Current Project - Clarence Bicknell Biography

Valerie has recently started work on the first complete biography of Clarence Bicknell, which will be published in the lead-up to celebrations in 2018 to mark the centenary of his death. The biography will be a cooperative research effort, with Valerie doing most of the writing.

Clarence Bicknell (1842-1918) was a man of letters, an artist, author, traveller, botanist, archaeologist, pastor, humanist, and Esperantist. Like Phiz, he is related to Valerie, in this case through his mother Lucinda, Phiz’s sister. Born in London, Clarence was the 13th child of Elhanan Bicknell, whale oil magnate and art patron; after studying at Cambridge University he became an Anglican priest; from 1879 he lived in Bordighera on the Italian coast between Menton and Genoa; he died at his summer home nearby in Casterino in the high mountains of the Franco-Italian border on 17 July 1918.

Today the value of Clarence Bicknell’s pioneering work in several different disciplines is increasingly appreciated by experts: his recording, cataloguing, and publication of the prehistoric rock engravings of the Vallée de Merveilles, his drawings of the flowering plants of the Riviera, his creation of the Museo Bicknell in Bordighera, and his contribution to the international language Esperanto.

You can learn more about Clarence Bicknell and the team with whom Valerie is working at www.clarencebicknell.com