I have 8 pounds per year.

Matt and I have been reading Pride and Prejudice where one of the general items of gossip is how many pounds various gentlemen have per year. Mr. Bingley is a good catch with four of five thousand pounds per year. Then Mr. Darcy enters the scene and is said to have ten thousand pounds per year. This circa 1800, so four or five thousand pounds will take you pretty far, but ten thousand? Wow.

I’m assuming that “having X number of pounds per year” means that the interest payments on your total fortune give you that amount to live on, though I’m not one hundred percent sure of this. However, my bank statement arrived the other day and I noticed that the quarterly interest on my savings account was $3.26. I multiplied that by four to get the yearly total ($13.04) and used google to convert the currency to pounds sterling. It turns out I have a fortune of $8.01 pounds per year. This in 2011, not 1800.
I see that there’s no doubt about it. Of the characters in Pride and Prejudice, I would have been one of the maids. Or maybe in a few years I could be Hill, the housekeeper.

4 thoughts on “I have 8 pounds per year.”

  1. Excellent link, Shawn! It seems I have more than 8 pounds per year because I can add in the income I earn from working. Although I think I would still be a maid or housekeeper.

  2. That was an excellent link. Poor Mr. S. he must always contend with Austeny enjoyments because of me. Do you want to be a maid? Or are you saying with your income that is your only choice?

  3. Due to the lack of universal education at the time, I couldn't have been a governess, and I don't have any titles (or money) in my family, so I wouldn't have been able to be one of the Bennetts. Which means, I would have had to work for a living, perhaps as a maid, maybe as a farm wife. My point is, people are always looking back and casting their lot in life much higher than it would have been. I don't do that. I'm always imagining my life then, as now to be one of labor.

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