Ep 11: Who wants to be a millionaire? Discussing who is the wealthiest Jane Austen hero
Welcome to the eleventh episode of the What the Austen? podcast! I'm your host Izzy, and I am joined by my friend and fellow Janeite Charlie from @thebookboy. In this episode, we will discuss how wealth is portrayed with in Austen's novels. We will specifically be focusing on some of the heroes, who is the wealthiest, how is their income talked about by other characters if at all, how was it generated and what does this mean for them in terms of marriage etc. From Bingley's celebrated 5 thousand a year to Edwards Ferrars' complicated finical situation, this is a fun episode playing banker and sizing everyone up.
Listen to Episode 11 here: https://whattheaustenpodcast.buzzsprout.com/
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Hi, Janites and welcome to episode 11 of the, What the Austen podcast. I'm really excited to
say that today I'm joined by Charlie from @thebookboy bookstagram. So hi Charlie. I'm so
pleased you wanted to do this episode with me.
I'm really glad to do it. I'm looking forward to it.
Amazing. So it'd be really great to hear before we start. What made you start your
bookstagram originally and also what got you into Jane Austen?
Well, I started my bookstagram because I had a personal account on Instagram and I just
occasionally started taking photos of the books just because I liked it, and then I kind of
thought, well, what if I just had a whole account about books and kind of went from there. And
I also had a friend who was a bookstagrammer, who was like, why don't you just do it? So I
did. That's that really.
Absolutely in your aesthetic is honestly, gold dust. If anyone doesn't follow Charlie, you need
to, his aesthetic is amazing.
This is kind of, I don't even really know all my aesthetic is. It's just kind of me messing about
really make it work. But with Jane Austen, I think what really got me into her books was I
discussed Andre way, but I went to summer camp when I was 16. And I took with me all of like
all seven of her novels in one giant paper bag. I think it had Keira Knightley on the front. You
know, it was a kind of movie tie-in one. And I just want, I'm just going to read them all. And so
in the kind of four weeks I was away for summer camp. I wrote every single Jane Austen novel
in a row, all in one chunk and yeah, I just loved them. I just instantly just found them captivating
and fascinating and that whole world and yeah, I just, that whole summer was great.
In camping, you're just in your room, reading Austen.
Avoiding people, living my best Regency life. People outside, like kayaking and stuff.
Do you want to play Frisbee? Not really.
No. Not unless it involves Elizabeth Bennet. Claire, like how much do you earn a year? And
we'll think about it.
So true. And that actually fits in because today's episode is called, who wants to be a
millionaire. It's not at all related to the game show in any way. Actually we're going to be
discussing the wealth and how this is portrayed within Austen’s novels. So who the wealthiest
hero is, how their income is talked about by other characters, how it's generated in the first
place. And what does this mean for them in terms of marriage? So a lot of you know, I really
love covering the theme of money in Austen’s novels. I just find it fascinating, but yeah, a lot of
Austen's work revolves around her heroines that quest love, but also the trials and tribulations
of needing economic security, apart from Emma as me and Charlie were discussing, you know,
like pre-meeting. Yeah. I mean, she lives a great life. Doesn't she? She is in a huge contrast to
everyone else. Really isn't she, if you look at all the main characters, we're looking at people
who are from fairly low income scenarios and most of the time either they've already lost their
wealth or they're not going to inherit the wealth from their fathers or whatever, because they're
all women. And then yeah, we've got, Emma has just doesn't care.
I know, totally living her best life. And I think she totally knows it as well, which I also thinks
amazing. Maybe Jane got bored of having like poor characters. She was like, I need an Emma
in my life. She wrote a letter and saying I'm writing a character that I think only I will like, but I
love them. I think she’s great.
Emma is was literally one of my favourite characters, but I know a lot of people like to hate her,
but I'm here, like a true Emma fan, for sure. So money's definitely super important to in Jane's
novels. And, she said herself, female economy will do a great deal, but it cannot turn a small
income into a large one. And that is very true. So that's why today we'll be focusing more on
the heroes cause they're kind of the starting point of money and yeah, we'll go from there. So
I'm interested to know your general thoughts on money and Austen. And did you think there
was like a hero who was the wealthiest, like if you thought about it all before this point?
I mean, I don't, I have thoughts about it. I mean, I think when you read Austen it is so prevailing
in the very characters of the book. I mean, when you think about characters wildly, we are
mostly aware of their economical status. I mean, even if we look at Emma, for example, we
know she's handsome and rich from the first sentence, and then we get later in and we know
that Ms. Bates is poor. You know, whether that is poor in terms of actual poor of what we
would consider poor today or poor from the fact that she's, you know, descended in standing,
she’s still, you know, a woman of various connections, obviously she's friends with Emma and
her family, but you know, she's poor in times that she has no income. She will only continue to
get poorer, because she doesn't have a husband or a profession. So what can we do? So
we’re all kind of given those clues about everyone, I would say for the most part, at least kind
of a general group that they would fit in within the kind of financial hierarchy.
