wages? We don't need no stinking wages!
Posted by Bob Whitworth on August 14, 1998 at 00:25:49:
In response to Salaries, written by SuzanneR on August 13, 1998 at 20:49:13
] ] It sounds a bit on the low side, but taking into account that she was provided with a roof over her head and meals, plus possibly a few "extras"
] ] it's not all that bad. It's still a poor wage, though, considering that the average London tradesman's weekly wages during the Regency period were about a pound a week, (possibly a little more). And they worked hard, too.
] Actually, I think 40 pounds would have been quite a decent wage. According to What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew, some housemaids only got 11-14 a year at mid-century. And I vaguely recall seeing somewhere that the "lowest" servants might have earned only about 5 pounds per annum.
...and lived below the poverty level. Don't forget, they still had a roof over their heads. Higher wages among servants could have led to dissipation and profligacy, and no householder wanted that.
] In the novel, wasn't Jane Eyre herself pleased by the wage?
Don't forget that Jane Eyre was a governess, which required a lot more work than a regular maid. 40 pounds was a sum that a woman in her position would have been pleased with at the time, considering that she was also provided with a roof over her head. But even at that rate, she'd still be making less than today's au pair girls.
- Right, but don't get me started on today's teacher salaries :)NFM SuzanneR 12:21:01 8/14/98 (0)
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