Sofya Kovalevskaya

In the year 1889, Sofya Vasilievna Kovalevskaya, Profes­sor of Mathematics at the University of Stockholm, pub­lished her recollections of growing up in mid-nineteenth-century Russia. Professor Kovalevskaya was already an international celebrity, partly for the wrong reasons: less as the distinguished mathematician she 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 Life: the Rajevski Sisters. 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 Mathematics, New College, Oxford, Dec. 25, 1886.