Clarence Bicknell - the biography - by Valerie Lester is due in spring 2018. We are delighted to tell all Clarence's followers that the completed book is at second draft.
The book's editor is a giant of the art publishing industry Sally Salvesen, who was 30 years with Yale University Press editing, for example, the Pevsner Architectural Guides and the Pelican History of Art. Other books she has edited include Of Green Leaf, Bird and Flower, by Elisabeth Fairman (shortlisted for the 2014 Authors’ Club book prize); Endless Forms: Charles Darwin, Natural Science and the Visual Arts, by Diana Donald and Jane Munro, catalogue accompanying the Fitzwilliam Museum’s record-breaking exhibition, awarded the 2009 William M. B. Berger Prize for British Art History; and Rembrant, The Master and His Workshop, 1990.
You can read Sally's bio here and her photo is to the right.
Did you know that the book's writer, Valerie Lester, left, a descendant of Clarence Bicknell's maternal grand parents Browne, and of his uncle Phiz, Dickens' illustrator, also wrote Fasten Your Seat Belts! History and Heroism in the Pan Am Cabin (1995), which is a history of Pan American told in the voices of its cabin crew; Phiz, The Man Who Drew Dickens (London, 2004), a biography of Hablot Knight Browne, Dickens’s principal illustrator (Clarence Bicknell’s uncle and Valerie’s great-great-grandfather); and Giambattista Bodoni: His Life and His World (Boston 2015). Her bio is available here.
Valerie was with us near London in November working with Susie and me on details of research and scope of the book. She is now back at home near Boston MA in the USA and corresponding with us by phone and email. Sally Salvesen has completed several weeks of editing work on the book and as of 12th December it's back with Valerie for a final read-through. When that is done, Nick Humez will write the index and I will finalise the preferred images (from a choice of nearly 600 images including art by Clarence and the black-and-white period shots in the mountains and in Bordighera. The most exciting aspect of the book is the amount of new material communicated by the mass of letters (about 1000 of them) which Graham Avery and others have located since 2013 and which Valerie has spent the time to read. The "voice" of Clarence is very present in the book and we get a much clearer idea of the path of his life and the influences on it. Look forward to May 2018, target publication date, with anticipation.