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. JABÈS, Edmond.

    Trois filles de mon quartier.

    [Paris], G. L. M., [1948].

    First edition: one of 340 numbered copies, of which this is one of 15 on vélin du Marais.


  2. JABÈS, Edmond.

    La clef de voûte.

    [Paris], G.L.M., [1950].

    First edition: one of 400 numbered copies, of which this is one of 20 on vélin du Marais.


  3. JABÈS, Edmond.


    [Paris], Gallimard, [1967].

    First edition, one of 30 numbered copies on vélin pur fil.


  4. JABÈS, Edmond.

    [Paris], Gallimard, [1972].

    First edition, one of the issue of ordinary paper.


  5. JIMÉNEZ, Juan Ramón.

    Pastorales. La tristeza del campo – El valle – La estrella del pastor – 1905.

    Madrid, Biblioteca Renacimiento, 1911.

    First edition: a collection of poems from Jiménez’s first period.


  6. JIMÉNEZ, Juan Ramón.

    Romances de Coral Gables (1939-1942).

    Mexico, Nueva Floresta en la Editorial Stylo, 1948.

    First edition of poems written during Jiménez’s exile in Florida after the Spanish Civil War.


  7. JUSSIEU, Laurent Pierre de.

    Antoine et Maurice. Ouvrage qui a obtenu le prix proposé par la Société Royale pour l’amélioration...

    Paris, L. Colas, 1821.

    First edition, rare, of this unsurprisingly moralising novel by the writer, geologist, and natural historian Laurent Pierre de Jussieu (1792-1866), written in response to a competition held by the Royal Society of the Improvement of Prisons to find the best book to circulate amongst inmates.

    An 1837...


  8. KAFKA, Franz.

    Ein Landarzt and Der Mord [in Die Neue Dichtung. Ein Almanach].

    Leipzig, Kurt Wolff, 1918.

    First edition, containing the first appearance in print of Kafka’s Ein Landarzt and Der Mord (later Ein Brudermord), both of which were published in the collection Ein Landarzt the following year, with significant textual differences. This important expressionist anthology also includes contributions...


  9. KAFKA, Franz.

    In der Strafkolonie.

    Leipzig, Kurt Wolff, 1919.

    First edition, one of 1000 copies printed, of Kafka’s story In the Penal Colony.


  10. [KAFKA, Franz.]

    Almanach des Schocken Verlags auf das Jahr 5695.

    Berlin, Schocken Verlag, 1934/35.

    Pp. 96-103 contain Kafka’s Aufzeichnungen über eine jüdische Wandertruppe, the description of his meeting with a troupe of Yiddish actors in the Café Savoy in Prague in 1911. This encounter was to have a profound effect on his writing. The passage was later published in an extended version in the...


  11. KAFKA, Franz.

    Wedding Preparations in the Country and Other Posthumous Prose Writings.

    London, Secker and Warburg, 1954.

    First edition in English. Translated by Ernst Kaiser and Eithne Wilkins, with notes by Max Brod. ‘Although Kafka’s almost unceasing guilt and anxieties seem to mark him as a man of pestilential morbidity and gloom, it is not the important effect he has on us. He has a kind of cunning. His plain and...


  12. KAFKA, Franz.

    Frants Kafka: roman, novelly, pritchi [Franz Kafka: a novel [The Trial], novellas, parables].

    Moscow, “Progress”, 1965.

    First edition in Russian of Der Prozess, part of the ‘recent unprecendented publication’ (Struc) of Kafka in Russian. Also published here are a number of short stories, some of which had previously appeared in Ukrainian and Russian in Soviet periodicals. The translators include R. Rait-Kovaleva,...


  13. KAMENSKII, Vasilii Vasilievich.

    Emel’ian Pugachev, poema. Graviury na dereve N. P. Dmitrevskogo [Emelyan Pugachev, a poem. Wood...

    [Leningrad], “Molodaia Gvardiia”, 1931.

    First edition of Kamensky’s long narrative poem, preceded by a play on the same subject in 1925. The Don Cossack Emelyan Pugachev claimed to be Catherine the Great’s husband, Peter III, assassinated in 1762, and led a peasant revolt in 1773-4. Pugachev was a favourite Bolshevik theme, and the present...


  14. KAPITSA, Olga and Yuri VASNETSOV.

    Зайка [Little Hare] .

    Leningrad, Detizdat Ts K VLKSM, 1936.

    First edition of this collection of eleven traditional folk tales and songs about the hare and his encounters with huntsmen, foxes and other animals, charmingly written by Olga Kapitsa and illustrated by Yuri Vasnetsov, one of Russia’s leading artists of children’s books.
    Worldcat finds two...


  15. KARAMZIN, Nikolai Mikhailovich.

    Aglaja. Romantische und historische Erzählungen. Nach dem Russischen des Karamzin herausgegeben...

    Leipzig, Brockhaus, 1819.

    First appearance of a collection of eight prose pieces by Karamzin (1766–1826) in German translation. Although the work takes the title of the first Russian literary almanac, Aglaia, published by Karamzin in two volumes, 1794–5, it is actually a selection of pieces by Karamzin taken both from Aglaia...


  16. KHARMS, Daniil Ivanovich, translator. BUSCH, Wilhelm.

    Plikh i Pliukh [Plisch und Plum].

    Moscow, Detizdat, 1937.

    First edition in book form, very rare, of Daniil Kharms’s Russian free verse translation of the children’s story by Wilhelm Busch about two mischievous dogs, second only in fame to his Max und Moritz. The translation had been first published in the children’s magazine Chizh in 1936 (nos. 8-12),...


  17. KLIUEV, Nikolai Alekseevich.

    Izbianyia pesni [Izba Songs].

    Berlin, “Skify”, [1920].

    First edition. Nikolai Klyuev (1887–1937) was the leader of the so-called peasant poets, and Esenin’s erstwhile friend and mentor. This collection suitably takes its name from the izba, the traditional Russian peasant’s hut.


  18. KLIUEV, Nikolai Alekseevich.

    Chetvertyi Rim [The Fourth Rome].

    St Petersburg, “Epokha”, 1922.

    First edition of Klyuev’s attack on Esenin. ‘Esenin recognized Klyuev as his “teacher”, but Klyuev rejected Esenin’s later “hooligan” manner, and the strained (and possibly homosexual) relations of the two men ultimately contributed strongly to Esenin’s suicide. Klyuev’s long poem “The...


  19. KOROLENKO, Vladimir Galaktionovich.

    Dom No. 13-yi. Epizod iz Kishinevskago Pogroma [House No. 13. An episode from the Kishinev Pogrom].

    Berlin, Johannes Räde, 1904.

    First edition printed in Berlin (first, London 1903) of Korolenko’s description of the Kishinev Pogrom of 1903, in which he denounces anti-Semitism and religious persecution. The work was prohibited by the Russian censor and had to be published abroad.


  20. KOROLEVICH, Vladimir.

    Sady Dofina [The Gardens of the Dauphin].

    Moscow, [“Sinema”,] 1918.

    First (and only?) edition. The poems are divided into two sections: ‘The Gardens of the Dauphin’ and ‘Sacred Spring’. Aside from these restful, often religious lyrics, Korolevich evidently had an interest in the cinema; he later published works on director Erich von Stroheim and silent-film actress...