Kovalevskii, Egor Petrovich
Born Feb. 6 (18), 1809 (1811 according to some data), in the village of laroshevka, Kharkov Province; died Sept. 20 (Oct. 2), 1868, in St. Petersburg. Russian explorer and writer. Corresponding member (1856) and honorary member (1857) of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences.
Born into a family of the dvorianstvo (nobility or gentry), Kovalevskii studied at the University of Kharkov from 1825 to 1828. In 1855 he took part in the defense of Sevastopol’. He conducted investigations in northeast Africa in 1847-48 and was one of the first to note the correct position of the sources of the White Nile. His first published works were poems (1832), but he also wrote novels and novellas. However, he is best known as the author of articles on his trips to Middle Asia, southern Europe, Africa, and elsewhere. He compiled a description of Mongolia and China—A Trip to China (parts 1–2, 1853)—on the basis of materials gathered by him during his trips to Peking in 1849–50 and 1851. His work was highly valued by N. A. Nekrasov, N. G. Chernyshevskii, M. E. Saltykov-Shchedrin, and F. I. Tiutchev.