Just how wealthy is Mr. Darcy?
He was earning £10,000 in, let’s say, 1811-1812, the time when Pride and Prejudice is set. The relative worth of yesterday’s money to today’s currency varies greatly depending on how you measure it, but if you use average earnings (that is, how much he made compared with average incomes of his time), a gent earning £10,000 in 1830, the farthest back the index goes, would be earning nearly £8 million (about $11 million U.S.) annually.
But there was a much wider gap between rich and poor and not much of a middle class back then, so retail price index (that is, the purchasing power of his income) is probably a better indicator. By that standard, Mr. Darcy would be earning about £534,000 pounds ($790,000 U.S.) annually (according to Measuring Worth). Well, probably less than that at the moment, with the world’s economy in dire straits.
That’s just his annual income. It doesn’t even include Pemberley, his London home, the paintings and other artworks, or his other assets.
In other words, Mr. Darcy is really, really rich. If he were a real person and alive today, he would rank as a multimillionaire at the least and might even make Forbes’ annual list of the world’s billionaires.
No wonder he’s the talk of the party.