RESEARCH - Edoardo Rostan (1826-1895), botanist

Written by Marcus Bicknell on .

RostanAt the award ceremony for the Parmurelu d'Oru in Bordighera in October I had the pleasure of meeting Lucetta Rostan who had purchased a copy of the Casa Fontanalba Visitors' Book. She wrote to me yesterday with interesting information about Edoardo Rostan, botanist, as follows:

"Probabilmente Lei non si ricorda, ma dopo la conferenza a Bordighera dell'11/11/2017, Le ho chiesto la dedica sul libro e Le ho detto di avere lo stesso cognome dello scopritore della Gentiana rostani pur non essendo sua parente. Una biografia sintetica, ma sicuramente attendibile, si trova sul sito della Società di Studi Valdesi www.studivaldesi.org/dizionario/evan_det.php?evan_id=117#fonti. Presso l'archivio di tale società , sito a Torre Pellice (TO), si trova un fondo con documenti relativi alla famiglia Rostan  ed una ricca serie di lettere di cui Le invio l'elenco. La grafia del dott. Rostan e di difficile interpretazione, veramente degna di un medico. Le invio inoltre due articoli tratti dalla rivista di cultura e storia valdese "La beidana" un po' datati (marzo 1990!), ma attendibili."
 
I shared the note with Graham Avery, Vice-Chairman of the Clarence Bicknell Association, who writes as follows:

"Thanks for passing on these documents which concern Edoardo Rostan (1826-1895). He was born in Piemonte, studied medicine and botany in Geneva, practised as a medical doctor in the Valdese region, and was an active botanist. The main town of the Valdese region is Torre Pellice, a centre of the Waldensian church. One of the documents is a list of his correspondence, archived at Torre Pellice; I don’t find Clarence Bicknell in it, though there are letters from persons whom Clarence Bicknell knew, such as

39. Budden, H.F., Firenze (1873-79) 3
41. Burnat, Vevey CH (1893-94) 4
58. Correvon, Henri, (botanico) Ginevra CH (s.d.) 1
74. Doerfler, (botanico) Vienna A (1893) 2

"The other documents are articles on ‘Edoardo Rostan and his time’ which mentions that he was interested in the rock engravings of the Meraviglie, though he doesn’t seem to have visited them, and another on ‘Edoardo Rostan and his Flora of the Cottian Alps’ which he never completed. The Cottian Alps are north of the Maritime Alps, and as far as I know Clarence Bicknell never visited them, though Reginald Farrer did. Edoardo Rostan, for his part, doesn’t seem to have had links with Bordighera. In brief, Edoardo Rostan is an interesting person, but not directly relevant to Clarence Bicknell."

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