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. 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

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on the method of composing poetry in Italian, with numerous examples from renowned authors and eight apparently unpublished poems about horse-racing, with references to Arabian, Sardinian, English, and African horses, as well as to a firework display.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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. STRAPAROLA, Giovanfrancesco.

    Le piacevoli notti di messer Giovanfrancesco Straparola da Caravaggio.

    Venice, Domenico Giglio, 1558.

    An early edition of both volumes of Straparola’s Facetious nights, first published in 1550–53.

    £2750

  6. [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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. [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