Books Articles

The best luggage in literature

Putting your holiday packing into context

The Luggage of the Discworld

First seen in The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett (£7.99, Transworld). The Luggage is a combination of baggage and body guard and appears in several of Terry Pratchett’s comic fantasy novels. It’s able to sprout hundreds of little legs and move at speed, it’s impervious to magic and can eat monsters whilst still leaving the owner’s belongings “neatly pressed and smelling of lavender”. Later in the series it meets a female Luggage and has children.

Phileas Fogg’s carpet bag

From Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne (£1.99, Wordsworth Editions). When wealthy Victorian Phileas Fogg bets most of his fortune on his ability to circle the world in 80 days, he doesn’t want anything slowing him down – especially not the heavy steamer trunks popular for travel at the time. “We'll have no trunks. Only a carpet bag, with two shirts and three pairs of stockings for me, and the same for you,” he says to his servant. “We'll buy our clothes on the way.”

Paddington’s suitcase

From Paddington by Michael Bond (£6.99, Harper Collins). Probably the most easily-recognised piece of fictional luggage, Paddington Bear arrives from Peru at his namesake station with nothing but a brown suitcase, a jar of marmalade and a label reading “Please look after this bear. Thank you.”

Linda’s luggage

From The Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford (£8.99, Penguin). Having broken with her second husband, Linda Radlett starts back to England, leaving refugees from the Spanish Civil war behind her. But in Paris she finds her ticket isn’t valid and she has run out of money. She sits on one of her many suitcases and weeps. Whilst crying, she meets Fabrice, the man who will become the love of her life. The meeting is initially disappointing because he points out “French ladies never sit crying on their suitcases at Gare Du Nord in the very early morning”. (Let’s add that to all the other things French ladies don’t do…)

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