Alexandre Dumas’ Musketeers Picnic

Alexandre Dumas’ Musketeers Picnic

Among picnics on the battlefield the déjeuner sur l’herbe in The Three Musketeers sets the pattern for sardonic humor. It’s meant as yet another instance of the Musketeers’ bravado, but Alexandre Dumas and Auguste Maquet (his co-author) add comic relief to the serious...
Mary Elizabeth Braddon’s Picnic at Tintagel

Mary Elizabeth Braddon’s Picnic at Tintagel

Tintagel Castle and its Arthurian associations have perennial romantic appeal—but Mary Elizabeth Braddon is the first  to fictionalize a picnic on the crag. It’s her addition to Britain’s mythology and a decorative episode in her novel Mount Royal, a novel with many...
Fontane’s Effi Briest

Fontane’s Effi Briest

Proving that picnics and love are a natural combination, the plot of Theodor Fontane’s Effi Briest hinges on a beach-picnic love affair. At first, it’s a recreational outing for Effi Briest, her husband, Geert von Innstettin, and a friend, Major von Crampas. But when...
Chesnut’s “Charming Picnic”

Chesnut’s “Charming Picnic”

Thomas Coram’s View Of Mulberry in 1800 looks up to the rear of the house from the vantage point of “the street” so-called because it was lined with slave quarters, of which height houses are visible. Coram’s view suggests “the street” was a matter pride and...
Bonnard’s By the Sea, Under the Pines

Bonnard’s By the Sea, Under the Pines

By the Sea, Under the Pines (1921) is Pierre Bonnard’s picnic of mood and atmosphere not food and drink. It’s situated on the bluff near St. Tropez overlooking the brilliant blue ocean. Around the woman, a man, a child and a recumbent dog, everything is gold, yellow,...
Karl Marx Rides a Donkey on Hampstead Heath

Karl Marx Rides a Donkey on Hampstead Heath

Though unfamiliar now, the Hampstead Heath was once famous for its donkeys. It was a comic sight and Gustave Doré illustrated it for London: A Pilgrimage because it was ludicrous to see fashionably dressed picnickers straddling the donkeys. It was special fun for Karl...
Charles Dickens and Cast of The Frozen Deep

Charles Dickens and Cast of The Frozen Deep

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 popular lecturer of “The Glaciers of Mont Blanc” and Charles Dickens who was producing and acting in The...
Napoleon’s Almonds

Napoleon’s Almonds

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...
Charles Doyle is Drunk and Picnicking with Fairies

Charles Doyle is Drunk and Picnicking with Fairies

Charles Altamont Doyle’s The Enchanted Picnic (1882) is a sad picnic that is not enchanted. The picnicker, perhaps Doyle himself, having finished four bottles of wine and champagne is pleasantly suffering delirium tremens. Instead of monsters, the picnicker is smiling...