Foreign Literature

Contact Donovan Rees or Joanna Skeels

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. STRAMM, August.

    Tropfblut. Gedichte.

    Berlin, Verlag der Sturm, [1919].

    First edition of the Expressionist poet August Stramm’s second collection of poetry. Stramm (1874-1915) is considered one of the first of the German Expressionists. He achieved little in print during his lifetime, with the exception of some Expressionist plays published by Der Sturm after his work...


  2. TIECK, Ludwig.

    Der Aufruhr in den Cevennen. Eine Novelle in vier Abschnitten. Erster und zweiter Abschnitt (all published).

    Berlin, G. Reimer, 1826.

    First edition, rare. One of the first important German novels to be inspired by Walter Scott, and a major work of Tieck’s later years.


  3. [VOLTAIRE.]

    Das Mädchen von Orleans. Ein komisches Heldengedicht in zwölf Gesängen nach Voltaire frei bearbeitet.

    Neustadt, ‘im Verlags-Comptoir’, n. d. [mid nineteenth century].

    A freely adapted German rendition of La Pucelle d’Orleans, very rare. Fromm gives the date as around 1865 (and the place of publication as Hamburg), the online Staatsbibliothek catalogue (the only copy listed by KVK) as c.1830.


  4. WALSER, Robert.

    Der Gehülfe. Roman …

    Berlin, Bruno Cassirer, [1908].

    First edition, rare: the second of Robert Walser’s three novels (‘for my money his best book’, Michael Hofmann), which charts the decline of a family. Hermann Hesse wrote: ‘Although it is full of the atmosphere of the beginning of the century, this tale immediately wins us over with the timeless...


  5. WEBER, Karl Maria Friedrich Ernst von.

    Hinterlassene Schriften … Erster Band [Tonkünstlers Leben, eine Arabeske], Zweiter Band,...

    Dresden and Leipzig, Arnold, 1828.

    First edition of Weber’s work as novelist, critic, and music journalist; a second edition was published in 1850. The achievements Weber made in his short life (he died aged 39) tend to be overshadowed by the success of Der Freischütz (1821). But ‘to view Weber’s accomplishments primarily through...


  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).