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. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. [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

  10. 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

  11. [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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. [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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. PETRARCH, Francesco. 

    Librorum Francisci Petrarche impressorum annotatio.  De ignorantia suiipsius et multorum liber I.  De...

    Venice, Simone da Luere for Andreas Torresanus de Asula, 27 March 1501. 

    Part one of the second collected edition of Petrarch’s Latin works (first Basel 1496), owned and annotated by the great Italian naturalist and physician Ulisse Aldrovandi (1522–1605). 

    £16000

  19. 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

  20. [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