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. GOR’KII, Maksim, pseud. [i.e. Aleksei Maksimovich Peshkov].

    Zhaloby [Complaints].

    N.p., Rabochee Knigoizdatel’stvo, 1916.

    An ephemeral publication of a short story by Gorky, first published in 4 parts in Berlin, 1910-1911. OCLC records three copies only: at University of California Riverside, Washington University, and National Library of Australia.

    £200

  2. GOR’KII, Maksim, pseud. [i.e. Aleksei Maksimovich Peshkov].

    V stepi. – Druzhki [On the Steppes. – The friends].

    Moscow, “Rodnaia rech’”, 1916

    An ephemeral edition of two early short stories. ‘V stepi’ tells the dark story of three vagrants in the Crimea, the narrator, an ex-soldier and an ex-student. Desperate for food they rob and kill a fellow traveller in the night, but the narrator refuses any moral responsibilty for the events: ‘we...

    £200

  3. GOR’KII, Maksim, pseud. [i.e. Aleksei Maksimovich Peshkov].

    V liudiakh [In the world].

    St Petersburg, “Parus”, 1918.

    First edition printed in Russia of the second volume of Gorky’s memoirs, first published in Berlin in 1916. It was preceded by Childhood (1913) and followed by My university years (1923). ‘Gorky reached the apogee of his creative powers in his autobiographical trilogy, Childhood, In the World and...

    £500

  4. [GOR’KII, Maksim, pseud. [i.e. Aleksei Maksimovich Peshkov] and Nikolai Stepanovich GUMILEV.]

    Ballady o Robin Gude [Ballads of...

    St Petersburg, “Vsemirnaia Literatura”, 1919.

    First edition: a collection of translations of twelve popular songs featuring Robin Hood, published in the early Soviet series Vsemirnaia Literaura (‘Worldwide Literature’), edited by Gumilev and with a 10 pp. introduction by Gorky. After discussing the paradox of the ‘good’ robber in literature...

    £900

  5. GOR’KII, Maksim, pseud. [i.e. Aleksei Maksimovich Peshkov].

    Delo Artamonovykh [The Artamonov business].

    Berlin, “Kniga”, 1925.

    First edition. ‘[Gorky’s] best novel, The Artamonov Business (1925), follows the Artamonovs through three generations, from the uneducated grandfather, a strong and enterprising, lusty patriarch who starts a small factory and builds it into a major industrial plant, to a grandson, an intellectual...

    £450

  6. GOR’KII, Maksim, pseud. [i.e. Aleksei Maksimovich Peshkov].

    Starik. P’esa. [The old man. A play].

    Berlin, J. Ladyschnikow, n. d. [1921].

    First edition, written 1915, but not premiered until New Year’s Day 1919.

    £250

  7. GOR’KII, Maxim, pseud. [i.e. Aleksei Maksimovich Peshkov].

    Katalog izdatel’stva “Vsemirnaia Literatura” pri narodnom komissariate...

    St Petersburg, “Vsemirnaia Literatura”, 1919.

    A catalogue marking the launch of a series of popular editions of the classics of world literature by the publishing house ‘Vsemirnaia Literatura’ (‘World Literature’), established by Gorky in 1919. Following a preface by Gorky, printed in Russian, French, English, and German, the catalogue lists...

    £650

  8. GORKY, Maksim, pseud. [i.e. Aleksei Maksimovich Peshkov].

    V Amerike. Ocherki [In America. Sketches].

    Berlin, J. Ladyschnikow Verlag, [1918].

    Second edition (first, 1906): Gorky’s impressions of America after his visit there in 1906 to collect funds for the Party.

    £300

  9. GORODETSKII, Sergei Mitrofanovich.

    Iva. Piataia kniga stikhov [Willow. A fifth book of verse].

    St Petersburg, “Shipovnik”, 1913.

    First edition. Well received by the critics, this, the fifth collection from the co-founder of the Poets’ Guild and Acmeist movement, includes poems about the life of religious wanderers, pilgrims and the world of monasteries, as well as several children’s stories. Of his friend and collaborator,...

    £200

  10. GOUNOD, Charles François.

    A volume of ten songs bound together, all signed and inscribed by Gounod to Arthur Cecil Blunt (1832–96).

    A specially bound volume containing ten of Gounod’s London-published songs, all signed and inscribed in pencil on the upper wrapper to the English actor Arthur Cecil Blunt (stage name Arthur Cecil, 1843–1896): ‘To my friend Arthur C. Blunt. Ch, Gounod’. The songs, of which eight are in English,...

    £2000

  11. [GOURAUD, Stéphane, known as:] GURO, Stepan Andreevich, chevalier de.

    Rech’ o deistvii prosveshcheniia na sostoianie narodov …...

    St Petersburg, Imperial Academy of Sciences, 1826.

    First edition. This early speech on the importance of higher education was delivered by the rector of the recently founded University of St Petersburg in his native French (and in a somewhat florid style, to judge from the Russian translation by Nikita Butyrsky, a fellow academic and translator of Schiller)....

    £400

  12. GRASS, Günter.

    Gleisdreieck.

    Darmstadt, Luchterhand, 1960.

    Rare first edition of this volume of poems with Grass’s own drawings.

    £100

  13. GRASS, Günter.

    Katz und Maus. Eine Novelle.

    Neuwied & Berlin, Luchterhand, 1961.

    First edition of the novella Katz und Maus, which was later sub-titled Danizger Trilogie 2 to indicate its relationship to Die Blechtrommel and Hundejahre.

    £150

  14. GRASS, Günter.

    Die Plebejer proben den Aufstand. Ein deutsches Trauerspiel.

    Neuwied & Berlin, Luchterhand, 1966.

    First edition of a play, ‘The Plebeians Rehearse the Uprising’, in which Bertolt Brecht appears as the Boss, who declines to leave his theatrical preoccupation to support the East Berlin workers' reformist uprising.

    £100

  15. GRASS, Günter.

    Ausgefragt.

    Neuwied & Berlin, Luchterhand, 1967.

    First edition.

    £75

  16. GRASS, Günter.

    Über meinen Lehrer Döblin und andere Vorträge.

    Berlin, Literarisches Colloquium, 1968.

    First edition, signed by Grass on fly-leaf.

    £50

  17. GRASS, Günter.

    Gesammelte Gedichte. Mit einem Vowort von Heinrich Vormweg.

    Neuwied & Berlin, Luchterhand, 1971.

    First edition.

    £50

  18. GRASS, Günter.

    Aus dem Tagebuch einer Schnecke.

    Neuwied & Darmstadt, Luchterhand, 1972.

    First edition: an account of Grass’s travels as a campaigner for the Social Democrats and Willy Brandt in the 1969 election, interwoven with a story about Hermann Ott, a collector of snails, who takes refuge from the Nazis with a Kashubian who wants to become a German.

    £75

  19. GRASS, Günter.

    Der Butt.

    Darmstadt & Neuwied, Luchterhand, 1977

    First edition: a review copy, with the words ‘Unkorrigiertes, unverkäufliches Lese-Exemplar’ printed on front cover.

    £100