Posted by Ann on July 16, 1997 at 12:30:18:
In reply to The value of money. posted by Tilde Binger on July 16, 1997 at 04:04:52
] In P&P, Mr. Bingley has the enormous sum of "5000 a year", but Mr. Darcy has the double. ....BUT, how much would it equal in todays money ? 1 millon ? 10 millions ? More ? Less ?
It is very difficult to estimate this, because it is not only the accumulation of inflation which needs to enter into the calculation. The costs of things and the objects people purchaced have also changed dramatically. A carriage needed horses, feed for the horses, a stable, grooms to care for the horses, and someone to drive the carriage. This can't simply be converted into a car. Bingley is said to have 40 servants at Netherfield, he could afford this because wages were extremely low, but with current wages, this would be prohibitive.
That said, people have attempted to make this calculation. One such was to say that Darcy's 10,000 pounds would mean he had an annual income of $1,000,000. Another comment on this, which I prefer, was to say that Darcy's wealth would have placed him in the top 400 wealthiest men in England. Because of the relative economic position of the UK in the Regency and today, it might be better to compare Darcy of Regency England to a millionaire in modern America.
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