The Economics of Jane Austen's World » JASNA (2023)

with Jane Austen chosen to be the face of the next Bank of England ten-pound note, it is the perfect time to talk about Jane Austen and economics. Money is a critical part of Jane Austen’s vivid portrayal of early nineteenth-century English life. Many of her works revolve around her heroines’ quests for economic security. However, modern readers do not have a good frame of reference for translating a nineteenth-century pound into a modern dollar. We all remember that Mr. Darcy had an income of £10,000 a year, as Mrs. Bennet mentioned it often enough—but how much is £10,000 in dollars? Where did this amount place him on the British social scale?1

Depending on which method is used to calculate inflation, Mr. Darcy’s £10,000 in modern times varies dramatically: from approximately $990,000 to $16,000,000. Although in modern times there is one standard accepted measure of inflation, the problem becomes more complex when attempting to capture inflation as far back in the past as the nineteenth century.

The Economics of Jane Austen's World » JASNA (1)

If an economist wants to translate from 1995 dollars to 2015 dollars, the process is as simple as going to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and typing the dollar amount into their inflation calculator. However, the inflation calculator only goes back as far as 1913, a full century after Jane Austen’s books.

Why does the Bureau of Labor Statistics not provide a measure for inflation in earlier years? To understand this, we must understand how inflation is calculated. The Bureau of Labor Statistics first creates a consumer price index (CPI) based on the prices of a bundle of goods and services across eight categories: food and beverages, housing, apparel, transportation, medical care, recreation, education and communication, and other goods and services. The market basket is determined from detailed expenditure information from the Consumer Expenditure Surveys on typical day-to-day spending patterns in the U.S. Next, the Bureau of Labor Statistics calculates what this typical “basket” would cost by calling thousands of retail stores, service establishments, rental units, and doctors’ offices to obtain prices. By comparing the cost of a “market basket” in one year to a “market basket” in another year, the consumer price index is created, measuring the percentage change in living expenses from one year to the next.

Even the current consumer price index is a controversial measure of inflation. Economists disagree on what should be included in the “bundle of goods” and whether consumers should be allowed to substitute different goods over time. Also, inflation is not immediately reflected by changing prices, and therefore the CPI may lag behind true inflation. Furthermore, the CPI only looks at urban spending patterns, not rural. Finally, different people may experience inflation differently, which is the reason the Bureau of Labor Statistics calculates a separate CPI for the elderly.

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But if the consumer price index is controversial in modern times, it becomes impossible to use in the nineteenth century. People lived very different lives two hundred years ago. Instead of purchasing food at a local store, they often raised chickens or maintained gardens. Instead of buying their clothes, they made them by hand. For what they did buy, price data is often unavailable as detailed records of transactions were not well kept. Most important, the large-scale shift in Britain from a rural, non-currency-based economy at the beginning of the nineteenth century to an increasingly urban, currency-based economy cannot easily be captured solely through changes in prices.

How then can we measure the value of a pound in the early 1800s? There are several possible methods, reflected in the table below. All numbers are inflation-adjusted from 1810; roughly around the time of publication for many of Austen’s novels. Data on prices, earnings, and GDP were obtained from the nonprofit group MeasuringWorth, which collects historical data on important economic aggregates. Translation from pounds to dollars used the first quarter of 2015 exchange rate, the most recent available on Google Finance. Finally, my methodology was to translate from 1810 pounds to modern pounds and then modern dollars. If translations were made from 1810 pounds to 1810 dollars and then to modern dollars, the numbers would be different, but using British measures of inflation better reflects changes in the British economy. All results are in current dollars, $2015.

Others have attempted to calculate the wealth of Austen’s characters before, including a previousPersuasionsarticle by James Heldman in 1989. However, these calculations used the U.S. Consumer Price Index. Comparatively, the estimates in my paper use harder-to-find data on changes in British prices, earnings, and GDP, in order to better capture British inflation. Many characters are excluded from the table because their income was never explicitly given in the books. Of those available, the wealthiest character is Mr. Rushworth, whereas Mrs. Bates and her daughter are the poorest. The variability in estimations demonstrates how difficult it is to capture inflation going back this far into the past.

Depending on the method of calculation, Mr. Darcy’s £10,000 a year varies from $986,276 to $12,862,256 to $16,436,891. Which of these three methods is the most accurate? That depends on what we want to calculate.

