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So, Just How Rich Is Jane Austen’s Mr. Darcy?

January 15 2021
A forged British five pound bank note from 1812
A forged British five pound bank note from 1812

If you've ever read Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice, you know that the famous Mr. Darcy is rich. But how rich is kind of vague from a modern reader's perspective. Being told that Mr. Darcy has an income of £10,000 a year doesn't help much in giving us an idea of his wealth like it would have back when the book was first published. 

There are various different ways we could measure his income value in comparison to today’s worth.

Since we’re looking at how rich he’d be considered nowadays, the best way to do this would be to look at the value of relative income in order to gauge what his equivalent modern economic status would be. In this case, we're measuring how much of the country's GDP is made up by his yearly salary.

By this metric, the prestige of making £10,000 a year in 1812 would be the modern equivalent of making about $17,048,070.10 in Canadian dollars. And to anyone wondering, Mr. 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.

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