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“This morning when I woke I thought I would provide myself with some papers and envelopes… Every scrap of paper was gone, and with it all my notes, my memoranda, relating to railways and travel, my letter of credit, in fact all that might be useful to me were I once outside the castle…The suit in which I had travelled was gone, and also my overcoat and rug…”

The stationery could easily be replaced through the application of a penknife to the flyleaves and blank pages of some of the Count’s many books in the library. The loss of Jonathan’s other documents and travel clothes would have been a harder blow for an Englishman so far from home. (He seems to have still kept his polyglot dictionary, as we see later.)

Most Significant

“The suit in which I had travelled was gone, and also my overcoat and rug…”

In this context, a rug is a lap robe used to keep warm when travelling by carriage. The 1895 Montgomery Ward catalog (https://www.skyhorsepublishing.com/9781602392380/montgomery-ward-and-co-catalogue-and-buyers-guide-1895/) lists over 70 different lap robes, in eleven styles. Lap robes could be made from fur, felt, leather, and cloth. Some styles had colourful designs, often with an outdoor theme, printed or embroidered on them. Others were waterproof, presumably for use in open carriages.

Chase & Company’s Victorian Carriage Robe, printed with a dog design (complete with glass eyes!):
https://www.lynchburgmuseum.org/blog/2014/06/chase-companys-victorian-carriage-robe.html

Late Victorian horsehair carriage blanket, late 19th to early 20th century, snowshoe design:
https://www.lot-art.com/auction-lots/Late-Victorian-Horsehair-Carriage-Lap-Blanket-Late-19th-to-Early-20th-Century/itmg664909-late_victorian-30.10.20-ebth

Bryan Alexander

“A plush robe in every buggy”

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