The first method uses the percentage increase in the U.K. retail price index to adjust to modern pounds. This method is the closest to the modern technique of calculating inflation, the Consumer Price Index, in that it uses a representative sample of retail goods and services, but it is less comprehensive than the CPI. The retail price index captures how purchasing power changed from 1810 to 2015, giving Mr. Darcy an annual income of $986,276 in terms of what he could buy in modern times. This calculation would place him today in the 99.42 percentile. This method may be the most reliable in capturing changes in prices, which is what we truly think of as inflation.

The second method uses percent changes in U.K. average earnings, capturing how affordable items in 1810 would be relative to 2015. This method gives Mr. Darcy an annual income of $12,862,256. The salaries of servants and the other costs of maintaining an estate were smaller in the early nineteenth century; hence, using average earnings better shows how far Mr. Darcy’s money would have gone in 1810. This method may be the most reliable in capturing the fortunes of the wealthier Austen characters, who would be able to take advantage of the economies of scale in owning an estate. It is less reliable in capturing the economic conditions of those poorer. For example, Mrs. and Miss Bates have only £100 a year and no estate, and they do not have the purchasing power advantages of the wealthy in their time period, thus making the first method the most reliable inflation calculation for them.

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The third method uses percent changes in U.K. GDP per capita to capture Mr. Darcy’s status compared to what others earned in his time period. This inflation measure attempts to capture the gap between the rich and the poor that existed in 1810 versus today. It is a measure of prestige rather than purchasing power. Using this method, Mr. Darcy’s annual earnings are $16,436,891, placing him in the 99.99 income percentile today.

But income tells only part of the story. Consider that most of Mr. Darcy’s fortune is in his home, property, and investments: £10,000 is merely a year’s disposable income. Further, that £10,000 is only a rumor, not a stated fact. Inadequate information exists to capture the value of Mr. Darcy’s estate, Pemberley. However, we can attempt to estimate his financial holdings. When Jane Austen said that a character had a certain number of pounds per year, she implied that they invested their fortune and received that amount yearly in return. Landed gentry in nineteenth-century Britain did not need to work because they could live off their investments. A typical government fund paid 5% a year, or only 4% in the case of a small investment (Copeland, “Money” 134).2 Thus, Mr. Darcy’s £10,000 a year implies £200,000 invested. As shown in the table below, this amount ranges in value depending on the method of calculation from $19,725,520 to $328,737,820.

The Modern Wealth of Jane Austen’s Characters

The Economics of Jane Austen's World » JASNA (2)

*This estimate is based on standard rate of return on nineteenth-century investments that would generate £10,000 a year. This number does not include the value of Mr. Darcy's estate and other property.
The wealth of Jane Austen’s characters in this table is taken from Runcie and Campbell, who are indebted to Heldman, and who also examine the effects of inflation on Austen’s numbers. Further estimates of the wealth of various Austen characters can be found in Francus.This table could be used to calculate any monetary number from Austen’s works as a fraction of the wealth above. Many characters are excluded from the table because their precise income is never mentioned.

Although in terms of purchasing power he was a millionaire, in terms of the prestige Mr. Darcy held in British society he would have been a billionaire. Historians estimate that the average holding of wealth of the top 1% of households in Jane Austen’s day was £100,000, and thus Mr. Darcy, with a fortune of £200,000, was at the 99.75 percentile of British society; only perhaps 5,000 households were richer (DeLong 37). Of these 5,000 households, only approximately 500 might hold noble titles. In 1818, there were 28 dukedoms, 32 marquisates, 210 earldoms, 66 viscounts, and 172 barons in Great Britain (Millar). Thus it was possible to be extremely wealthy and still not possess a noble title; in addition, the nobility were not necessarily the wealthiest people in Britain. Based on Mr. Darcy’s annual income, other estimates have placed him in the top 400 families in England (Heldman 39), or the top 0.1%, what news articles refer to as the “super-rich.” Mrs. Bennet’s near-hysteria upon news of her daughter’s marriage becomes understandable: Elizabeth Darcy will be a very wealthy woman.

