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. AZAÏS, Gabriel, and Charles LABOR.

    Illustrated manuscript volume of poetry, comprising ‘Vingt-six janvier 1836’ by Azaïs,...

    Béziers, c. 1836?

    An attractive presentation volume, with poems by Azaïs (1805-1888) and Labor (1813-1900), and fine vignette sketches. Azaïs, later author of Les Troubadours de Béziers (1869) was a member of the Félibrige, the literary organization founded by Frédéric Mistral to promote Occitan language...

    £1750

  2. BALZAC, Honoré de, and Fedor Kuz’mich SOLOGBUB, pseud. [Fedor TETERNIKOV], translator.

    Ozornye skazki [Contes...

    Petersburg, “Poliarnaia Zvezda”, 1922.

    First edition, very rare, of Sologub’s translation of two of Balzac’s satirical Contes drolatiques, ‘The fair Imperia’ and ‘The fair Imperia married’.

    £500

  3. [BAUDELAIRE, Charles.]

    Hommage à C. F. Denecourt. Fontainebleau. Paysages – Légendes – Souvenirs – Fantaisies.

    Paris, Librairie de L. Hachette & Co., 1855.

    First edition of this anthology compiled by Fernand Desnoyers and Auguste Luchet, published in honour of the self-appointed keeper of the forest of Fontainebleau, Claude-François Denecourt. It includes texts by Asselineau, Banville, Baudelaire, Béranger, Brizeux, Champfleury, Dupont, Gautier, Hugo,...

    £750

  4. BAUDELAIRE, Charles.

    Les Fleurs du mal [from Revue des Deux Mondes, 1 June 1855].

    [Paris, Revue des Deux Mondes, 1855.]

    First appearance in print of any of the poems from the celebrated but suppressed collection Les Fleurs du mal, extracted from the Revue des Deux Mondes.

    £600

  5. BECQUE, Henry.

    Les Corbeaux, pièce en quatre actes.

    Paris, Tresse, [1882].

    First and second editions of Becque’s innovative realist drama, inscribed by the author on the first half-title to ‘mon cher [Jules-Charles] Truffier’, with authorial marks and annotations on thirty-three pages in the second edition showing changes made for performance.

    £2000

  6. [BERINGTON, Simon, adapted by Jean-Baptiste DUPUY-DEMPORTES.] 

    Memoires de Gaudence de Luques, prisonnier de l’Inquisition...

    Amsterdam and Leipzig, Arkstée & Merkus, 1754. 

    Second edition of this much expanded and altered translation of Berington’s celebrated utopian novel, Memoirs of Sigr Gaudentio di Lucca (1737). 

    £500

  7. [COLETTE.] KELLER, Fernand, and André LAUTIER.

    Colette (Colette Willy), son oeuvre.

    Paris, Éditions de La Nouvelle Revue Critique, 1923.

    First edition of this critical work on Colette (1873–1954), the French pioneer of autobiographical fiction best known for her Claudine novels, annotated by her ex-husband, Willy.

    £900

  8. [COLETTE.] ‘WILLY’, pseud. [Henri GAUTHIER-VILLARS].

    En Bombe. Roman modern. Illustrations photographiques.

    Paris, Nilsson, Per Lamm, [1904].

    First edition of these vignettes of bohemian life in fin-de-siècle Paris by author and critic Willy, illustrated by nearly one hundred photographs of the author himself, as well as Marcel Boulestin, Marcelle Rossat, and Colette’s famous French bulldog, Toby-Chien.

    £600

  9. DAUDET, Alphonse.

    Lettres de mon Moulin. Impressions et souvenirs.

    Paris, J. Hetzel et Ce, [1869].

    First edition, rare, of Daudet’s Lettres de mon Moulin. These sketches of Provençal life appeared first in Le Figaro between August 1866 and October 1869, before being published in book form in 1869 and in countless editions from that time on.

    £2500

  10. 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

  11. DUMAS, Alexandre.

    Autograph letter, signed.

    [Paris, not before 1859.]

    A short note by the novelist and playwright Alexandre Dumas (1802–1870) sending a theatre ticket and arranging to meet the unknown recipient at the Comédie-française (‘theatre francais’) at midday the following day. He says that he will do whatever he can to obtain a small box at the Théâtre...

    £750

  12. DUMAS, Alexandre.

    Les trois mousquetaires.

    Paris, Michel Lévy, 1846.

    Rare early edition of The Three Musketeers, first published in eight 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...

    £600

  13. DUMAS, Alexandre, père.

    Maître Adam le Calabrais.

    Paris, Dumont, 1840.

    Rare first authorised edition of an early comic novel by Dumas, written in 1839, before he achieved fame as a novelist. This edition was preceded by an unauthorised printing in Brussels the previous year.

    £500

  14. GARCIA LORCA, Federico.

    Cinq romances gitanes, texte espagnol et traduction par Guy Lévis-Mano.

    [Paris], GLM, [1939].

    First edition, one of 475 numbered copies, of translations into French by Guy Lévis-Mano of five poems from the Romancero gitano: ‘Saint Gabriel’, ‘La casada infiel’, ‘Romance sonámbulo’, ‘Romance de la Guardia Civil española’ and ‘Romance de la luna, luna’.

    £100

  15. GARCÍA LORCA, Federico.

    Chant funèbre pour Ignacio Sanchez Mejias & Ode à Walt Whitman. Traduits par Rolland-Simon.

    [Paris], GLM, 1938.

    Rare first edition in French of Lorca’s Llanto por Ignacio Sánchez Mejías: copy no. 2 of 20 printed on hollande pannekoek (first paper) of a total edition of 470.

    £500

  16. GIONO, Jean.

    Colline.

    Paris, Bernard Grasset, Les Cahiers Verts, 1929.

    First edition of Giono’s first book; it forms the first part of his successful ‘Pan trilogy’ with Un de Baumugnes (1929) and Regain (1930).

    £450

  17. GIUSTI, Paolo Emilio.

    Magie. Preface de Jean Royère.

    Paris, Albert Messein, 1938.

    First edition of a rare work of verse and prose poetry; a presentation copy from the author ‘à son Eminence le Cardinal Mercier; hommage humble et respectueux d’un catholique italien; Paolo Giusti / Paris, Janvier 1938’.

    £350

  18. GOGOL’, Nikolai Vasil’evich, and Louis VIARDOT (translator).

    Tarass Boulba… traduit du russe par Louis Viardot.

    Paris, Librairie de L. Hachette et Cie, 1853.

    First separate appearance of Gogol’s story in the French translation by Louis Viardot, with an introduction by Turgenev, published in the series ‘Bibliothèque des chemins de fer’.

    £250

  19. GUMILEV, Nikolai Stepanovich (translator). GAUTIER, Théophile.

    Emali i kamei [Émaux et camées].

    [St Petersburg, M. V. Popov, 1914.]

    First edition, very rare, of Gumilev’s first published volume of translation, and Gautier’s first appearance in Russian. This is the only contemporary edition; it first received a reprint (in a bilingual edition) some seventy-five years later.

    £850

  20. [HERISSANT, Louis Théodore].

    Le fablier françois, ou élite des meilleurs fables depuis La Fontaine.

    Paris, Lottin le jeune, 1771.

    First edition, rare, of what has a claim to be the first comprehensive collection of French fables from the period after La Fontaine, assembled by the diplomat, lawyer, and historian Louis-Théodore Herissant (1743–1811). Collecting together fables from writers both famous (Voltaire, J.B. Rousseau,...

    £650