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. ROSSINI, Giovanni. 

    Alla memoria di Maria Antinori vedova del Marchese Consalvi di Macerata morta improvvisamente la sera del...

    Pisa, Niccolo Capurro, 1852. 

    Scarce first and only edition of this poem in memory of Maria Antinori, widow of the Marchese Consalvi, on her death at the age of thirty-five, penned by the poet, playwright, historical novelist, and art historian Giovanni Rossini (1776–1855). 

    £275

  2. MOLAJONI, Bartolomeo. 

    Alla neogama donzella Marianna Molajoni negli Sforza, Bartolomeo Molajoni germano dirigge il seguente sonetto...

    Viterbo, brothers Poggiarelli, 1811. 

    Seemingly unrecorded sonnet addressed to the newlywed Marianna Molajoni by her brother Bartolomeo and dedicated to the sottoprefetto of Viterbo, Giulio Zelli Pazzaglia. 

    £275

  3. [NAPOLEONIC ITALY.] 

    Alla società delle gentilissime signore di Moncalieri dilettanti del giuoco del tavolazzo. Sonetto bernesco-morale...

    Turin, Giacomo Fea, 1799.

    An unrecorded sonnet addressed to the Society of the Gentlewomen of Moncalieri, a town just south of Turin whose castle is one of the Savoy Residences, and in particular to the ‘Abbess’ of the society, by the corps of soldiers stationed in the town shortly after the Battle of Marengo.

    £575

  4. FAGNANI, Giovanni Marco. 

    De bello Arriano libri sex. 

    Milan, heirs of Pacifico da Ponte and Giovanni Battista Piccaglia, 1604. 

    First and only edition of the sole published work by the Italian nobleman Giovanni Marco Fagnani (1524–1609), an epic poem recounting Ambrose of Milan’s campaign against local Arians in late fourth-century Lombardy. 

    £900

  5. [MALTA.] 

    Eruditissima istoria dell’assedio fatto dalli Turchi all città di Malta. 

    Naples, [c. 1800?]. 

    Scarce poem on the 1565 Great Siege of Malta, when around 2400 Knights Hospitallers and Maltese inhabitants repelled an Ottoman invasion lead by Dragut and Mustafa Pasha.  Library catalogues credit the work to Innico Grivaccio. 

    £650

  6. GUERINI, Professor Giovanni.

    Fireside Entertainments; or, A Series of Interesting Tales ...

    London: Chapman and Hall ... 1874.

    First edition in English of Guerini’s Trenta Novelle (1873), a collection of short stories with contemporary or historical Italian settings by Bulwer-Lytton’s Italian translator. In the original language these stories--’Rubens’ Studio’, ‘The Uncle from America’, ‘Shut up in Church’,...

    £150

  7. [TRENTO, Giulio].

    Gli spiriti. Paragoni poetici. Dialogo d’un giovine, ed un cinico dell’andare alla Guerra. Diario mensuale...

    Treviso, G. Trento, [1788].

    Only edition, mentioned only in one or two pieces of local antiquarian history but not recorded in any of the usual library catalogues. An ephemeral publication containing a short story, a literary divertissement linking passages from Parini’s Mattino with an unidentified poem on gambling and an ode...

    £300

  8. PIEROTTI, A. 

    Il cervello e la difesa delle donne sestine giocose ... precedute da indirizzo, e dedica in vario metro. 

    Florence, N. Fabbrini, 1842. 

    First and only edition, very rare, of this misogynistic poem by the Florentine poet Pierotti, in which he pretends to explore the female brain with reference to Galen, accusing women of, for example, greed, theft, cunning, vanity, and irascibility.  The second part is a somewhat patronising defense...

    £375

  9. GONZAGA, Curzio.

    Il Fido amante, poema eroico.

    Mantua, [(colophon:) Giacomo Ruffinello, 1582].

    First edition of an Italian Renaissance heroic poem in thirty-six cantos, much appreciated by Tasso and published the year after the first authorized edition of the Gerusalemme liberata.

    £600

  10. PAGLIARANI, Elio.

    Inventario privato. Prefazione di Giacomo Zanga. Disegni di Alberto Casarotti.

