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Darwin Correspondence Project

From N. Sobko   3 September 1872

Zagorodnoy, 58, St. Petersburg.

22 August/3 September 1872.1


Having recently learned that You have brought to a conclusion Your new work: Expressions of Animals, and being convinced that the russian public will impatiently expect the appearance of this book in russian language as it always used to expect the appearance of all Your productions, I take upon myself the liberty of disturbing You with my request: have the kindness of communicating to me whether I am to hope to receive from You by degrees the proof-sheets, so that I might translate into the russian language Your new work after those proof-sheets and publish my translation at the same time with the English original.2

I have, Sir, the honour to be respectfully | Your most obedient servant | N. Sobko.

CD note:

Please return this, by return of Post— (C. Darwin) As I have not considered it.3


The correspondent has not been identified. He or she gives both the Julian (22 August) and Gregorian (3 September) calendar dates.
Expression was published in November 1872. The Russian translation of Expression was made by Vladimir Onufrievich Kovalevsky ([Kovalevsky] trans. 1872). No further correspondence with Sobko has been found.
CD forwarded this letter to Vladimir Onufrievich Kovalevsky (see letter from V. O. Kovalevsky, 10 September 1872), who thought that the author was a woman.


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

[Kovalevsky, Vladimir Onufrievich], trans. 1872. O vyrazhenii oshchushchenii u cheloveka i zhivotnykh. By Charles Darwin. Translated from the author’s proofs under the editorial direction of Prof. A. Kovalevsky. (Russian translation of Expression.) St Petersburg: Tipografia F. S. Sushchinskogo.


Asks whether he may have the sheets of Expression to produce a Russian edition.

Letter details

Letter no.
N. Sobko
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
St Petersburg
Source of text
DAR 177: 215
Physical description
2pp †

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8509,” accessed on 21 September 2020,

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