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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 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, and 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.trailer video link
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.

clarence bicknell movie poster 2016THE 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 (list below). Watch the film in HD 1080 here now by clicking on this link. Use a big computer screen or smart TV and make sure the audio is turned up...


The French, Italian and, shortly. 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.

  • Thursday 29th September 2016 at 17h at the Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Genova (Natural History Museum, Genoa), Italy, in Italian (World Premiere)
  • Friday 30th September at 17h at the Musée des Merveilles, Tende, France - version in French (France premiere) - sponsored by Conseil Régional Provence Alpes Côtes d'Azur. Bookings: Facebook event at https://www.facebook.com/events/1797936133777311/
  • Saturday 1st October 2016 at 16h at the Museo Bicknell, Bordighera, Italy - version in Italian sponsored by the Istituto Internazionale di Studi Liguri. Additional screenings to accommodate demand. Bookings: Facebook event at https://www.facebook.com/events/853414811427267/
  • Saturday 1st October 2016 at 17h30 at the Museo Bicknell, Bordighera, Italy - version in English (English version world premiere) sponsored by the Istituto Internazionale di Studi Liguri and by the Clarence Bicknell Museum Group. Additional screenings to accommodate demand. Bookings: www.facebook.com/events/520692024796575
  • Sunday 2nd October 2016 at the Aca d'breil  in Breil-sur-Roya, France (Rémy Masséglia's home town, 20km south of Tende and 33km northeast of Bordighera, 40 km north of Menton) - version in French. Bookings: www.facebook.com/events/344661202545475/
  • Monday 17th October 2016 at The Artworker's Guild, London, 18h30 reception for 19h00 screening, version in English. Bookings https://www.facebook.com/events/653095148189811/ or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Download a 2-page pdf of details.
  • Monday 24th October 2016 at Montpellier Université, Science de la Terre - Les Lundis Verts.
  • Thursday 1st of December 2016 Milan Esperanto Club organised by Nicola Minnaja
  • Monday 5 December 2016  18h. Site Louis Notari, Monaco - Journée internationale de la Montagne: Lire la montagne à travers ses métiers: Marine Clarys 30 ans, Guide de haute montagne. En première partie, nous recevrons le réalisateur Rémy Masséglia qui présentera son film documentaire: The Marvels Of Clarence Bicknell. En collaboration avec Le Club Alpin Monégasque.
  • Tuesday 20 December 2016 at 16h in the beautiful library of Villa Bel Respiro, in Sanremo. The screening is put on with the cooperation of the Istituto Internazionale di Studi Liguri, Museo Bicknell. Annalisa Giovannini writes “I hope to bewitch the public as the film enchanted me in Bordighera".
  • Wednesday 3 May 2017 at 18h00. The British Institute of Florence will screen The Marvels of Clarence Bicknell in English at a special event there with a talk to be given by Graham Avery, vice-chairman of the Clarence Bicknell Association, with questions and answers afterwards. Susie and Marcus Bicknell look forward to being there too.
  • Friday 5 May 2017 at 17h30. The British School at Rome, screening of The Marvels of Clarence Bicknell in English at a special event there with talks to be given by Graham Avery, Raffaella Bruzzone, Christopher Chippindale and Robert Hearn. Susie and Marcus Bicknell look forward to being there too and will participate in the questions and answers.

Order merchandising themed to the film by downloading the order form.

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 calendar is presently as follows:

Tende, France, Musée des Merveilles (Apr-Nov 2018)
Bordighera, Museo Bicknell (summer 2018)  
Ventimiglia, Museo Rossi (summer 2018)
Genoa (to be confirmed)  
Monaco, Musée d’Anthropologie (dates to be organised)
Cambridge, Fitzwilliam Museum (Nov 2018 - Apr 2019)
Cambridge, Wren Library, Trinity College, (October 2018 to be confirmed)
London, Artworkers’ Guild (to be confirmed)

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


This website provides

  1. information for researchers and a place to share the results of research,clarence
  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 12 Dec 2016 MB