In my researches on Sofya Kovalevskaya, I've come across many interesting and unusual facts relating to the first lady of mathematics. Here are some of my treasured finds.
*An exceptionally fine popular presentation (in French) of
Kovalevskaya can be found in Michele
Souvenirs sur Sofia Kovalevskaya from the publisher Calvage and Mounet.
The book is well worth examining, even if you have only a passing acquaintance with French.
Hopefully, an English translation will be available soon.
* At the Theatre Festival in Avignon, France on July 05, 2005, a play will be performed based entirely on the fascinating character of Sofya Kovalevskaya. The title of the play is Le Cas de Sophie K. (The Case of Sophie K.). The authors are De Jean-Francois Peyret and Luc Steels. The director is Marion Stoufflet.
For some background on the festival : Festival d' Avignon . For details of time and place of the play : Le Cas de Sophie K.
* The ASSOCIATION FOR WOMEN IN MATHEMATICS, AWM , sponsors both Kovalevsky Days ("a program of workshops, talks, and problem-solving competitions for high school women students and their teachers, both women and men") and a Kovalevsky Lectureship (a lecture presented at the annual joint meeting of AWM and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, SIAM , by a woman actively engaged in research in applied or computational mathematics). For more information visit the AWM website and click on the links.
* The great grandson of Samuil Anisimovich Lappo, the personal assistant (denshik) to General Korvin-Krukovsky (Sofya's father), lives in California. His family has cherished charming stories of life at Sofya's family estate,Palibino. Sofya spent most of her formative years at Palibino. The novella, A RUSSIAN CHILDHOOD, which won Sofya wide literary aclaim, is set at Palibino.
* In Sofya's novella, NIHILIST GIRL, the arranged marriage of a young nihilist girl to a prisoner of tsarist regime is described. The story is based on a factual event in Sofya's life. The real life girl was Vera Goncharova and her husband was Isaac Pavlovsky. The grandson of Isaac Pavlovsky, Jacques Pavlovsky, lives in France and would appreciate any biographical data on his grandfather. Contact Jacques Pavlovsky at:
Mr. Pavlovsky's researches in the National Library of France have uncovered a handwritten blue postcard written in Russian by Sofya Kovalevskaya to Vera Pavlovsky posted in Paris on April 12, 1882.