

  17. FEDIN, Konstantin Aleksandrovich.

    Goroda i gody. Roman [Cities and years. A novel].

    Leningrad, Gosudarstvennoe Izdatel’stvo, 1924.

    First edition of Fedin’s autobiographical first novel, Cities and Years, an intense exploration of war and its aftermath, and the role of the intelligentsia in the inevitable revolution looming over society. The cities of the title are Berlin and Moscow, and the years those of the First World War and...

    £1200

  18. FEDORCHENKO, Sophia and Afanasy KULIKOV.

    На Крылышах [On little wings].

    Moscow, Gosudarstvennoe izdatelstvo ‘Krasnyi Proletarni’, 1927.

    First edition of this collection of verses for children on birds and butterflies, deftly illustrated by Kulikov.

    £300

  19. FOIX, Josep Vicenç.

    Obres poètiques, amb un pròleg de l’autor.

    Barcelona, Edicions Nauta, 1964.

    First edition of this collected anthology of Foix’s poems and prose pieces, together with the first printing of Desa acquests llibres al calaix de baix. J. V. Foix is considered to be one of the most significant avant-garde writers in Catalan.

    £200

  20. FRICKER, Bernard.

    Autograph working manuscript of a collection of essays and pensées entitled ‘La Marche du Jeu’.

    c. 1946-52.

    An extraordinary, unique production, with seven long, unpublished observational essays by Fricker on the post-war Parisian art world, including long discussions of the work of Francis Picabia, Marcel Duchamp, and Blaise Cendrars; assembled in hand-decorated chemises and a folding box designed by his...

    £6500