In anticipation of his lecture on Clarence Bicknell - A British Botanist in the Maritime Alps at the Annual Meeting of the European Botanical and Horticultural Libraries Group which takes place at Champex in Switzerland from 19 to 21 June 2019, Graham Avery has published a new paper today 5th June 2019 entitled Clarence Bicknell and Cypripedium calceolus. This paper can be downloaded in pdf form by clicking here.
Graham introduces the paper thus...
In his letter of 6 July 1899 to Emile Burnat, Clarence expresses vividly the complex emotions of a botanist on finding a rare plant for the first time. He describes his surprise, disbelief, instinctive bodily reaction, joy and pain: “I had a moment – several moments – of trembling, turning to right and left, not wanting to look, saying to myself perhaps it’s a dream”. He realises that the plant is Cypripedium calceolus, but he doesn’t want to say it to Burnat: “I mustn’t tell you today, for you know that great joy, like great pain, can hurt a lot, with too much emotion”. In this letter Clarence gives us a fascinating psychological insight into his passion for botany, and in his next letter to Burnat on 12 July 1899 he conveys his joy graphically by means of a splendid water-colour sketch of the plant.
Download the new paper here
Related papers by Graham Avery on the Clarence Bicknell web site include.