(Video) Economic Model of Emma and Miss Bates

For Mr. Bennet, who had £2,000 a year, the retail price index method gives him an annual income of approximately $200,000, while GDP per capita gives him an annual income of approximately $3,000,000. The former is a better method here, considering the size of Mr. Bennet’s fortune. Given the Bennets’ money worries, even this lower estimate may seem high. Colonel Brandon’s annual income in Sense and Sensibility is also £2,000, and he is considered a fine catch. In Jane Austen’s time, about £1,000 a year was enough for a family to afford “three female servants, a coachman and footman, a chariot or coach, phaeton or other four-wheeled carriage, and a pair of horses” (Nottingham). The cause of the Bennets’ financial difficulties is lack of a male heir. They will lose their income when Mr. Bennet dies, and in addition, Mr. Bennet lacks savings: “Mr. Bennet had very often wished, before this period of his life, that, instead of spending his whole income, he had laid by an annual sum, for the better provision of his children, and of his wife, if she survived him” (308). The Bennets are not poor: poor money management has left the daughters without dowries.

The Economics of Jane Austen's World » JASNA (3)

Jane Austen’s works also reflect attitudes towards money in early nineteenth-century British society. When Jane Austen was born in 1775, the Industrial Revolution had just begun. The English gentry still regarded capitalism, in particular the pursuit of wealth through trade rather than inheritance, with aristocratic snobbery. However, money (or lack of it) is a central concern for Jane Austen’s heroines, who are dependent on marriage for financial security.

Adam Smith, originator of the free market and known as the father of modern economics, wrote about the ethics of money in his book The Theory of Moral Sentiments, published in 1759 and extremely popular among Jane Austen’s contemporaries. Smith wrote about how the pursuit of money could deform moral character and suggested that wealth and virtue might be mutually exclusive. Smith was torn between his belief that money promoted human progress and his personal conviction that it did not make people happy. This ambivalent attitude towards money was common in Austen’s society. Elsie B. Michie contends that Austen often associates the rich with the same negative attitudes that are criticized in Adam Smith’s The Theory of Moral Sentiments: the equating of wealth and virtue, scorn for poorer people, and selfishness (26).

However, Austen characters who claim to have no interest in money are usually lying: Isabella Thorpe in Northanger Abbey tells Catherine Morland about her disdain for money prior to discarding James Morland for the wealthier Frederick Tilney. In Sense and Sensibility, when Marianne and Elinor discuss money, Marianne claims love is more important, but it soon becomes evident that her minimum standard for living is much higher than her more practical sister’s. Even though Austen herself was portrayed by her family members as a humble soul who wrote only for the joy of writing and was shocked to receive any money for her novels, she complained in a letter to a friend about receiving only £110 for the copyright of Pride and Prejudice (29-30 November 1812). In another letter, referring to her desire for greater financial success for her books, she wrote, “tho’ I like praise as well as anybody, I like what Edward calls Pewter too” (30 November 1814). In her fiction Austen exhibits a keen awareness of money and its power over women’s lives, even as she seeks not to give it a power that overrules love or virtue.

Although Jane Austen writes about the landed gentry, she was not one of them. The Austens fell into a group Edward Copeland describes as the “pseudo-gentry”: socially holding kinship to the landed gentry while dependent on earned income from a male breadwinner (“Money” 128).3 This group was also less insulated from economic turmoil. During Jane Austen’s own lifetime, the British economy experienced a series of economic crises. An oversized national debt, four waves of recession, two banking crises, the debasement of coins, a major economic crash, and a depression led, in combination, to a doubling of consumer prices, i.e., extreme inflation.

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In 1795, as Sheryl Craig has shown, the first financial crisis of Jane Austen’s lifetime occurred in the form of a massive crop failure brought on by a long drought and a harsh winter (“Wealth” 13). The price of bread, meat, milk, and cheese doubled, leading to food riots across England. Contemporary economists estimated that the poor in England reached eight million out of a total population of nine million, almost 90 percent of the population (Himmelfarb 77). It is difficult to imagine such large scale poverty today; for comparison’s sake, during the Great Depression, poverty in the United States reached approximately 50 percent (Katz and Stern 13). In addition, politics stalled any government aid. The Whigs and some Tories opposed Prime Minister Pitt’s Poor Law reform bill, claiming it “rewarded the idle and negligent” (qtd. in Himmelfarb 75), while privately believing they could just wait for Adam Smith’s invisible hand of the marketplace to right the economy (Craig, “Pride” 66). In Sense and Sensibility, John Dashwood’s self-justified lack of interest in helping his family resembles the inertia of Parliament (Craig, “Wealth” 21). Additionally, at least some of the Dashwoods’ fiscal problems are likely driven by the extreme loss of purchasing power due to inflation, a situation that Jane Austen did not need to explain to her contemporary readers.

