"but retained her drawers"

Drawers (the early version of knickers) were worn by Victorian women from about 1850 onwards.

Initially, drawers were open at the crotch and extended below the knee. Later on, they were closed at the crotch and gathered onto a band at the knee; these were known as knickerbockers. Towards the end of the 19th Century, and during the Edwardian period, drawers became wide-legged and flared.

A picture of Victorian Drawers