    [Milan], Veronelli, [1959].

    First edition of the second published collection of poems by Elio Pagliarani (b. 1927), a member of the neo-avant-garde Gruppo 63. Pagliarani was the first of five poets to be anthologised by Alfredo Giuliani two years later in his important anthology I novissimi (1961), which in many ways can be seen...

    £350

  11. MARINO, Giambattista.

    La Murtoleide fischiate del cavalier Marino con la Marineide risate del Murtola.

    ‘Norinbergh’ [i.e. Venice], Ioseph Stamphier, 1619.

    Rare first edition of the manifesto of Italian Baroque poetry, appearing in the bitterly satirical ‘literary feud’ between the leading Italian baroque poet Giambattista Marino and his adversary, Gasparo Murtola. Marino, who thrived in his notoriously misbehaving public persona, had been banned...

    £900

  12. MELECRINIS, Maria Teresa. 

    Le voci del cuore a Maria Teresa Melecrinis dei baroni di Ioppolo e Coccorino che a di 6 luglio 1846...

    Naples, stamperia dell' Iride, 1846. 

    Very rare collection of odes and sonnets composed to mark the entry of Maria Teresa Melecrinis into the Benedictine monastery of San Paolo at Sorrento. 

    £175

  13. [PIRANDELLO, Luigi.]

    LO VECCHIO MUSTI, Manlio. Bibliografia di Pirandello.

    Verona, Mondadori, 1937.

    First edition of this authoritative bibliography of Pirandello, published just a year after his death. It includes a long introductory essay by Massimo Bontempelli.

    £100

  14. GRAY, [Thomas].

    Poems by Mr. Gray.

    Dublin, William Sleater, 1775.

    An attractive Dublin edition of Gray’s poems, joined by two parodies and a ‘burlesque ode’, and parallel translations of his Elegy written in a Country Churchyard into Italian and Latin.

    £125

  15. [JUVENILIA.] 

    Racconti per gli adolescenti.  Con tavole miniate. 

    Trieste, ‘Sezione Letterario-Artistica del Lloyd Austriaco’, 1857. 

    First and only edition, extremely rare, of these cautionary tales for adolescents, featuring inter alia debates among children on the ethics of taxidermy, a brawl in Latin lessons, arrests for embezzlement, and the unjust incarceration of a schoolboy. 

    £350

  16. ARNIGIO, Bartolomeo. 

    Rime dell’Arnigio per la ill[ustre] signora Claudia Martinenga. 

    Brescia, Giovanni Battista Bozzola, 1566. 

    First edition of Bartolomeo Arnigio’s collection of poems addressed to Claudia Martinengo, wife to Ludovico Martinengo della Pallata, an important association copy presented by the author to fellow poet Antonio Beffa Negrini. 

    £1750

  17. BARTOLI, Adolfo.

    Scenari inediti della Commedia dell’arte. Contributo alla storia del teatro popolare italiano.

    Florence, Sansoni, 1880.

    Rare first edition, one of only 350 copies, of a foundational source for the study of Commedia dell’Arte. The exceptionally well-loved and widely-performed form of drama is the subject of the author’s pioneering study: he examines tropes, characters, plots, structures and lines of ‘scenarios’...

    £500

  18. PAZZI, Antonio de, and Torquato TASSO. 

    Stanze inedite di Antonio de Pazzi e di Torquato Tasso in biasimo ed in lode delle...

    Venice, Picotti, 1810.

    Scarce first edition of verses ‘in blame and in praise of women’ by Antonio de Pazzi and Torquato Tasso, edited by the eminent antiquary and librarian Jacopo Morelli (1745–1819) from a previously unpublished manuscript in the Biblioteca Marciana, Venice, and dedicated to Baron Antonio Mulazzani...

    £200

  19. [POETRY.] 

    ‘Trattato della [poesia Toscana]’. 

    [Asti?, 1780-1782.] 

    A manuscript treatise on the method of composing poetry in Italian, with numerous examples from renowned authors and eight apparently unpublished poems about horse-racing, with references to Arabian, Sardinian, English, and African horses, as well as to a firework display. 

    £750