NEWS - Clarence letters to Abbot Antonio Carestia 1903

Written by Marcus Bicknell on .

Abbot CarestiaWe are not aware of extensive collections of Clarence Bicknell's outgoing letters, so the emails from Giuseppe Sitzia in Grignasco in the Italian Alps have been most welcome. He has unearthed in the Calderini Museum of Varallo seven letters from Clarence Bicknell to the Abbot and botanist Antonio Carestia 1825-1908 in Riva Valdobbia in Valsesia. The letters are mostly about the exchange of botanical samples; both men were very excited about the rare species which could be found in the Alps.

Clarence wrote these letters in Italian; his winter home in Bordighera and his summer house in Val Casterino were both in Italy at the time, so his Italian was probably quite good. His hand-writing is a bit scrawly, so the transcripts are missing a word here and there. But they do shed some light on the habit at the time of collecting samples in the wild (frowned on today) and his friendship with another ardent collector.

You can download a pdf of the letters in Italian or in rough English