Charles Dickens and Cast of The Frozen Deep (1857)

Charles Dickens and Cast of The Frozen Deep (1857)

Frederic Ouvry’s invitation to July garden party at his home in Fulham Green, London is he insinuates that guests would gather with two celebrities: Albert Smith, the popular lecturer of “The Glaciers of Mont Blanc” and Charles Dickens who was producing and acting in...
Napoleon’s Last Picnic on St. Helena (1820)

Napoleon’s Last Picnic on St. Helena (1820)

Napoleon’s valet said that he was a frugal eater, but after five years of exile on St. Helena, his face was fat, and his figure plump. Henry Dodgin’s contemporary sketch of the great man suggests a penguin. But it’s not a caricature, and for sure, this is how Napoleon...
Auguste Barthélemy Glaize’s Souvenir of the Pyrenees (1851)

Auguste Barthélemy Glaize’s Souvenir of the Pyrenees (1851)

Glaize’s Souvenir of the Pyrenees or The Picnic (1851) portrays his patron Alfred Bruyas, a man of elegant tastes (who was Gustave Courbet’s patron, too). In a very theatrical setting, Bruyas is the central figure in the spotlight discreetly toasting but not touching...
Jacqueline Woodson’s We Had a Picnic Sunday Past  (1997)

Jacqueline Woodson’s We Had a Picnic Sunday Past (1997)

Woodson’s We Had a Picnic This Sunday Past (1997) is a joyous family gathering with mounds to eat. A feast. It’s a story about an African American family reunion picnic in an urban park. The narrator, a young girl, comes with her Grandma, who has worked all morning to...
Maria Spilsbury’s The Drinking Well in Hyde Park (1802)

Maria Spilsbury’s The Drinking Well in Hyde Park (1802)

Spilsbury does not use picnic (if she even knew the word) to describe the luncheon because it was not yet in common use. However, The Drinking Well in Hyde Park (1802) reminds us that the park has long been a popular gathering place for socializing and leisure....
Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women (1868)

Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women (1868)

“Sunshine and laughter are good omens for a pleasure party,” so Louisa Maya Alcott writes in Little Women. And when Laurie writes to Jo to explaining his intentions, he promises sunshine and laughter. Dear Jo, What ho! Some English girls and boys are coming to see me...