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Clarence Bicknell (1842-1918) was a man of letters, an artist, author, traveller, botanist, archaeologist, pastor, humanist and Esperantist. Born in Herne Hill near  London, Clarence was the 13th child of Elhanan Bicknell, whale oil magnate and art patron. After studying at Cambridge University he was an Anglican priest for 15 years, then from 1879 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 17th July 1918.

Welcome to www.clarencebicknell.com, the web site launched in July 2013 as a commemoration of Clarence's life and work, and as home to the Clarence Bicknell Association. Outside Bordighera, Clarence might be the forgotten genius of 19th century science, arts and crafts. Our activities aim to put that right, i.e. make him known to a wider public across France, Italy, the UK and worldwide.

Give now. The 2018 Clarence Bicknell Centenary Fund, in cooperation with the International Institute of Ligurian Studies is now open for donations. If you would like to give now then click on the donate button below or go to the page on this site which has more details. Please also inform any friends who you think might like to donate.

    Buy the book: click here for the Shop page

trailer video linkThe Marvels of Clarence Bicknell - the film. The 18 minute documentary biopic of Clarence Bicknell, in the evocative visual style of French director Rémy Masséglia, was released at selective screenings in September/October 2016 (see the list on this site at >Association > Events or here). Watch the film in HD 1080 here now by clicking on the film box, left or the Vimeo link below. Use a big computer screen or smart TV and make sure the audio is turned up...clarence bicknell movie poster 2016


The French, Italian and the Esperanto versions are similarly available on www.vimeo.com/clarencebicknell. You can find out more about the film on the FAQ sheet, in English here, version en français, in our newsletter, in the text of the screenplay of the film and in the story of the making of the film.

Order merchandising themed to the film by downloading the order form. Or click here for the Shop page

We are preparing exhibitions, screenings, seminars and other events for the 2018 centenary of Clarence's death, with Saturday 21 July already earmarked for the Museo Bicknell in Bordighera. We have yet to secure a publishing deal for the biography of Clarence Bicknell, so if you know a publisher keen to take it on then please put us in touch.

The Centenary exhibition and events calendar is presently as follows:
•     Chiesa Anglicana, Via Regina Vittoria, I-18012 Bordighera (IM), 8-22 October 2017 (every day 15h30-18h30) *
•     Museo Clarence Bicknell, Via Romana 39, I-18012 Bordighera (IM) , 24 Oct - 30 Nov 2017 (Mondays 9-13h and 14h30-17h, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 9-13h)
•    London, Sandro Migliarini - Travellers on the Italian Riviera, Leyton Great Hall, 1 Adelaide Rd, E10 5NN, from 12 October 2017, with projection of The Marvels of Clarence Bicknell and Marcus Bicknell presentation on Sunday 15 October at 5pm)
•    Bristol, Clarence Bicknell and The Bristol Botanists; presentation by Graham Avery, University of Oxford, and projection of The Marvels of Clarence Bicknell, at the Bristol Naturalists Society on Wednesday 22 November, 7.30 pm, at Westbury on Trym Methodist Church, Westbury Hill, near Bristol BS9 3AA.
•    Nice, le mardi 22 mars 2018, 18h à la Société Centrale d'Agriculture, d'Horticulture et d'Acclimatation de Nice et des Alpes-Maritimes. Projection du film et conférence Marcus Bicknell et autres. Détails en français cliquer ici.
•    Imperia, Italy, 25-27 May 2018, Italian Esperanto Association featuring Clarence Bicknell at the Imperia Book Fair.
•    Cambridge University, Fitzwilliam Museum, botanical art exhibition (5 June- 9 September 2018)
•    Cambridge University, Fitzwilliam Museum, lunchtime seminar and film projection (Wednesday 20th June 2018)
•    Cambridge University, Jesus College Intellectual Forum seminar and film projection in the Frankopan Hall (date to be advised)
•    Cambridge University, Jesus College Intellectual Forum exhibition in the Frankopan Hall (date to be advised)
•    Seattle, USA, July 2018, screening of our film in Esperanto La Mirindaĵoj de Clarence Bicknell at the binational Esperanto Congress (US/Canada).
•    Oxford University, film and a seminar at Oxford University, St Margaret's Institute http://www.smi-oxford.org.uk on Tuesday 3rd July 2018
•    Bordighera, Museo Bicknell, exhibition of Clarence Bicknell materials recently acquired, organised by the IISL, early July to November 2018
•    Bordighera, Museo Bicknell, Settimana Bicknelliana organised by the IISL, 14-22 July 2018
•    Tende, Musée des Merveilles (July-September 2018)
•    Monaco, Jardin Exotique & Musée d’Anthropologie (September-November 2018)
•    Ventimiglia, Museo Rossi, two exhibitions a) contemporary artists inspired by the bicknellian path and b) the publication of a guide book on the naturalistic routes and rock engravings of the Valle delle Meraviglie. Organised by the IISL, summer 2018, dates to be advised.
•    Nice, Exposition sur la thématique "Botanistes et Alpinistes dans les Alpes-Maritimes entre les deux siècles" organisé par la Ville de Nice avec la participation des Amis du Muséum d'Histoire naturelle de Nice, Le Muséum d'Histoire naturelle de Nice, La Grande Bibliothèque "Louis Nucera" (BMVR), La Bibliothèque de Cessole, Le Club Alpin Français et l’Association Clarence Bicknell (octobre 2018)
•    Genoa, Palazzo Reale (autumn 2018, to be confirmed)

Interviews with Marcus Bicknell and Clarence's biographer Valerie Lester on Riviera TV, March 2017; click on the following link:


This website provides

  1. information for researchers and a place to share the results of research,
  2. more on Clarence and his talents for those discovering him,
  3. details of the Clarence Bicknell Association and how to join, and
  4. plans for celebrating the centenary of his death in 2018, including a definitive book on Clarence, a travelling exhibition, a botanical art prize, lectures in many countries &c.This website was conceived in spring 2013 by Marcus Bicknell, Clarence’s great-great-nephew and finished with the help of family and friends plus web authors Rémy and Zelda of Lez'Art Creation in Breil, just a few miles from the Vallée des Merveilles. There's more about the web site in the news blog. It gives some insight into Clarence the man, his life and works; you’ll find some images out of the family collection that have not been published anywhere before. It also gives information about the Clarence Bicknell Association and how you can join (click on >Association, >Membership above). The minutes of the first General Meeting, the names of the elected officers and their bios are all available as a download on the Who We Are page. We would be delighted to fb icon 325x325get your feedback via email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or via the Forum on this site for which you will need to be a member. And... see us on Facebook

 updated 22 Jan 2018 MB