“Inquiries and communications concerning brothers and sisters, the situation of some, the growth of the rest, and other family matters now passed between them, and continued, with only one small digression on James’s part, in praise of Miss Thorpe, till they reached Pulteney Street, where he was welcomed with great kindness by Mr and Mrs Allen, invited by the former to dine with them, and summoned by the latter to guess the price and weigh the merits of a new muff and tippet.” Northanger Abbey A muff is a fashion accessory for outdoors usually made of a cylinder of fur or fabric with both ends open for keeping the hands warm. It was introduced to women’s fashion in the 1500s and was popular with both men and women in the 17th and 18th century. By the early 1900s muffs were used in England only by women. A tippet is a stole or scarf-like narrow piece of clothing, worn around the arms and above the elbow. This evolved in the fourteenth century from long sleeves and typically had one end hanging down to the knees. In later fashion, a tippet is often any scarf-like wrap, usually made of fur or wool, such as the fur-lined capelets worn in the mid-18th century. When Elizabeth Bridges married Jane Austen’s brother, Edward Austen (Knight), in 1791, her mother provided a detailed list* of the clothes and household linen that she provided as part of her trousseau. Such a detailed list (found here) may seem
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