Thursday, 24 December 2015

The Gladstone Bag in Literature and Films

Sometimes it isn’t just their novels or stories that cause the names of many great writers to become associated with the Gladstone bag. 

The name of Somerset Maugham, for example, was inextricably linked to the Gladstone bag by English novelist Christopher Isherwood who compared Maugham to “an old Gladstone bag covered with labels.  God only knows what is inside.”

I’m not sure whether Somerset Maugham knew he had been so compared to a Gladstone bag is, but certainly he knew about Gladstone bags as elegant and out of the ordinary compared to most luggage of the day when in ‘Of Human Bondage’ he referred to his character Cronshow sitting “in place of honour on a Gladstone bag, with his legs curled under him.”

In The Catcher in the Rye, J. D. Salinger talks about his main character Holden Caulfield packing Gladstones when taking leave of Pencey Prep.


In her  novel The Private Patient P. D. James tells how the murder victim carried handbag ‘shaped like a Gladstone Bag’ and in ‘The Man With the Twisted Lip’ Conan Doyle talks of Sherlock Holmes taking a Gladstone bag from the bathroom belonging to Neville St. Claire.

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