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|Purchasing Power vs Lifestyle
Written by BarbaraB
(9/7/2009 12:39 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, "Wealth is comparative", penned by Elizabeth K
When I read your post I came up with the same thoughts as Kathleen. You are looking strictly at purchasing power in trying to equate the lifestyle and culture of the Regency in terms of money with today's lifestyle. It just doesn't work. My first thought, as an example, also like Kathleen, was the problem of transportation. You say you could live pretty good on an equitable amount of money and that's true. You could probably afford a car, even if it's a used one. At the very least most people have access to public transportation. As you see, the Dashwood ladies had to sell their transport because the cost and upkeep of a carriage and horse/s is beyond their means while, as I said, you could keep your car. Today our servants are washing machines, running water, etc which in JA's time was human labor and all the costs that entailed. You, fortunately, don't have to worry about the "marriage market". It was the "job" of a Regency woman to grow up and marry well which required a decent dowry and, if possible, seasons in Bath or London, also costly. The list of things that make a big difference could probably go on and on. You have to look at the big picture. The logistics of then and now are just not the same.
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