Yeah, that is really interesting about Austen. It's almost an essential part of their character
where they will financially fall. And I think that's quite different to some other books. Like if you
look at it kind of later books, like Brontë and that kind of thing. I don't think there's that much
focus on their finances as much as Austen does. Like, it is very much like a lot of the first lines,
like you were saying, do even comment on wealth.
Yeah, I think it's just a, yeah, it's a foundational part of it. I think because they are society
novels in a way, aren't they, I mean, we're looking at a snapshot of a society and the
movements within it. So by setting the pieces in the financial areas, then we can get the proper
idea of who's moving up and who's moving down basically.
No, a hundred percent. I totally agree with you. And, I will say before we start that this isn't a
black and white topic guys, obviously we've done a bit of research for this episode, but we're
not here as historical economical experts on many in the regional era. This is really just a
discussion based on what we found and what the books tell us, that kind of thing. So I thought
just for context before we start, I want to highlight to everybody listening that there's a
difference between a fortune and an income in Austen’s book. So if we think about this in
monopoly terms, the fortune would be the grand total of your houses, your hotels, your
property cards, the cash you've got stored underneath the mat compared to your income,
which would be the money that you get when someone lands on your properties, when you
pass go or any interest you get from the, the little cards that you pick up from the middle. So
most character's yearly income is actually interest gained from their fortune. That interest is
around 5%. It would seem, in the Regency era. So you would invest your money and you gain
about 5% from that. And that's what you'd live off. Any secondary region that I've done in any
that Charlie wants to add as well. I'll tell you the Athens, the bio section, so that you can do
extra reading on this, but yeah, and also I'd like to say, I might make occasional references to
how this relates to modern day, but because inflation's changed so much and it's totally varied.
It's very hard to do that. So don't look for accuracy, just look at it as an estimate and a broad
Yeah, absolutely. I'm definitely not an expert. So we're just going to have to, I think we, I think,
you know, anything that we say will probably be roundabout, correct. I mean, obviously we
won't be a hundred percent on the figures. No one could be because the inflation, as you say
is so different from how it was. I mean, what was it you sent me some reading before. And I
think it said inflation after 1913 would be spot on because of certain things in place. But
obviously it's novel sort of way before that so that they can't accurately assess.
No 100% we're talking about like a hundred years ago plus. So, it'd be so difficult for us to
kind of estimate that now. And I think in any term of investment of 5% return is pretty good, so
Wish we could get about these days.
But a hundred percent sure how we'd even like equate that to nowadays, but that is like a
rough idea of, we could see what that would mean that it would be added in this day and age.
So yeah, you know, I'm happy to start jumping in on it. I thought we could start with pride and
prejudice. As my listeners though, I always start with pride and prejudice. This isn't favouritism
guys. It’s just, just chronologically, it always works out this way for me, but yeah, I know, I felt
the character would start with is actually Mr. Bingley though, just because he's, one of the first
ones mentioned in terms of wealth when it comes to a hero in pride and prejudice. So even the
starts, the book, we hear that Mrs. Bennett has seen a single man of large fortune 4,000 or
5,000 a year. What's a fine thing for our girls. So we just instantly boom, Mr. Bingley and he's a
He’s got money. So let's go to that ball, which is fair play. I mean, I think, you know, in a way
Bingley, he has a great prospect isn't he obviously he has never failed. While letting Netherfield,
you know, he's got the income to do so. So he's a man of property. He's also single and if
you've got, well, how many daughters have we got here? 5, so a lot of sources to marry off and
none of them are, they're all out in society. So get on it basically five isn't it. So.
Yeah. Now is the time I think that definitely you can tell the excitement, cause I think obviously
live in, Longbourn Marrion there's clearly not that many single men dotting about especially of
5,000 a year. So because obviously this house is sat vacant as well. So it's obviously exciting
that someone's coming in with money. Who's now letting that property out. So, Bingley's
yearly income is set to be about 5,000 a year. And going off the 5% theory, that would mean
his kind of total net fortune would be about a hundred thousand pounds. And, yeah, we have
to remember, like Charlie was saying, he's letting Netherfield, so he doesn't actually have a
property of his own. Right. Like Mr. Darcy does. And also the really interesting thing about
Bingley is his money's from trade. So he's not like necessarily he has inherited it from his
father, but this isn't old money, this isn't like a family estate that's being passed down. Yeah. I
mean, what your thoughts on Mr. Bingley and his income?
