Is Anyone From Old Mary Poppins In New Mary Poppins The Gladstone Bag – Five Things You May Not Know About It

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The Gladstone Bag – Five Things You May Not Know About It

Because it appeared so long ago, you might think that the Gladstone bag has a boring history, and you would be very wrong indeed. This is because, not only has the article been associated with famous men and women of historical and modern times, such as the prime minister after whom it is named, but it has also been featured in one of the most macabre and brutal murders of all time.

The murder took place in Eastbourne, England, and the story goes that the killer placed his victim’s head in a Gladstone bag which he took on the train to Waterloo station and threw it through a train window. He placed the bag himself in the left-hand baggage office at London’s Waterloo railway station, where police eventually discovered it because of a blood-stained cloth he grabbed from the bag’s latch.

Here are five more things you might not know about this iconic item:

* Somerset Maugham’s name was inextricably linked to this iconic item of luggage by the English novelist Christopher Isherwood who compared Maugham to “an old Gladstone bag covered in labels. God only knows what’s inside.”

* In The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger talks about his main character Holden Caulfield packing a Gladstone bag when he leaves Pencey Prep. In her novel The Private Patient, PD James describes how the murder victim carried a handbag ‘shaped like a Gladstone bag’ and in ‘The Man with the Twisted Lip’ Conan Doyle talks about Sherlock Holmes taking such a bag from the bathroom belonging to Neville St. Claire.

* One of the most iconic images of the bag comes from the movie “Mary Poppins” and depicts Julie Andrews sailing through the sky with an umbrella in one hand and the iconic piece of luggage in the other.

* Once upon a time there was a comedy duo called ‘Mr Gladstone’s Bag’ who thrilled audiences with their skits accompanied by loud drum beats and poking fun at the life and times of the people of Victorian England. During their act, they passed flags through the audience in the bars and clubs where they worked. The group consisted of Mike Clifton and John Watcham, whose names are still mentioned and their act remembered today on Internet forums and entertainment blogs.

* The purse was named after William Ewart Gladstone, who was elected Conservative Member of Parliament for Newark-on-Trent in 1832 and served for over ten years. Gladstone’s constituency office was located in the Clinton Arms Hotel in Newark Market Square, where a plaque on the wall records his acceptance speech from the hotel balcony. Gladstone eventually served four terms as Prime Minister of Great Britain and Ireland ending in 1894.

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