Jane Austen began writing First Impressions, the first draft of Pride and Prejudice, in the autumn of 1796. By this point, as Craig has indicated, Prime Minister Pitt had realized the futility of his Poor Law reform and attempted to focus on the national minimum wage. Reflecting prevalent views of economists at the time that the poor were responsible for their own poverty, opposing politicians claimed that “laborers and their families could be maintained on their low wages, if they gave up eating wheat bread and adopted a more Spartan diet” (Craig, “Pride” 68). This solution was unrealistic given contemporary food scarcity, but still Parliament failed to pass the minimum wage or any other form of economic relief. Pride and Prejudice subtly reflects these politics. Craig points out that Mr. Darcy is praised for his generosity to the poor in his home county Derbyshire, whereas Lady Catherine visits the poor solely to offer unsolicited advice and criticize them for being inadequately frugal, leaving them no better off for her visits (69). To a modern reader, it might seem to go without saying that generosity to the poor is a noble quality, but in the environment of nineteenth century England, not everyone would agree, and thus Jane Austen was making a political statement when she upheld Mr. Darcy as a positive example.

As is well known, Jane Austen was ill-paid for her books, receiving only £684 from publishing four books in her lifetime (Honan 393). Under the retail price index measure of inflation, this amount translates to lifetime earnings of $67,456. The retail price index is the best measure to use here, since the Austens were not wealthy enough to take advantage of the economies of scale captured in other measures of inflation. After Jane Austen’s death, through 1832, her six novels earned a total of about £1,625 or $160,258. The price of £110 paid by Egerton for Pride and Prejudice translates into $10,848; after the book’s success, Austen was to regret selling the copyright for that amount. Jan Fergus calculates that Egerton subsequently made more than £450, or $44,379, from the book (9). Given the millions of dollars in sales of TV shows, movies, and books based on Pride and Prejudice since then, from a modern perspective, perhaps Jane Austen was cheated. However, the continued popularity of Jane Austen spin-offs stands as a tribute to her genius.


1 All dollar amounts in this essay refer to U.S. dollars.

2 When he proposes to Elizabeth, Mr. Collins details that her tiny fortune of £1,000 can only be invested at the lower rate of 4%, for a measly £40 pounds a year.

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3 See also Copeland’s “Persuasion: The Jane Austen Consumer’s Guide,” “The Economic Realities of Jane Austen’s Day,” and “The Austens and the Elliots: A Consumer’s Guide to Persuasion.”


How much is $10,000 a year in Pride and Prejudice? ›

According to Austen, Mr. Bennet's annual income is 2,000 pounds, or 160,000 dollars. Compare that to Darcy's 10,000 pounds or 800,000 dollars. Additionally, the sums Austen gives are often discussed in terms of 4 or 5 percents.

How did Jane Austen impact the world? ›

Austen's style set the stage for the movement of literary realism, which took off in the mid-19th century and included writers such as Leo Tolstoy, George Eliot and Charles Dickens, said Elizabeth Wilder, an English PhD candidate.

What is Mr Darcy's income today? ›

Bingley's income also afforded a cushioned lifestyle, albeit at a lesser scale. The real value of his £4,000-£5,000 is £150,000 to 200,000 a year these days. The prestige value? Around £4,438,500 (or US $5.7 million) per year.

How much was 5000 pounds a year in Pride and Prejudice? ›

Bingley makes about £5,000 a year, which would be like having a yearly income of $8,524,894.93 nowadays. ... No wonder Mrs. Bennet was so excited.

Who is the richest man in Pride and Prejudice? ›

Mr Fitzwilliam Darcy – Mr Bingley's friend and the wealthy owner of the family estate of Pemberley in Derbyshire, rumoured to be worth at least £10,000 a year.

How much did Darcy pay Wickham to marry Lydia? ›

How much did Darcy pay Wickham to marry Lydia? To persuade Wickham to marry Lydia, Darcy must then pay Wickham's debts, totaling 1,000 pounds, or 80,000 dollars in addition to buying his commission at about 450 pounds or 36,000 dollars.