I mean, it's interesting actually. I mean, as he's from trade, it's quite curious that, I mean,
obviously back then, we're still looking at a time where trade money is still looked down upon
in comparison to, you know, aristocracy and inherited wealth. So it's quite interesting that even
though he is from that background, people are still very excited about him and there's not that
kind of slight edge of oh, but he's made it through that way or, I mean, I guess, because he
didn't make it himself. Did he? So maybe that one generational gap of his father making it has
made it a bit more acceptable? I'm not really sure on the social ideas of that time of like how,
how far down it would be to count as sort of inheritance wealth, but-
That's actually such a good point. I didn't think about that. Like maybe that generation gap is
well kind of smoothed the way for him.
Because he's already a gentlemen rather than someone who has worked to get that money,
but it's still pretty fresh, isn't it? So I think, you know, a lot of real nobility of the time would
have still looked down on this to Bingley, despite being a man of means.
That's so true. And you know, what really, I always want to interest in about this is Caroline
Bingley really looks down on the Gardners and yet that income source is exactly the same
apart from obviously Mr. Garden is probably a little bit more in, on the actual business side of
It's because it's too close to home. Maybe it's very much, we've escaped. That's atmosphere.
Just about, so now I have to look down on it to make clear that I'm no longer from the area or
any more kind of vibe, which would explain why she's so horrible.
Yeah. Maybe it's like an insecurity about her status still. Like maybe like, I mean, that would
also explain her desperation to marry Darcy. Like that would definitely secure her in, kind of
highest society if she wants to marry Darcy, that it would basically just wash away the links of
her past, to be honest with you.
But I mean, there's that real link. She wants that with proper aristocracy and well kind of at
least inherited wealth and families of good standing, she's desperate for it to happen.
And I think it's interesting cause they say that, Mr. Bingleys father, he was trying to buy an
estate before he died. So you could definitely see even for his father, it was like they needed
those foundations, to really place themselves in society. I think what helps Mr. Bingley the most
is his friendship with Darcy, even though everyone's quite excited that he's coming around, I
can imagine that creates a lot more connections.
An interesting friendship. If you do think that, I mean, I've not ever really thought about this and
now it's all kind of clicking into place, but it is weird, but Darcy is friends with him in a way, and
there's not that level of snobbery against it. And maybe that's a very early hint straight away
that is kind of a better person than his originally perceived as maybe we are prejudiced against
him ourselves straight away.
Yeah. That's such a good point. Like maybe that's just like a hidden link that Mr. Darcy's
actually a really nice guy and doesn't really look down on people. Like I think obviously like his
upbringing means that he has the occasional, kind of snobbery to things that he does.
Especially when he looks a little down on the, on the Bennetts, for their actions and behaviors.
Well, absolutely. I think his connection with the Bengalis and that they're so close and stay at
each other's houses, definitely shows that he's got a more softer side and is more accepting
and probably forward thinking as well. Cause obviously he can tell that it's, it's the Bingley's of
the world that probably now the ones coming up with all the money.
It's progressive, isn't it, especially if that kind of time that's an attitude, which yeah, it wouldn't
really be adopted for a long time afterwards. So who knew.
Right, right. This also got me thinking as well though. Maybe that explains more about why
Darcy was reluctant for Charles to Mary Jane, because maybe he was thinking, oh, you know,
you're kind of on the borders of being accepted in society, marrying Jane's really not going to
do you any favours. And I didn't think about that till I started research in this one. And I thought
maybe that it's more about that. Maybe that's why he's more worried about Bingley marrying
into the Bennett family as opposed to Darcy, because Darcy is very established.
That makes sense actually. Yeah. Completely, because it would be kind of like stepping back
down again, wouldn't it making a connection with someone who would viably be within your
field anyway, you know, Bennett women, aren't rich, they've got a, a bit of a dowery, but they're
not, you know, wealthy. So yeah. It would be very much aligning with someone technically
beneath him, but on the sort of level he's already come from.
Yeah, exactly, exactly. So I thought that was really interesting as well. When you, when you
think about it from that perspective, is there anything else that you want to say about Bingley
and his position?
I don’t think so. I think we've covered it pretty well actually. And you know, definitely got some
interesting points, which even I haven't really thought of, you know, he's got all of their things
just in his status and his financial makeup is actually what makes his character so interesting.
We don't really get much of him from the book. Do we really?
Also I think it's really interesting that we don't really hear much about his business. Like we
often hear Darcy like needing to go and sort business out or writing letters to a steward, that
kind of thing. But I think there's only one real reference to Bingley sorting business in town.
And that's when Caroline writes to Jane and says, I'm like Charles thought his business would
be concluded in a couple of days, but we can't see that being the case. I think that's
interesting as well, but what do I never see? Bingley this kind of intellectual business savvy guy
to be honest.
