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|Trust fund for his wife and daughters
Written by Glenn
(9/5/2009 11:52 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Henry Dashwood's income, penned by Nina RG
Henry Dashwood's mistake was to trust that either his uncle or his son would be generous. He had it in his power to ensure that his wife and daughters would be cared for if the family had been more frugal for 19 years.
In chapter 1, John Dashwood estimates the income from the Norland estate to be "four thousand a-year". I made a spreadsheet to estimate how much money Mr. Henry Dashwood could have saved in a trust fund for his daughters, assuming that his family lived on £3,000 a year. I think that is a reasonable amount, since Mr. Bennet supported a wife and five daughters on £2,200 a year and Mrs. Bennet was a spendthrift. Norland was a large estate and the big house had many servants but Henry Dashwood could have closed off some of the rooms and had fewer servants. If he had started saving £1,000 a year at the birth of Elinor, in 19 years he would have £30,539, assuming a 5% interest rate. That would provide his wife and daughters £1,526.95 a year upon his death. I'm assuming the £10,000 his wife inherited in the novel was part of this trust fund. Is this reasonable?
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