How did Jane Austin change the world? ›

Jane Austen's novels: Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park and Northanger Abbey, had the most significant effect on upper-middle class individuals' attitude towards education, and her novels made many individuals think about education, particularly English education, in a groundbreaking new way.

What did Jane Austen teach us? ›

Austen creates believable, flawed characters who are easy to relate to and she puts them in difficult situations. We've all behaved badly, meddled when we should not have, and judged others without the facts. Her characters show us how to learn and grow from this.

How did Jane Austen contribute to feminism? ›

Austen's novels were written around the time of the early women's rights movement when women were starting to think about equal rights. She is an important step in the evolution of the feminist movement. Austen was basically saying that women are equal to men in every way.

Is Bingley richer than Darcy? ›

While Bingley is not as rich as Mr. Darcy, he can afford to rent an estate to see if he enjoys the life of the landed gentry before he commits to buying his own property.

Who is the richest Jane Austen characters? ›

The wealth of every one of Jane Austen's characters was not explicitly stated in each novel, but based on what is known, scholars have determined that the richest Jane Austen character was Mr. Rushworth. He had an income of £12,000 per year and owned a large estate.

How much is 100 pounds a year in Pride and Prejudice? ›

£100 when “Pride and Prejudice” was written is estimated by ““Historical Currency Conversions” to be worth about US$12,800 today. It's possible to live on that today if people are extremely frugal.

How much was Elizabeth Bennet's dowry? ›

The Bennet sisters have only a relatively small dowry of £1,000; and as their family's estate will pass out of their hands when their father dies, the family faces a major social decline, giving the Bennet girls only a limited time in which to find a husband.

Was Mr. Darcy autistic? ›

Surprisingly, the last autistic character on Bottomer's list is Mr. Darcy. Whereas scholars see Darcy as shy, Bottomer believes that it “is not pride but subtle autism that is the major reason for Darcy's frequent silences, awkward behaviour at social events” (111).

Did Mr. Darcy have slaves? ›

According to the novelist Joanna Trollope, who has been writing an updated version of Pride and Prejudice, both Mr Darcy and Mr Bingley most likely got their money, at least indirectly, from exploitation, including slavery.

Are the Bennets wealthy? ›

The Bennet's, the least wealthy of the three families, “property consisted almost entirely in an estate of two thousand a year, which, unfortunately for his daughters was entailed in default of heirs male…and with their mother's fortune…

How much money does Mrs Bennet have? ›

Bennet's daughters get their share of four thousand pounds after she dies, and Elizabeth's fortune is later indicated to be one thousand pounds, in the four per cents, while Mr.

How rich was Jane Austen's family? ›

The Austen family was well-connected but not very wealthy. Austen's father was always in debt, worked as a farmer and ran a boys' school in addition to being a rector. 28.

Why did Lydia Bennet marry Wickham? ›

Lydia, unapologetic, refused to leave Wickham, so Darcy instead bribed Wickham by paying off his debts and getting him a commission in a northern regiment so he would marry Lydia. The move saved the Bennet family from disgrace.

Why did Wickham run off Lydia? ›

Why did Wickham and Lydia ran away? Wickham wanted to find an easy way to escape his debts, while 15-year-old Lydia craved romance and excitement. Wickham informed the Bennets that he was ready to marry Lydia if her family paid off his debts.

Did Lydia sleep with Wickham before marriage? ›

While Lydia's affair with Wickham was highly improper for a nineteenth-century woman, threatening damage to both herself and her sisters, a premarital sexual relationship would be considered normal for most young women in the West in the twenty-first century.

What does Pride and Prejudice teach us about society? ›

Pride and Prejudice. Jane Austen's nineteenth century novel, Pride and Prejudice, demonstrates that human nature is innate and, for good or bad, can be cultivated and influenced by the society to which one subscribes. Austen further substantiates that human nature is fortunately alterable and refineable.

What is the message of Emma Jane Austen? ›

Answer and Explanation: Emma by Jane Austen warns against the perils of pride. Emma Woodhouse has it all: she is pretty, wealthy, and does not need to seek out a husband in order to live comfortably. So she spends her time meddling in the love lives of other people in her small community.

What is Jane Austen's legacy? ›

200-years since Jane published Pride & Prejudice from her Chawton home, Jane Austen continues to give pleasure to millions worldwide. Jane's books have been translated into thirty-five languages and inspired countless adaptations, biographies, documentaries and re-imaginings.

