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Written by Barbara
(9/20/2006 2:53 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Yes, penned by JulieW
I was able to find a few instances of a similar claim being made by sources other than the History Wardrobe ladies--although I certainly don't dispute your resources, for I know they are extensive, detailed and accurate!
However, with other references to this around, I also don't think the History Wardrobe ladies were making that up.
There was from an article that appeared in The Jane Austen Journal Persuasions
This online resource talks about uniforms issued to British Cavalry units serving in the War of 1812. Wrong contintent, but right approximate time period and also the British Army. Among the standard issue for them was a flannel waistcoat--so perhaps such a thing is a remnant of Brandon's military experience?
I also found references of men being advised to wear them to avoid taking a chill. If Brandon had been in the habit of doing this, perhaps it speaks more of a wish to avoid illness (since he has no one to look after him, really) than actually being infirm himself.
Here's a passage from The Adventures of Ferdinand Count Fathom (1753)
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