No. 542
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
January 28, 2022

Picnic on Marblehead Neck.

August 5, 2014
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Via Newspapers.comThe following little meteorological oddity was reported in the “Ogden Standard,” January 7, 1909:Santa Cruz, Cal. Jan 6.--A remarkable phenomenon that has caused wonder and consternation in the neighborhood of the Santa Cruz Beach was reported by Mrs. W.H. Burns of 240 Riverside avenue this city this morning and when investigated was fully corroborated by residents of the
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 1/21/2022
Artist's rendition of the Pearl Bryan murder from The Mysterious Murder of Pearl Bryan, Or, The Headless Horror. Cincinnati: Barclay & Co., 1896. Read Pearl Bryan's story in the new book,So Far from Home: The Pearl Bryan Murder.Now available at Amazon.
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Murder By Gaslight - 1/27/2022
An article I recently wrote for the British online magazine, New Politic, is now available online. The article, “The Criminal Origins of the United States of America,” is about British convict transportation to America, which took place between the years 1718 and 1775, and is the subject of my book, Bound with an Iron Chain: […]
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Early American Crime - 12/17/2021
They Got Hilariously Full. | Beautiful Forever.

Picnic on Marblehead Neck.

Picnic on Marblehead Neck.

Summer Pleasures—A Picnic on Marblehead Neck. Massachusetts. [more]

The march of progress has not destroyed that freshness of pleasure which ever attends a bit of cold chicken or lobster salad with a glass of fiz, partaken of on the green grass, whether it be by the hillside or riverside or seaside. There is a piquant flavor in the food, a bouquet in the wine, a joyousness in the feast, which surpasses all the sensuous gratification of a superbly set table with its cut glass and glowing flowers and glittering cutlery and tidbits that a cordon bleu could serve in the form of a dainty dinner. With the greensward for a carpet, the blue sky for a roof, and the murmuring sea for music, the picnic which we illustrate is simply perfect. The yellow basket has been carefully packed, the champagne very judiciously iced, the young couples with the “gooseberry-picking” boy capitally matched. Everybody is hungry, for the ozone-laden breeze stealing across the heaving ocean is the best sauce ever served up with human food. The pastry has been made by the white hands of the girls and will be rapturously eaten by the gentlemen in waiting, the small boy doing yeoman’s work. Under the genial influence of the champagne the timid young man will become emboldened, and vows that lay “full fathoms five” in his bashful heart will come to the surface during that postprandial stroll on the tawny sands. What fun washing up the dishes and plates and knives and forks! What fun setting up an empty bottle to fling pebbles at! What fun re-packing! What laughing at the awkwardness of the gentlemen! It is all fun, innocent merriment, and that delightful abandon begotten of youth, health and the freedom of a meal taken al fresco.


Reprinted from "Picnic on Marblehead Neck." Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper 11 Aug 1883: 403.