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Antique illustration of outdoor party lunch during hunting
Podcast / The history of…
Podcast / The history of…

From Paris to the local park – a potted history of picnics

The picnic is a pastime loved by many. They bring people together, connect us with nature and make mealtime a little more exciting.

But the evolution of the picnic is a fascinating one and there is a rich history behind this outdoor feast.

From 18th century banquets to modern-day gatherings in the park, the picnic has evolved over time, reflecting changes in social norms and everyday life.

Finger foods and picnic blankets were not always typical and – hold the front page! They were not even originally held outside!

So where did it all begin? And how did we arrive at the picnic as the summertime staple we know and love today?

Dr Alexander Lee, Fellow, Centre for the Study of the Renaissance, Warwick University

Dr Alexander Lee is a specialist in the cultural and political history of the Renaissance in Italy.

After completing his first two degrees at Trinity College, University of Cambridge, where he was a senior scholar and winner of the Earl of Derby Prize for Outstanding Performance in the Tripos Examinations, the James Webb Prize for the History of Ideas, and the Bowen Prize for History, he undertook his doctoral research at the University of Edinburgh.

He has previously held posts at the University of Oxford, the Université du Luxembourg, and the Università degli studi di Bergamo, and has also taught at the universities of Edinburgh, Aberdeen, and Lyon 2.

He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society (FRHistS).

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