Was Jane Austen actually a feminist? ›

But after years of living with “Pride and Prejudice,” as well as all of Austen's novels, revisiting them and the world in which Austen lived – it is clear that Austen was a rebel, a radical and a feminist.

What was Jane Austen's goal? ›

However, to write brilliant novels was not Jane Austen's foremost goal: What was most important to her was to provide moral instruction. In their essence, Austen's books are moral works.

How did Jane Austen feel about slavery? ›

Evidence of Jane Austen's distaste for slavery, and really any form of oppression, is clear in her writings, particularly in the “Chawton Novels”: Mansfield Park (1811-1813), Emma (1814-1815), and Persuasion (1815-1816).

Why is Jane Austen important to history? ›

Jane Austen is one of the most famous writers in English literature. Her books are read by people all over the world and have been made into countless TV, film, theatre and radio adaptations. This is all the more impressive because she only wrote six full-length novels.

Why is Pride and Prejudice not a feminist novel? ›

Therefore, Pride and Prejudice cannot be considered a feminist novel because it describes money and power as corrupting to women, marriage as the greatest ambition of women but at the expense of their intellectual development and autonomy, and relationships

Who was the first feminist in literature? ›

Mary Wollstonecraft: The first feminist writer

One of the first women to openly publish under her own name, Wollstonecraft is most famous for 1792's A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, a philosophical text advocating for the education of women.

Are the Bennets upper class? ›

Bennet was really a member of the middle class in Regency England, he would be a tenant farmer (one who rented land from landowners) or a yeoman farmer (one who owns land, but has to work the fields himself). Since Mr. Bennet was neither, he was a member of the upper class.

How much is Mr. Darcy 10,000 pounds today? ›

In 2003, Brad Delong, Professor of Economics at the University of Berkeley, California, calculated that an annual income of £10,000 in 1811 – when Mr Darcy was meeting Jane Austen's heroine Elizabeth Bennet – would have had the purchasing power of £300,000. Adjusted for inflation, that is equivalent to £450,000 today.

Is Charlotte in Pride and Prejudice rich? ›

He retired, and is now a not-very-rich knight. Charlotte, therefore, is too wealthy, educated, and upper-class to marry a working man—that would be a kind of social demotion for her family—but too poor and average-looking to attract a truly wealthy one. She can't marry up or down—she can only marry sideways.

Who is the richest Austen heroine? ›

Emma is the wealthiest of all Jane Austen's heroines and the one least concerned with matrimony. Materially, she will be provided for whether or not she remains single.

Who owns Jane Austen's house? ›

This now houses the Jane Austen's House Museum, which is a large 17th-century house in the centre of the village of Chawton, owned by the Jane Austen Memorial Trust since 1947 and preserved in her memory. The two houses, Chawton House and Jane Austen's House, are separately run charities.

Is Jane Austen upper class? ›

No, Jane Austen was part of the English middle class. Her father was a clergyman who had originally come from a well-off, merchant family.

What was a good income in Regency England? ›

“An income of two thousand pounds was considered quite comfortable, allowing people to maintain a large house, keep horses and a carriage, and employ eleven servants.” (Life in Regency England: More Than Games).

How did Darcy make money in Pride and Prejudice? ›

But the great unspoken background of Jane Austen's world is that both Mr Darcy and Mr Bingley in Pride and Prejudice got rich from the slave trade, says author Joanna Trollope.

Was Mr Darcy a Millionaire? ›

It turns out that, if converted to 2013 GBP (the most recent year for which full information is available) using the percentage increase in the retail price index since the estimated time the novel was set, Mr Darcy's annual income of £10,000 in around 1803 would be worth £796,000 per year today.

How rich is Mr. Bingley? ›

His actual inheritance/net worth would have been much greater. No wonder Mrs. Bennet was so excited. And Bingley wasn't exactly poor either, at 4,000 pounds per year, or $386,684 per year in 2014.

Is Mr Collins rich in Pride and Prejudice? ›

Collins, is modestly well-off, but he is relatively poor for a few reasons. First, he is set to have the Bennett's house entailed to him, and he shows great eagerness to acquire this property; this eagerness marks him early as a man, if not outright poor, then at least deficient in wealth.

Who is Mrs Bennet's least favorite daughter? ›

It was said in the book that Lizzy was the "least dear" to Mrs.