He seems quite like a happy go lucky kind of guy. Doesn't he? Just happy and Merry and you
know, the kind of nice personality opposite to Darcy as well.
But on that note then I think it’s be good to talk a bit about Mr. Darcy and his income. So soon
after we hear about Bingley and everyone's excited about that everyone finds out about Mr.
Darcy and his fortune. I'm going to paraphrase a couple of quotes that kind of came out of this.
So, Mr. Darcy soon drew the attention of the room by his fine tall person, handsome features
and the report, which in general circulation within five minutes after her, his entrance over
having 10,000 a year. But he was discovered to be proud to be above his company and above
being pleased and not all his largest state in Darbyshire could have saved him from having a
most formidable, disagreeable, countenance, and being unworthy to be compared with his
friend. So we have a mixed bag there. One is handsome and rich. All the riches of the world
can't save you. If you've got a terrible personality, it would seem.
I mean, I just love how that one sort of a couple of sentences. It just such a damning overall
portrait of one person. He's rich, he's handsome, but also just not nice.
It's very funny. And I love like a little off the adaptations where I'm Elizabeth teases, her mum.
She's like, oh, he's not quite so handsome. Like once Mrs. Bennet's like slagging him off.
She's like, no, not it's all.
Exactly so great. I think the adaptations, both of the ones, I've only seen two adaptations, the
pride and prejudice but I think both of them do a good job of that kind of initial intro scene and
yeah, a little take on it, but it's really good.
And I really enjoy that. So Mr. Darcy's yearly income is set to be 10,000 a year. But estimated,
uh, Fort tune of about 200,000 pounds, he owns half of Derbyshire the miserable half. But
because of like inflation, like I was saying, it's hard to kind of judge what that would be
nowadays, but it's estimated that that's about a hundred million, his fortune, which is massive.
That's a massive fortune. Wow.
Well, he's not going to be wanting money this time, is he?
I mean, these, these big states are expensive to keep, but I still think he be enjoying his time.
That's for sure.
I don't, I think nothing could kind of impart that kind of money. It's kind of Jeff Bezos kind of
Elon Musk kind of vibe.
Yeah. Mr. Darcy going into space. I can see it.
Yeah, if you have the opportunity, he would, you know.
Absolutely, I feel they should be like a modern day take on pride and prejudice is like Elon
Yeah. I mean, I'd absolutely watch it, but hate myself for doing so.
Totally, if someone does that, we want to cut now.
We'll trademark it here. Yeah.
A hundred percent. So basically with Darcy's income, what's interesting is a lot of it goes off
gossip, but there's more confirmation later on. Obviously when Elizabeth goes to Pemberley,
we kind of see that he has got this massive estate. And when he writes the letter to Elizabeth
about Wickham's character, we realise that Georgiana has gotten an inheritance of 30,000
pounds. So that kind of starts to put things into place. And we do recognize that yeah, this is a
wealthy guy. I mean like, if we put this into perspective, so Georgetown has got about 30,000
pounds. The Bennet's, Mr. Bennet's total income a year is 2000 pounds. So this is like a
significant difference, like 2000 and he's got five daughters, et cetera. And then you've got Mr.
Darcy, he's got 10,000 new children as of yet. Obviously we don't know what happens after the
novel, at the start of the novel he has no wife. He obviously has a sister, but, he's got little like
expenses, I would say in a lot of money coming in. What were your thoughts in general on
Yeah, he obviously doesn't have many expenditures at all, really. I mean, his estate, as you say,
will take money, but a level of fortune, again, I just wouldn't touch the sides. It would be
obscene amount of money. And if you think he doesn't like socialising, so you won't be hosting
balls, he won't be hosting expensive events. He’s just minted, he’s like a dragon on top of the
pile of gold.
He doesn't like to socialise it’s so true? I love it. Like the rest of us, we're all here. Like we can
really relate Darcy.
He would have loved the pandemic, just sitting at home, counting money. I mean, it would be
Living the dream. So I'd say that Mr. Darcy's only liability, is actually the fact, that he's got the
connection to Mr. Wickham who keeps rocking up for money. So, he obviously pays them off
and with the estate that he was supposed to get as a clergy. And as I say on every episode, I'm
so glad Mr. Wickham, wasn't a clergy. That would be terrible job for him. Probably the worst.
Yeah. I mean, it's not a very, it doesn't really align with his character.
Not at all. So he paid him out for that. And then Mr. Wycombe came back asking for more
money, which again, he got, so he could go and study the law and then he came back again,
asking him for more money, which then Mr. Darcy refused. Because you can have, obviously
someone can get on your nerves a little bit after a while to keep asking him for all your money,
despite how much money you do have, you don't want to be hunted and ultimately a Wickham
who's clearly not very financially savvy.
