Logan Pearsall Smith “Ideal” Picnic (1920)

Logan Pearsall Smith “Ideal” Picnic (1920)

“The Ideal” is Logan Pearsall Smith’s satiric dream of the impossibility of an ideal English picnic. Smith conjectures that though he might be promised a perfect day for a picnic and feasting in the shade of splendid trees, “when, in the rainy...
Gustave Dore’s London, A Pilgrimage (1872)

Gustave Dore’s London, A Pilgrimage (1872)

Doré visited Epsom on Derby Day 1869 and concentrated on its carnival atmosphere; the throngs and tumult on the ground and the champagne luncheons on carriage tops in London: A Pilgrimage (1872). Blanchard Jerold’s text describes the scene as being in perpetual tumult...
Sarah Orne Jewett ‘s The Country of the Pointed Firs  (1896)

Sarah Orne Jewett ‘s The Country of the Pointed Firs (1896)

Jewett’s chapters “The Reunion” and “The End of the Feast” from The Country of the Pointed Firs describe Bowden picnic reunion in the fictional town of Dunnet Landing, Maine. The family sit at long tables in a grove of trees overlooking...
Jerome Thompson’s Belated Party on Mansfield Mountain (1858)

Jerome Thompson’s Belated Party on Mansfield Mountain (1858)

Six hikers have reached a plateau near Mansfield Mountain’s top and are ready to picnic just before sunset. Thompson titled the painting a Belated Party to provide tension, and we wonder if the picnickers will safely walk down the 4400-foot mountain in the...
William Bartlett’s  View from Mount Holyoke (1837)

William Bartlett’s View from Mount Holyoke (1837)

Bartlett was a British landscape artist known for his views appearing in picturesque travel volumes, including American Scenery: or Land, Lake, and River Illustrations of Transatlantic Nature. Each of the topographical landscape views was accompanied by Nathaniel P....
Paul de Kock’s Monsieur Dupont (1825)

Paul de Kock’s Monsieur Dupont (1825)

De Kock sometimes styled the French Dickens, is known for his broad portrayals of the Parisian working-class society, affairs, cabarets, and other entertainment. In Monsieur Dupont, the entertainment spotlighted is a tumultuous picnic at Romainville, still a popular...
Philip K. Dick’s Eye in the Sky (1957)

Philip K. Dick’s Eye in the Sky (1957)

The picnic in Dick’s Eye in the Sky is characteristic of his style of mixing shifting planes of reality and illusion, laced with sardonic humor. The picnic takes when the real world collides accidentally with an alternate world it’s the result of an...
Paul Theroux’s O-Zone (1986)

Paul Theroux’s O-Zone (1986)

The New Year’s Eve picnic in Theroux’s O-Zone is a (very long) environmental sci-fi/melodrama. The year is 2036, and eight picnickers have gathered in the O-Zone or Outer Zone. This vast ecological disaster area was once Arkansas and Missouri sucking...
John Fowles’  Daniel Martin(1977)

John Fowles’ Daniel Martin(1977)

Fowles’s macabre notion of wrecking pleasure is an aborted picnic on the River Cherwell. Daniel Martin and Jane Mallory, two Oxford undergraduates, set out for a pleasant outing.  They are punting and chatting, not knowing that this day is the beginning of a...
George Eliot’s Daniel Deronda (1876)

George Eliot’s Daniel Deronda (1876)

Daniel Deronda has two archery picnics, both of which do not meet the usual expectations of being joyous. Eliot uses sport to illustrate gender relationships. Both archery picnics are metaphors in which Gwendolyn Harleth and the other women archers are contrasted to...