The article analyzes the book by the famous German literary historian O. L. B. Wolff (1799–1851), The Fine Literature of Modern Europe (1832), in which an attempt was made for the first time to create a canon of European literature, which at that moment was a substitute for the non-existent canon of world literature. This article provides a comparative study of Dutch, Danish, and Swedish literatures in this work, which introduced Dutch, Swedish, and Danish authors Little-known at the time to the general reading public outside their own countries. The introduction of this forgotten source allows us to reconstruct the criteria for evaluating “Northern” literatures within the circle of “major” European literatures and to identify a “set” of those writers who, from the author’s perspective, deserved some attention and could therefore form a canon for the literatures described, which only partially coincides with the modern canon. Of particular interest is the comparison of the German text of the book with its Russian translation, published in 1835, which contains elements of a veiled polemic with the German scholar, manifested not only in cuts made and the stylistic treatment of Wolff ’s value judgements, but also in replacing certain sections by texts of Russian origin whose authorship was established for the first time in the article. The juxtaposition of the original text and its Russian translation demonstrates a discrepancy of perceptions about the hierarchy of specific literatures within the constitutive canon of the period and the translator’s desire to place Russian literature at the forefront, which he saw eclipsing the literatures of the Netherlands, Sweden, and Denmark.