Yeah. True. He's definitely not quite the same character as him, money doesn’t last long with
Mr. Wickham he's clearly.
Not investing it and getting his 5%, let's say that.
So that's probably Mr. Darcy's kind of downfall is his connection with Wickham. And
unfortunately he doesn't escape that by the end of the book because he has to kind of pay for
the, the wedding of Lydia and Wickham to stop the Bennett being disgraced in society. And he
has to pay off, Wickham’s debt. He also has to pay for Wickham's, commission as well in the
military. So, I mean, that's a lot of when he sets aside and I'm sure we can all agree that that
wouldn't be the end of it.
Absolutely. I feel give it another kind of what six months he’d come back. What if they had kids
here probably somehow work into needing money for that? I mean, I feel like Wickham is going
to be a shadow lab and especially as now he's married Lydia and that all has a tie to Darcy's
wife, Elizabeth. I mean, he's just there forever. He's firmly connected, but just never going to
go. It's quite a shame. Really.
Absolutely. And actually I think Lydia has got kind of the financial touch either, so she
absolutely is going to be expensive as well. And yeah, it's just a shame. I feel like that starts his
downfall. It's Wickham.
Kind of like a shadow, always hanging over him a little bit, but if he is earning that much money
and he does have that larger fortune, would it make a huge impact? I mean, he's never going
to be wanting money, but it's still not great to give it to other people, but you know, it's
probably not going to ruin him. Is it?
Yeah. It just makes you wonder how much money you like Wickham burns through his
gambling habit, because obviously he tries to marry Georgiana as well, like elope and take her,
30,000 pounds. Like again, he obviously can't deal with these fixed incomes. He needs like bits
of income coming in. Obviously when you give him money as a total, he just stumbles it away.
Which, I mean, it's a lot of money. I just feel like if you didn't gamble, it he'll be fairly well off.
Just leave it just chill. There's no need.
Look at these interest rates. Come on.
Just invest it. You'll be fine. Absolutely fine. But, oh, well.
I know so funny though, but yeah. So when I like first lost about this before research and for
me, it was like Mr. Darcy was the wealthiest hero. The way they talk about it is very different
than the other novels and how they talk about the heroes wealth. So this is very much upfront.
We know exactly what he's earned and we see his estates, which I think we see a lot of the
estates in the novels, but I think this is the one that goes into the most detail. And, we get like
a, basically a tour of Pemberly with the guardsmen in Elizabeth.
Yeah, you're right. I think, yeah, we do see other states obviously to some extent, as you say,
but I think if we look at the main heroes, so what although we see Northanger Abbey, that's not
his inheritance, it's not Henry's inheritance, so he'll have a parish right. So he's going to have
obviously a much smaller, actual property scale there. So that's him, Mr. Knightley, we know
does have an estate.
But we don’t go to Donwell, well we do very briefly
To pick strawberries.
As you do. So yeah, obviously Knightley, we know has got a kind of income going on and a
We hear about Colonel Brandon's and I think they're supposed to go on a trip there, but I don't
know if it ever happens.
Isn't, it it's meant to happen the picnic. And then he gets the letter and has to rush off. So it's
canceled before they go.
Possibly Absolutely. In this. So many of the heroes where it's like, they're actually maybe the
second son. And so they're going to have, they're going to be a clergyman or what have you.
Edmund from Mansfield park, he's not going to inherit Mansfield park either. Cause he's the
second son. So it's quite interesting that quite a few of the heroes aren't endowed with great
properties and are more of a clergy side.
Yeah, it's also interesting. A lot of them have more siblings, whereas, you know, it's just Darcy
and Georgiana and he inherits everything and Georgina’s obviously the female. So she gets her
inheritance as well. But it's, like a portion that's put aside for her.
I mean, he's a great catch really. And in terms of financial, he is number one, what you want to
go for, if that's what you're looking for, which I imagine for a lot of people, but then it wallets.
Exactly, exactly. Okay. No, I love that then. So before we start dissecting the next hero, I'd like
to say a little bit about audible. So moving on to another novel, we have Colonel Brendan. So I
did do a whole episode on Colonel Brandon way back when, and we talked about him in some
detail, but I do think we got that much into his financial situation. So this will be really
interesting. So I believe colonel Brandon was a difficult one for me to find too much about. But
basically I believe his income is about 2000 a year. He was actually the second son, but his
eldest brother dies or something like that. Well, he goes to war and his eldest brother is dealing
with the money, that kind of thing. And, Delafield, which is his estate is now without debt,
according to Mrs. Jennings. Because Brandon cleared all of his brothers debts off, Brandon
has very little expenses. Mrs. Jones says, cause he was obviously is just on his own. I mean, it
isn't that much. That's the equivalent of what the Bennets have, which is really interesting.
