Women wearing shawls in these stories is common, particularly if set in the 19th century. Shawls, as I recall them from childhood (the older ladies often wore them), could be plain and functional or dressy and elegant. Always with tapered ends, draped securely about the shoulders and upper arms; the larger shawls could envelop the entire upper trunk. Some were hand-crocheted with yarn, most (that I recall) were of a store-bought cotton/poly blend (?) and sported a fine fringe. Of course heavier shawls were for warmth; the fancy and lighter ones were mere accessories. I suppose nowadays they'd be called "wraps"; I'll ask my sister, who lives up north, the next time I talk with her. People in my sunny/warm region generally wear only medium-weight jackets in the coolest weather.
Anyway, I can see the current novel's heroine gracefully wrapping a finely-knit medium-blue shawl about her shoulders and upper arms. She'd be very fine and elegant...small wonder Edgar can't keep his eyes off of her. ;-)
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