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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Sofia Vasilyevna Kovalevskaya and V. O. Kovalevsky   1 September 1870


1 September. 1870.


I am exceedingly thankfull for your kind offer to procure me some books from the library of the Royal Society;1 and though I really fear that I am misusing your kindness, but the book is so indispensable to me, that I decide myself to profit by it. We ascertained today, that the Royal Society is opened the whole month of September, and the book for which I should ask you an order is Jacobi. Fundamenta nova theoriae Functionum ellipticarum.2 It is not a rare one and could be easily replaced in the improbable case of some misfortune happening to it.

I hope, that you will allow me in the course of the autumn to express you personally my thanks for your kindness. Remember me kindly to Mrss. Darwin and the Ladies.3 I am glad to hear, that your excursion to the country has done your health a great deal of good.4

Believe me Sir | Your’s truly | Sophie Kowalewsky

P.S. May I ask You Dear Sir if You know something of the dredging expedition of Mr Carpenter, I know he is at Gibraltar with the Porcupine, but will he enter the Meditteranean or confine himself only to the Atlantic,5 I received to day a letter from my brother asking me where Mr. Carpenter is; he would not shun a trip from Naples even to Tunis or Algeria if he has a chance o meeting him there.—6

Yours truly | W Kovalevsky7


No letter from CD offering to borrow books from the Royal Society of London on Kovalevskaya’s behalf has been found.
Jacobi 1829.
The reference is to Emma, Henrietta Emma, and Elizabeth Darwin. The Kovalevskys visited the Darwins at some point between 15 August and 1 September 1870 (see letter from V. O. Kovalevsky, 15 August [1870]).
CD stayed with William Erasmus Darwin in Southampton from 13 to 26 August (see ‘Journal’ (Appendix II)).
The dredging expedition of HMS Porcupine began in the Bay of Biscay in July 1870 and took in parts of the Mediterranean off the north African coast and Sicily, concluding at the end of September 1870. William Benjamin Carpenter was in charge of the scientific operations. See C. W. Thomson 1873, pp. 178–96.
The reference is to Alexander Onufrievich Kovalevsky. On his plans for marine research in the Mediterranean, see the letter from V. O. Kovalevsky, 28 February [1870].
Vladimir Kovalevsky; the ‘W’ is the German-style transliteration.


Accepts CD’s offer to order books from the Royal Society Library.

VOK asks for information about W. B. Carpenter’s dredging expedition in the Porcupine.

Letter details

Letter no.
Sofia Vasilyevna Kovalevskaya
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 169: 53
Physical description
2pp (PS by V.O. Kovalevsky)

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7314,” accessed on 24 April 2018,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 18