skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

From V. O. Kovalevsky   5 October 1870


5 Octob. 1870.

Dear Sir

I communicated the wish You expressed to put in Your new work something about the vertebrate character of the Ascidian larva, to my brother and some days ago he sent me a letter to You with some particulars about this question.1 Till then he has not received Your work on the Cirripedia and so could not thank You for it.2 I return in three days to London and after a week more we both intent to go to Leipsic for the winter; I hope to see You once more before my departure.3

Yours | Very truly | W. Kovalevsky


No letter from CD to Kovalevsky regarding the addition to Descent has been found; however, Kovalevsky visited the Darwins at some point between 15 August and 1 September 1870 (see letter from V. O. Kovalevsky, 15 August [1870], and letter from S. V. Kovalevskaya and V. O. Kovalevsky, 1 September 1870). For Alexander Onufrievich Kovalevsky’s account of ascidian larva forwarded through his brother, see the letter from A. O. Kovalevsky, 25 September 1870.
CD evidently gave copies of his monographs on living barnacles (Living Cirripedia (1851) and (1854)) to V. O. Kovalevsky who then sent them to his brother in Naples (see letter from V. O. Kovalevsky, 20 September 1870).
Kovalevsky had been in England since mid-August (see letter from V. O. Kovalevsky, 15 August [1870]). He and his wife, Sofia Vasilyevna Kovalevskaya, intended to spend the winter in Leipzig, Germany. For Kovalevsky’s previous visit to Down, see n. 1, above.


Descent: The descent of man, and selection in relation to sex. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1871.

Living Cirripedia (1851): A monograph of the sub-class Cirripedia, with figures of all the species. The Lepadidæ; or, pedunculated cirripedes. By Charles Darwin. London: Ray Society. 1851.


Forwards Alexander Kovalevsky’s letter [7326] with the information on the vertebrate character of ascidian larvae.

Letter details

Letter no.
Vladimir Onufrievich Kovalevsky (Владимир Онуфриевич Ковалевский)
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 169: 83
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7334,” accessed on 13 May 2021,

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