Yeah, it is. But again, he doesn't have five daughters, a wife, so, you know, 2000 stretches a lot
further when you don't have six other people relying on it, I suppose. But yeah, you're right.
You would have been, I expected him to be richer than that I think. Because he's older as well.
You know, he is in terms of age, I think he's older than Mr. Darcy in comparison. Right. I think
the Colonel Brandon is, a more mature man. So in a way I kind of expected him just to be more
well off because he's further along in life, which I don't think as a thing really.
No, no, totally. And I think maybe what his downfall has been is that he's had to make up for
his brothers and all the mistakes that he made that maybe it's taken this long for him to get
back on his feet.
Absolutely. We kind of learned a bit about that. Don't we? I mean, he, says he used to know
someone just like Marianne, who obviously all these people he wants to help. They think, I
think he's a very nice man. Maybe almost too nice to his detriment in terms of financial, you
know, perspective. Unfortunately.
Well, we even see that in the book when Edwards cut off from his fortune and colonel
Brandon's like the first one to jump in and be like, I have an estate for Edward that he can
have. But he's like, it's only 300 a year, so he won't be able to marry anyone. But he's really
into, like you said, maybe this is kind of Brendan's downfall. He's just too nice and he wants to
help the people that are struggling. I mean, well, can you imagine if someone coming out to
you and being like, oh, I have an estate, because you’re having a hard time, I'd be like, yes,
absolutely sure. Bring it on. I get married. It's fine. You imagine anyone doing that today? It's
just, yeah. Real altruism.
Oh, I know. Yeah, absolutely. You can see colonel Brandon, being somebody who'd like donate
loads of money to charity or something.
And like almost make himself poor from doing so, which is really, I mean, it's a kind of, if you
think about, about some of meaning of charity, I suppose, but like it's not something you see
No, exactly. And I feel like the fact that he just had a church on his estate that he could give to
Edward probably means that that is quite a lot of tenants in their states as well, because
usually that's why there's a church there. So that like obviously people who work for you can
go to church together. I'm assuming, I think that was the case, like what it looked like pulled off
and stuff that seems to be the case. Everyone goes to church together.
Yeah, I think so. And then obviously he would get the late the front bench cause there's the
most important. Right. And then everyone is behind going on my limited knowledge.
Which is on the states.
So I'm thinking he's obviously he's got some income from his estate and maybe with time that
that money went up, I mean, two thousands, what I found, like I said, everyone, I mean, we
need to do this. Research is difficult to pinpoint at times how much people are worth, but that
is kind of the number that I found the most.
Yeah. I think that must be about right. Did you, did you mention, look at, uh, the other
characters from sense and sensibility much, did you have a look at what they were kind of on
in comparison to Colonel Brandon?
Yeah. So I think that pretty much like all around the same ballpark actually. I mean, it might just
be a book whether people do have of less going on for them, I guess. What's really interesting
about sense and sensibility is, the Edward situation where he's meant to inherit the fortune, et
cetera. And then the fact that his mom, so the female line is able to take that away. Now I think
a lot of people think because of pride and prejudice and the fact that the estate is entailed
away from the Bennett siblings that, basically that happens in all cases. But it actually doesn't.
So, a woman can inherit property or money if she is the only direct. Uh, so, and when she
marries a settlement can assure that the property or the money stays with her children. Uh, so
we see that in the case of, lady Catherine, she's able to pass, hurt the fortune over to, lady
Underberg. And also in this case, it's Mrs. Ferris who has control of the money, even though
she's a widow, I believe it's in her name, the money. So she's able to say I'm taking it from
Edward and I'm giving it to Robert instead, even though he's the second son, I mean this
totally backfires, I think it's absolutely hilarious that she does this because Edward wants to
Mario Lisa seal and then Lucy still goes for Robert instead. And because Robin's been given
this, he no longer has to ask his mother for permission.
She rocked it. Didn't she earlier under appreciated mastermind is all losing steel. I feel.
There was nobody more calculated. Come on. I mean, seriously, that is just shocking. I feel like
you couldn't do that with anyone over then, Edward though, Edward's like enough of a
pushover in so many ways that he's just like, oh yeah, she married my brother and said like,
And the fact that everyone takes it quite well as well. They're like, oh, okay. And I'm like, that's
weird, literally engaged to the other brother, like a month ago I stopped.
How does she even manage that as well? Like that's honestly, it's very busy.
