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Darwin Correspondence Project

From V. O. Kovalevsky   [after 8 June 1872]1

47. Bernard Street. Russel Square

Dear Sir!

I come for a couple of months to England with the object of writing a osteological monography of the Hyopotamus and Anthracotherium, for which I collected ample materials in France and Switzerland, and I am busy comparing them now with the same genera from the Isle of Wight in the Brit. Museum.2 If your health allows You to receive visits, I shall be very happy to call on You the first Sunday You find convenient, and spend some hours at Down.3

Your very truly | W. Kowalevsky


The date is established by the reference to Kovalevsky’s work on Hyopotamus and Anthracotherium in the British Museum; he began this work in mid-June 1872, having been in Lyon until at least 8 June (Davitashvili 1951, p. 224).
Kovalevsky had spent the previous summer in Paris studying the fossil collections at the Muséum d’histoire naturelle (see Correspondence vol. 19, letter from V. O. Kovalevsky, 19 August [1871] and n. 5). For his discussion of fossil bones found on the Isle of Wight, including humerus and ulna of the extinct ungulate Hyopotamus, see Kovalevsky 1873, especially pp. 32–6, and Kovalevsky 1873–4.
Kovalevsky visited CD sometime before mid-July; although the visit was not recorded in Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242), it was mentioned in a letter to his brother, Alexander Onufrievich Kovalevsky (Davitashvili 1951, p. 157).


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

Davitashvili, Leo Shiovich. 1951. V. O. Kovalevsky. 2d edition. Moscow: Academy of Science of the USSR.

Kovalevsky, Vladimir Onufrievich. 1873–4. Monographie der Gattung Anthracotherium Cuv. und Versuch einer natürlichen Classification der fossilen Hufthiere. Palaeontographica. Beiträge zur Naturgeschichte der Vorwelt 22 (1873–6): 131–347.

Kovalevsky, Vladimir Onufrievich. 1873. On the osteology of the Hyopotamidae. [Read 6 February 1873]. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London 163: 19–94.


In England to write a monograph on Anthracotherium.

Letter details

Letter no.
Vladimir Onufrievich Kovalevsky (Владимир Онуфриевич Ковалевский)
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
London, Bernard St, 47
Source of text
DAR 169: 55
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8388,” accessed on 6 July 2020,

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