London, June 23 (ANI): A letter written by 17th century French philosopher and mathematician Reni Descartes, which was stolen by notorious book thief Guglielmo Libri in the mid-1800s, is heading back to France.
The letter, described as "a wonderful discovery for science", is dated 27 May 1641 and concerns the publication of Descartes' treatise, Meditations on First Philosophy - subtitled In Which the Existence of God and the Immortality of the Soul Are Demonstrated - that year, reports The Guardian.
It was addressed to Father Marin Mersenne, who was overseeing the book's publication.
The letter had been collecting dust at Haverford College, Pennsylvania, US, since 1902 after the widow of an alumnus donated it to the library.
It only came to light when a philosophy scholar at Utrecht University in the Netherlands stumbled across a reference to it on the web.
He contacted the college, which immediately offered to return it to France.
Now the French Institute plans to publish the letter in a collection later this year. (ANI)