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January 23, 2016

Money Then, Money Now

It's a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in
possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife. 
-- Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice, 1813

Austen's books share a common theme of the importance of money
and 'marrying well.'  Have you ever read her books and wondered
what the fortunes in 1813 would be worth in today's dollars?

I hope you can read this itty bitty chart.  At first glance I thought
that Mrs. Dashwood and her girls could 'get by' on $46,425 a year.
No income tax back then, right?

Without cell phone bills, cable, or the cost of other modern conveniences
it would be possible to live comfortably.  But without jobs to supplement
their situation, I'm sure it was imperative that daughters of that time were
urged to nab wealthy husbands 

"Affection is desirable.  Money is absolutely indispensable."
-- Mrs. Austen, Becoming Jane


  1. I've often wondered what the equivalent value of the money in her books would be.

  2. That is both inlightening, and mind boggling.....Who would have thought!!

  3. So interesting and so sad at the same time.

    cheers, parsnip


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