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. GOSZCZYNSKI, Seweryn and Antoni MALCZEWSKI.

    Les Ukraïniennes … traduites par Clémence Robert.

    Paris. J. A. Merklein … 1835.

    First edition in French of two key texts of Polish Romanticism, Zamek Kaniowski (1828) [The Castle of Koniow] by Seweryn Goszczynski (1801-1876), and Maria (1825) by Antoni Malczewski (1793-1826).

    £650

  2. KAFKA, Franz.

    Zámek. Román.

    Prague, Mánes, 1935.

    First edition in Czech of Kafka’s The Castle (1926), translated by Pavel Eisner. Eisner (1889-1958) was an essayist and prolific translator between German and Czech. His translations of The Castle and The Trial introduced Kafka’s works to a wider Czech readership.

    £500

  3. PUSHKIN, Aleksandr Sergeevich.

    Můj rodokmen [My genealogy].

    [Prague, Průmyslová tiskárna, 1937.]

    First edition, privately printed, of this Czech translation of Pushkin’s Moia rodoslovnaia (‘My genealogy’, 1830), the great Russian poet’s defence of his ancestry against some recent racial slurs. The fine illustrations are by Karel Svolinský (1896–1986), who is best known for his designs...

    £250

  4. RADIUS, J. S. C. de.

    Characteristic Features of Russian and Slavic Poetry, with Specimens, translated by English Authors …

    London, printed by Seyfang & Co. [for the author], 1854.

    Only edition. This little book contains what must be some of the earliest translations of Ukrainian, Serbian, Bulgarian, Slovene, Slovak, and Sorb verse into English. It certainly offers an early example of comparative Slavonic studies. Most of the specimens, however, are Russian, among them Delvig’s...

    £325