Alexander Pope’s Visit to Netley Abbey (1734)

Alexander Pope’s Visit to Netley Abbey (1734)

Not having the word picnic to describe his experience, Alexander Pope’s alfresco luncheon at Netley Abbey was a happy event. (It was not until 1806 that the English began to associate alfresco meals with our familiar word picnic. As  Pope did have the word, he...
Lord Chesterfield’s “Pic-Nic” in Leipzig (1748)

Lord Chesterfield’s “Pic-Nic” in Leipzig (1748)

Picnic is unknown in English before1748. Then it appears in a private letter written by Lord Chesterfield to his son Philip, who was living in Leipzig. They communicated regularly, but only Chesterfield’s letters were published in 1774–and no one noticed....
John Keats’s  “Pic Nic Scandal” (1818)

John Keats’s “Pic Nic Scandal” (1818)

John Keats’s phrase “pic nic scandal” unique to him. Keats. No one else uses it. He uses the phrase offhandedly in a letter to his brother George and his wife Georgiana. “Perhaps as you were fond of giving me sketches of character, you may like a little pic nic of...
Alexander Pope’s Visit to Netley Abbey (1734)

Alexander Pope’s Sightseeing Visit to Netley Abbey (1734)

Writing to his dear friend (and probable mistress) Martha Blount, Pope related his adventure at Netley Abbey and his alfresco luncheon there. He does not call it a picnic because the word was not used in English parlance until 1806. (See Harris’s The happy...