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Darwin Correspondence Project

To V. O. Kovalevsky   4 March [1868]1

Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.

Mar 4.

My dear Sir

I was very glad indeed to receive your letter. From your illness & all your exertions in the cause of charity, it is no wonder that the translation has been delayed.2

I send by this post the sheets in which there has been any alteration, & by comparing the passages (plainly marked with pencil) with your own copy you will at once see what the alterations have been, & I earnestly request that you will insert them.3

Your Imperial. Acad. of Sciences has just elected me a corresponding member in the section of biology & it may be worth your while to consider whether this might not be added with advantage to my name on the title page.4

Many thanks for your kind remembrance about the photographs.5 We shall be very glad to see you at Down when you come to England, but you had better write first in case we shd be from home.6

I hope your labours on the relief Committee may soon be over.7 Believe me my dear Sir | yours sincerely | Ch. Darwin


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from V. O. Kovalevsky, 26 February 1868.
See letter from V. O. Kovalevsky, 26 February 1868. Kovalevsky was translating Variation into Russian.
The sheets have not been found, but see the letter from W. S. Dallas, 15 January 1868, for the corrections sent by William Sweetland Dallas. For earlier corrections, see Correspondence vol. 15, letter to J. V. Carus, 10 December [1867]. See also the lists of errata which appear at the end of the contents pages in both volumes of Variation. CD may also refer to additions that were made to the second printing of Variation.
CD’s name appears on the title page of the first Russian edition of Variation (Kovalevsky trans., 1868–9) without any reference to his membership in the Imperial Academy of Science of St Petersburg. See also letter to C. S. Vesselofski, 4 March 1868.
In his letter of 26 February 1868, Kovalevsky had promised to send photographs of naturalists.
Kovalevsky planned to visit England in July (see letter from V. O. Kovalevsky, 26 February 1868). This visit never took place, but Kovalevsky did visit from 30 September to 1 October 1869 (Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242), and Correspondence vol. 17, letter to T. H. Huxley, 1 October 1869).
See letter from V. O. Kovalevsky, 26 February 1868.


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 27 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Variation: The variation of animals and plants under domestication. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1868.


Sends sheets with alterations to be made [in Russian translation of Variation]. VOK should consider adding to the title-page that CD is a Corresponding Member of the Imperial Academy of Sciences (St Petersburg).

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Vladimir Onufrievich Kovalevsky (Владимир Онуфриевич Ковалевский)
Sent from
London, Queen Anne St, 6 Down letterhead
Source of text
Institut Mittag-Leffler
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5979,” accessed on 14 July 2020,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 16