" In my ordinary evening costume I took up the room of three men at least "
1860s fashion in European clothing was characterized by extremely full-skirted women's fashions relying on crinolines and hoops.
Skirts were at their widest in the 1850s and early 1860s (the novel was published in 1860). After about 1862 the silhouette of the crinoline changed, from bell-shaped to being flatter in front and more projected behind.
Morning dresses featured wide pagoda sleeves and high necklines with lace or tatted collars.
Evening gowns had low necklines and short sleeves, and were worn with short gloves or lace or crocheted mitts. Heavy silks in solid colors were fashionable for both day and evening wear.
" It is typhus fever "
Typhus is any of several similar diseases caused by Rickettsia
bacteria. The name comes from the Greek typhos,
meaning smoky or hazy, describing the state of mind of those affected with typhus. Symptoms include chills, a bad cough, delirium, high fever, joint and muscle pain, headaches, low blood pressure, rashes and sensitivity to light.
A major epidemic occurred in Ireland between 1816 and 1819, in which an estimated 100,000 people died. Another epidemic hit Ireland during the Great Famine, between 1846 and 1849. The epidemic spread to England, where it was sometimes called "Irish fever". It killed people of all social classes, as lice were endemic and inescapable, but it hit particularly hard in the lower classes of society.