Gaskell Blog © Katherine C.
The spring evenings were getting bright and long, when three or four ladies in calashes met at Miss Barker’s door. Do you know what a calash is? It is a covering worn over caps, not unlike the heads fastened on old-fashioned gigs; but sometimes it is not quite so large. This kind of head-gear always made an awful impression on the children in Cranford; and now two or three left off their play in the quiet sunny little street, and gathered, in wondering silence, round Miss Pole, Miss Matty, and myself.
In the 1840s calash’s made a comeback but they were smaller and didn’t fold, known as fixed clash bonnets. I imagine those of Cranford were something more akin to the Georgian era’s style, excepting Mary Smith’s.
“Bonnet (headgear) .” Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Dec. 2010. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonnet_%28headgear%29>.
Millard, Simon. “An Early Victorian Silk Bonnet. Circa 1845-50. from simonmillard on Ruby Lane.” Ruby Lane . N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Nov. 2010. <http://www.rubylane.com/item/493178-830/An-Early-Victorian-Silk-Bonnet>.