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Letter 7317

Kovalevsky, V. O. to Darwin, C. R.

5 Sept [1870]


Will order the first set of casts from Murray.

Thanks CD for a book for his wife from the Royal Society Library.

His brother [Alexander] is delighted at being referred to in CD’s work [Descent 1: 205].


31 Bloomsbury Str. Bedf. Sq.

Sept. 5.

Dear Sir

I received to day from the Library of the R. Soc. the book mywife wanted and we are both very thankfull for Your kindness.f2 Asthe price charged by Murray for the first set of casts was veryreasonable I think it would be better simply to order him a set andhe will charge for it no doubt about the same price as he did for the“Domesticated Animals”.—f3 My brother will be certainly delightedby Your mentioning his investigation in Your book, at all event I’llwrite him today, perhaps he will have something more to communicateto You.f4 I ascertained that Dr. Carpenter will dredge between Maltaand Gibraltarf5

Your very truly | W. Kovalevsky

DAR 169: 80



The year is established by the relationship between this letter andthe letter from S. V. Kovalevskaya and V. O. Kovalevsky, 1 September 1870.
CD had offered to borrow books from the Royal Society of London’s library forSofia Vasilyevna Kovalevskaya (see letter from S. V. Kovalevskaya and V. O. Kovalevsky, 1 September 1870).The book was Jacobi 1829.
Kovalevsky was undertaking the Russian translation of Descent. Hehad previously translated Variation (V. O. Kovalevsky trans. 1868–9),obtaining stereotypes of the illustrations from John Murray (seeCorrespondence vol. 15, letter to V. O. Kovalevsky, 2 May [1867] andletter from V. O. Kovalevsky, [after 24? May 1867]).
The reference is to Alexander Onufrievich Kovalevsky’swork on the embryology of ascidians, which suggested an ancestral linkbetween invertebrates and vertebrates. Vladimir Kovalevsky had sent CD a paperby his brother on this subject in 1867 (A. O. Kovalevsky 1866; Correspondence vol. 15,letter from V. O. Kovalevsky, 15 March 1867). CD cited the paper anddescribed this ‘discovery of extraordinary interest’ in Descent, 1: 205–6.
The reference is to William Benjamin Carpenter (see letter fromS. V. Kovalevskaya and V. O. Kovalevsky, 1 September 1870 and n. 5).
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