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Darwin Correspondence Project

From V. O. Kovalevsky   [12–17 August 1872]1

218 Euston Road.

Dear Sir!

As it seems to me that You cannot possible omit in Your book to mention Wündt’s Thierseele, I wrote to day to my bookseller in Berlin to send me the volume immediately; it is the chief contribution to this subject in the last ten years and I think You will be greatly interested in it.—2 I hope you will be able to look over it at Your return to Down.—3 I see there will be no difficulty in our agreement, the number of copies sold in Russia could be controled by Mr. Murray by the number of Heliotypes he will supply.—4

I hope to see You before leaving England5 | Your very truly | W. Kowalevsky

P.S. As German is very familiar to me I could, should You like it, spare You the wading trough the large volume and make notes on the sides of the pages for You, though I cannot hope that I could as finely pick out the grains from the chaff as You should certainly do.


The date range is established by the relationship between this letter, the letter to V. O. Kovalevsky, 10 August [1872], and the letter to V. O. Kovalevsky, 17 August 1872. The letter to V. O. Kovalevsky, 10 August [1872], carries postmarks of 11 and 12 August 1872.
Kovalevsky had recommended that CD read Wundt 1863 for its relevance to Expression (see letter from V. O. Kovalevsky, 8 August [1872]). No reference to the book appears in Expression; however, several later publications by Wilhelm Max Wundt are cited in notes added to the second edition, which was published by Francis Darwin after CD’s death (see Expression 2d. ed., pp. 52 and 386).
CD stayed at Leith Hill Place in Surrey from 13 to 21 August 1872 (‘Journal’ (Appendix II)).
There had been a misunderstanding between Kovalevsky and CD’s publisher, John Murray, about the number of heliotyped plates that Kovalevsky wished to order for the Russian translation (see letter from V. O. Kovalevsky, 8 August [1872] and n. 10).
Kovalevsky visited Down on 22 September 1872 (Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242)).


Expression: The expression of the emotions in man and animals. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1872.

Wundt, Max Wilhelm. 1863. Vorlesungen ueber die Menschen- und Thierseele. Leipzig: L. Voss.


CD cannot omit mention of Wilhelm Wundt’s Thierseele [Vorlesungen über die Menschen und Thierseele (1863)] in his book.

Murray could control the number of copies of translation of Expression sold in Russia by the number of heliotypes he will supply.

Letter details

Letter no.
Vladimir Onufrievich Kovalevsky (Владимир Онуфриевич Ковалевский)
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
London, Euston Rd, 218
Source of text
DAR 169: 57
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8464,” accessed on 3 August 2020,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 20