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. [WEDDING POETRY.]

    Applausi alli felicissimi sponsali dell’illustrissimo Sig. Cavaliere Deifebo Perini Brancadori, con l’illustrissima...

    Siena, Stamperia del Pubblico, 1699.

    Seemingly unrecorded collection of sonnets written to mark the marriage of two Sienese nobles, Deifebo Perini Brancadori and Ottavia Orlandini. The fourteen sonnets, whose authorship remains unknown, take inspiration from the family name of the groom and aspects of the arms of both families, with...

    £350

  5. LOREDAN, Giovanni Francesco. 

    Bizzarrie academiche di Gio. Francesco Loredano Nobile Veneto, con altre composizioni del medesimo … 

    Venice, Taddeo Pavoni, 1642. 

    Expanded fourth edition, very rare, of this series of salacious academic discourses by Venetian senator Giovanni Francesco Loredan (1606/7–1661), founder of the Accademia degli Incogniti and a central figure in seventeenth-century Venetian publishing.

    £500

  6. BEISNER, Monika.

    Dante Alighieri: La Commedia in 100 tavole.

    Turin, Attini, 2021.

    Limited edition, one of 500 numbered sets, of Monika Beisner’s one hundred illustrations of the Divine Comedy, each accompanying one canto, conveying with remarkable fidelity the vivacity of Dante’s verse.

    £60

  7. 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

  8. ALBERTI, Leon Battista.

    El Momo. La moral e muy graciosa historia del Momo; compuesta en Latin por el docto varon Leon Bapista...

    Alcalá de Henares, Joan Mey Flandro, 1553.

    First edition in Spanish of Alberti’s Momus [or De principe], translated by Augustín de Almaçan and with an introductory 8-page Exposición by the Toledo ascetic writer and scholar Alejo Venegas (1495?–1554?).

    £3800

  9. PIUS II (Nicolaus von WYLE, editor). 

    Epistolae familiares. 

    Nuremberg, Anton Koberger, 17 July 1486. 

    Second Koberger edition of the Epistolae familiares of Aeneas Sylvius Piccolomini (1405–1464), the great Renaissance humanist who became Pope Pius II in 1458, a handsome copy enhanced with manuscript additions comprising epistolary models, a German-Latin wordlist, and medical recipes. 

    £7500

  10. [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

  11. 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

  12. ANSELMI, Giorgio, the younger

    Georgii Anselmi nepotis Epigrammaton libri septem. Sosthyrides. Peplum Palladis. Aeglogae...

    Venice, Maffeo Pasini, September 1528. 

    The definitive edition of the epigrams of Giorgio Anselmi, grandson of the astrologer and music theorist of the same name, with several epigrams on his grandfather’s lost works on magic and the occult. 

    £875

  13. [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

  14. URCEO, Antonio [or Codro].

    Hoc Codri volumine haec continentur. Orationes, seu sermones ut ipse appellabat. Epistolae. Silvae....

    Bologna, Giovanni Antonio Benedetti, 7 March 1502.

    First edition of a quintessential piece of Italian humanism, annotated by a sixteenth-century reader particularly interested in the philology of the texts.

    £3000

  15. SANNAZARO, Jacopo. 

    Iacobi Sannazarii Opera omnia latine scripta, nuper edita. 

    Venice, heirs of Aldus Manutius and Andreas Asulanus, September 1535. 

    Enlarged posthumous Aldine edition of the collected Latin works of the Neapolitan poet Jacopo Sannazaro. 

    £550

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. VIRGIL Maro, Publius, and Giovanni Andrea dell’ANGUILLARA (trans.). 

    Il primo libro della Eneida di Vergilio,...

    Padua, Gratioso Perchacino, 1564. 

    First edition of the first book of Anguillara’s verse translation of the Aeneid, a copy printed on strong paper and inscribed by the author.  The humanist, poet, and successful translator of Ovid Giovanni Andrea dell’Anguillara (1517–1572) undertook to translate into Italian ottava...

    £2500

  19. 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

  20. 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