What other ball? I think they meet, she meets Robert at a ball. Doesn't she? And then straight,
pretty much straight off to it. She's well in there. So she got some good Intel pretty quickly and
She was just like, she was dead set on that particular fortune. And she was like, oh, it's not
gone. It's gone from Edward to Robert. I'm going for Robert now.
Love it. I mean, hats off too. I’m like good for her. You got to do what you gotta do.
Got to survive in this world, guys, come on.
As much as I like him, he is a bit, he's quite nice. Isn't it? You're like, That's how I would exactly
how I'd phrase it. Here's a bit of a wet blanket. Really. It's kind of like, oh, well being married to
him would probably be quite annoying.
I know. Can you imagine he never make any decision? What'd you want for tea and he’s just
like, oh, I don’t a mind, which one today or tomorrow?
Yeah. No, I think, yeah, I'd last a few months before I'd accidentally ax murder him. Hi, Robert.
So funny the way thing, that's what makes sense and sensibility secret interest in though, is
there, is that, that female line and they're able to control the money. So yeah, so if we look at
Edward after that point, once he's disinherited, , and he takes like the live in of Colonel
Brendan's 300, I think then with Eleanor's, money on top of that, it'd be like 850 pounds a year
to live on, which is quite minimal compared to you. I think Edwards inheritance was supposed
to be around 2000 pounds a year, , as well. So very similar to Colonel brands. And they're
pretty much equal in that sense when it comes to heroes, , which is really different. So pride
and prejudice were Bingley and Darcy it's so significantly different.
I didn't actually look at how much does, will it be? I mean, we know like, will it, will it be the
financial situation's quite interesting obviously, because it dictates so much of what he does in
the book, but how much has he got rocking on?
So I'm not a hundred percent sure, but Mrs. Smith's for, so she has an estate in a fortune and
that's meant to go to Willoughby, but she disinherits him upon learning that Eliza got pregnant.
And the fact that will it be refuses to marry her, , sued that's why will it be, then goes after Ms.
Gray and her 50,000 pounds? So when will it be Mary's, he's pretty well off, but I think Ms.
Smith's, fortune, I think we'd probably be in between the 2,004,000 ballpark, I think.
Again, clever boy, but he still would be like a great. Maybe that is how this all happens. Nice
little part in some parlour offer. Are you going to.
Do, how are you going to sort yourself? Well, Ms. Gray, I mean, that's impressive. 50,000
pounds. That's a massive Fort you.
Yeah. That's more than Georgeanna Darcy, right? So she is absolutely cream of the crop. Great
target go for it with,.
Honestly, and what confuses me is why she would go for Willoughby actually, if he's just cause
he was like young and youthful and good-looking and fun, but I'm like-
Yeah, maybe. Yeah. Maybe it was just a case of maybe her other options are all just old, man.
You know the usual, because we have to imagine back then, you're probably not, not going to
have a great, even if you're a fabulous city welfare, you're still going to have a pretty poor
selection of people coming after you most of the time. And if you look at all the social pressure
to make good matches as well, that cuts your pool considerably down. So maybe she was just
like, I'll marry someone hot.
Yeah. I mean, she's got the money to do so. So why not? She's got, yeah.
As long as he has behaved and doesn't gamble it all the way and stuff, then it should be fine
Well. Not the fact that he's like moping over some other woman's stale. I'm living like drunk at
people's houses, but-
I mean, it's not an ideal match. Yeah. He can cry into like golden tissues. It's fine. Yeah-
Absolutely. That's so funny. So I think insensitive sensibility then what is suggests is people all
pretty much on the same ballpark I'm guessing, was interested in the fact that it's Edward's
money goes down. The female line is obviously the dashboards doesn't and that's why they
end up in the particular where they go to, Barton cottage in the first place because their money,
doesn't pass on to them. It's it's already been, it goes to the son, the first son, from his
previous wife. So that's why they basically have no money whatsoever. So that's really
interesting that there's two different scenarios in the same book.
And I think again, if you compare it to pride and prejudice, so this is the scenario that maybe
Mary Bennett will be facing in the future. You know, think about it. The, the words scenario
when Mr. Bennett dies is going to have that exact same scenario, if you think about it. So it'd
be interesting in a way to see what she would have done if people did explore that.
Well, my days, can you imagine moving to a cottage with Mrs Bennet?
Well, I'm sure her nerves would take up most of the space.
So I think moving on from sentence sensibility, the next book that I want to look at is
persuasion. So money and persuasion is really interesting because, all though ans families to
the Elliot family actually, status wise in a really good position, since Ann's mother died, they've
gone into a bit of disarray. It would see him. Yeah. So, basically, so we'll to Elliot's four shoe
and I think is around like what, what the moment is about 10,000 pounds, which will be divided
amongst the children.
