Deconstructing Mr. Darcy: Just how rich was he?

| By Jennifer Albers-Smith |

I took this awesome class in college at University of Michigan that–10 years later–still resonates with me. It focused exclusively on Jane Austen and her contemporaries. We read all of Austen’s novels as well as Radcliffe, Burney, and Wollstonecraft, and it was easily the best four months of my academic career. The professor was really innovative and brought in one of her colleagues, Kathryn Dominguez, from the Economics department to do a lecture on what things cost in Jane Austen’s time.  She put together this great PowerPoint deck that I still have to this day because I thought it was so intriguing.

Numbers pop up all the time in Austen’s novels, but the reader really has no sense of how rich Bingley and Darcy are or how “poor” the Bennets are by comparison.

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