Did Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth have a child? ›

Henry Fitzpatrick Darcy is the second child of Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth 'Lizzy' Bennet. He is the second child out of Mr. Darcy and Lizzy's four children, and the first out of two sons.

What is the age difference between Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth? ›

Darcy is seven years older than Elizabeth. The action takes place over a period of fifteen months. Elizabeth is 20 at the beginning of the story and she turns 21 at around the time of Darcy's first proposal.

Who was Mr. Darcy in love with? ›

Austen tells us, “…and turning round he looked for a moment at Elizabeth, till, catching her eye, he withdrew his own, and coldly said…” To those of us who love the idea of Darcy's falling in love with Elizabeth across a crowded room, we cling to the idea that he must force himself to look away from her.

What was Mr Darcy income? ›

In 2003, Brad Delong, Professor of Economics at the University of Berkeley, California, calculated that an annual income of £10,000 in 1811 – when Mr Darcy was meeting Jane Austen's heroine Elizabeth Bennet – would have had the purchasing power of £300,000. Adjusted for inflation, that is equivalent to £450,000 today.

Why did Darcy do that with his hand? ›

“MacFayden's hand flex is the physical manifestation of the moment when his transformation, his unlocking, by Lizzie begins. It's a phenomenal emotional beat because we see that for all his broodiness, Darcy is affected by Lizzie,” romance author Adriana Herrera explains.

How much money is Mr Darcy in Pride and Prejudice? ›

Darcy, with a fortune of £200,000, was at the 99.75 percentile of British society; only perhaps 5,000 households were richer (DeLong 37). Of these 5,000 households, only approximately 500 might hold noble titles.

How much is Mr Darcy 10,000 pounds today? ›

Darcy's £10,000 in modern times varies dramatically: from approximately $990,000 to $16,000,000. Although in modern times there is one standard accepted measure of inflation, the problem becomes more complex when attempting to capture inflation as far back in the past as the nineteenth century.

What was the financial condition of the Bennet family? ›

Bennet's wealth is about 2,000 pounds a year, derived almost entirely from his Longbourn estate, which, unfortunately for his daughters, was entailed. According to the law of the period, entailment restricted inheritance to male heirs, the nearest to Mr. Bennet being a distant relation, Mr. Collins.

Was Darcy a billionaire? ›

Mr. Darcy is a wealthy young gentleman with an income exceeding £10,000 a year (equivalent to over £13,000,000 a year in relative income) and the proprietor of Pemberley, a large estate in Derbyshire, England.

How did Mr Bingley become wealthy? ›

According to the novelist Joanna Trollope, who has been writing an updated version of Pride and Prejudice, both Mr Darcy and Mr Bingley most likely got their money, at least indirectly, from exploitation, including slavery.

Who is considered to be the most beautiful out of the Bennet daughters? ›

Miss Jane Bennet: The eldest and most beautiful Bennet sister, Jane is more reserved and gentler than Elizabeth. The easy pleasantness with which she and Mr. Bingley interact contrasts starkly with the encounters between Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy.

Is Mary in Pride and Prejudice autistic? ›

The eight characters analyzed and diagnosed by Bottomer as autistic are basically all the major characters (Mr. Collins, Mary Bennet, Lydia Bennet, Mr. Bennet, Mrs. Bennet, Anne de Bourgh, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, and Fitzwilliam Darcy), with the exception of Jane and Elizabeth.

Who was the richest person in Regency England? ›

Sir John Reeves Ellerman, 1st Baronet, CH (15 May 1862 – 16 July 1933) was an English shipowner and investor, believed to be the richest man in England. An accountant by training, he learned to identify underpriced companies and acquired them, often as sole stakeholder.

How much was 500 pounds a year Sense and Sensibility? ›

In Sense and Sensibility, a conversation between Marianne and Elinor during Edward Ferrars' visit to Barton Cottage reveals how much income Marianne considers suitable for setting up house. The Dashwoods had been reduced to living on £500 per year, or around 17,000 pounds in today's terms.

How old were girls when they came out in Regency England? ›

Debutantes were launched into society at the age of 17 or 18 with a formal introduction to the monarch and a debut at a high profile ball, followed by a whirlwind six months of cocktail parties, dances and special events.

How much money does Mr. Bennet make? ›

We are told, for example, that Mr Bennet has two thousand a year and Mr Bingley has four to five. The Bennets are not poor . . . not at 2.000 pounds a year. Mr.


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