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Darwin Correspondence Project

To V. O. Kovalevsky   17 May [1871]1

Down, | Beckenham, Kent. [Bassett, Southampton]

May 17th

My dear Sir

Many thanks for your very interesting letter of May 10th.—2 What a strange & curious life you & Madam Kowalevsky3 must have led during the last 6 months, surrounded by such wonderful events.— Many thanks about the crossing of the Tritons: I shall look out for the final result with extreme interest.4

My object in sending these few lines is to say that I wrote to you about a month ago, begging you to aid me in getting an extract from a German book, & asking you about your Russian Translation of the Descent.—5

I directed my letter to your old lodgings (I forgot the name of street & am writing this note away from home; the name began I think with an S.); & I put on the address “or Anatomische Museum der Universitat.”— If you do not receive please inform me; but I am in no hurry about the German extract.

My wife is reading aloud to me Hepworth Dixon’s Free Russia: it interests us much, but I do not know whether he is to be trusted.6

How hard & steadily you seem to have been working at palæontology: you will be admirably prepared for future original investigations.

My dear Sir | Yours sincerely | Ch Darwin


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from V. O. Kovalevsky, 10 May 1871.
Sofia Vasilyevna Kovalevskaya.
The reference is to William Hepworth Dixon and W. H. Dixon 1870.


Dixon, William Hepworth. 1870. Free Russia. 2 vols. London: Hurst and Blackett.


Interested in W. Hepworth Dixon’s Free Russia, but does not know "whether he is to be trusted".

VOK’s hard work in palaeontology will prepare him for future original investigations.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Vladimir Onufrievich Kovalevsky (Владимир Онуфриевич Ковалевский)
Sent from
Bassett Down letterhead
Source of text
Institut Mittag-Leffler
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7762,” accessed on 14 July 2020,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 19