A Russian Childhood
In the year 1889 Sofya Vasilievna Kovalevskaya, Profes sor of Mathematics at the University of Stockholm, pub lished her recollections of growing up in mid-nineteenth century Russia. Professor Kovalevskaya was already an international celebrity, and partly for the wrong reasons: less as the distinguished mathematician she actually was than as a "mathematical lady"-a bizarre but fascinating phenomenon.* Her book was an immediate success. She had written it in Russian, but its first publication was a translation into Swedish, the language of her adopted homeland, where it appeared thinly disguised as a novel under the title From Russian Ltfe: the Rajevski Sisters (Sonja Kovalevsky. Ur ryska lifvet. Systrarna Rajevski. Heggstrom, 1889). In the following year the book came out in Russia in two *"My gifted Mathematical Assistant Mr. Hammond exclaimed ... 'Why, this is the first handsome mathematical lady I have ever seen!'" Letter to S. V. Kovalevskaya from].]. Sylvester, Professor of Mathe matics, New College, Oxford, Dec. 25, 1886.
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