• 40:47 - 41:28
So Ann will get about 3000 pounds upon his death and potentially, but then we have to bear in
mind that he's got a lot of debt. He basically, he has to move out of his house, um, to go to his
house in town, um, because he's got so much debt and really can't afford to live properly. Um,
both of his daughters are much older, so Ann's around 27. I don't think Elizabeth is young guy.
The, so, and they're both on marriage. Um, he obviously has Ms. Clay dotted around because I
think he's thinking about, um, Marie and her, um, to try and bring some more money and I
guess, but, um, it looks like most of that, that, that fortune, the Elliot fortunate go-to you're Mr.
Elliott, I believe. And obviously Mr. Elliot, um, tries to go for an Ansel interested in Wentworth,
so it doesn't really work out too well for them. Uh, I also think, um, so we'll to Elliot's in like
debt to credit it. So I don't know if he's got a bit of a gambling problem as well, but he's like
owes other people money. Um, but it definitely says that they're, they're not in a good position
Yeah. I think isn't it, it's kind of hinted that almost part of it is, has kind of own vanity as well.
So maybe he spends a lot of money on cloves and nice furniture, you know, making
appearances better than what they are. So maybe that is a big part of it. Is he bites off more
than he can afford?
Yeah, no, I think a hundred percent, like a lot of his character is keeping up appearances. Like
he's obsessed with it. So I hundred percent agree. Like even when Anne's like, we need to
make cuts here and there he's like, no, we're not doing that because what will people think of
us in that kind of thing? I it's like, well, what Paul we're actually in reality,.
It doesn't really matter what we think if we can't live anywhere else.
And what's really interesting as we realised the tables have really turned because on originally
refused, went left first proposal because he had no faults and went with then goes off to the
ball and comes back with 25,000 pounds worth of a Fort to, and which, um, if we go with that
5% farriers adjust those, uh, I think it's just under 1,500 pounds a year, which, you know, isn't
on Bingley's level, but that's still really decent when you have nothing to begin with. Um,.
And earned as well. Again, not inherited, he's earned it. It's again, it's this whole thing where
he's done it himself. So people would have that snobbery against him, but it's, Hey, it's a good
amount of money. It's good standing. So.
I think it's impressive if you come from nowhere. And I did a little bit of research because I saw
that it was prize money and I was very confused. I was like, what is this? There's a lot lottery.
But I did a little bit of research on it. And basically, um, during the Napoleonic wars, if you were
on a ship, you were kind of, there was reward money. If you were able to capture friendships in
their crew. And basically that reward money was then split amongst everybody on the ship. If
you were the captain, you got a big of a portion of it. Um, so that's basically where
Wentworth's fortune comes from because he's at the top of the food chain is the captain and
he gets quite a lot of money out of it. Um, and like I said, it's not massive, but it is when you've
come from nothing. And you've basically earned all this money in your career. And, um, I think
that even though like obviously in the realms of persuasion and so will to Elliot, he really looks
down on Naval officers. But I think in general, if you were captain, I think you all doing quite
well at that point. Yes.
I think socially, they are quite irrespectable. I think the military is kind of different from trade
isn't it? Because the military is keeping the country safe and it has got that good connotations
of you're fighting for the right thing and all of that. So it's kind of slightly separated from
someone who sells carpets or something, you know, probably make your money doing that
too. But people are going to be like, oh right, you're fighting for your country against the French
and commanding a vessel. You know, it's got all this Gloria with it as well, so you're probably
much more respected.
Yeah, I think so. And I think along with that comes a title, even though it's not like cerebral
Lords or anything along those lines, it's still, it's still a title. Like captain Wentworth is still pretty
impressive. And um, you know, just, you know, John, oh, you.
Bob new stages, no title. Hello. I sell my carpets.
Well, yeah. Sorry, Bob. It's not happening. Get a ship and we'll talk.
Can you get yourself some prizes, man? I get down to bingo. Funny. So in terms of like
persuasion, that's pretty much, um, a lot of what I was looking at. Did you have any thoughts
on Wentworth and persuasion and income?
I think, I mean, what surprised me most about persuasion was actually how well off they are. I
think when I, every time I read it, I kind of always think of him because he's a sea captain, not
actually being as rich as he is just because again, he is earning it himself. He has done
something and I kind of have this weird vision in my head where all the people in Austen who
are super, super mega rich, like Darcy don't do anything. Say the fact that he has actually got a
profession and things like that. It's easy to forget how well-off he is. You know, that 14 is a
good fortune to have. And if you add this money into it, if she does get money, of course,
depending on the inheritance, that very well-off couple. So.
Yeah, I think so. And I mean, there's no scene that they could even have Tilden after this point.
Cause obviously and 27, which I know isn't, it's not that old, lots of people have children's their
first, but you never know in that time periods. And also you never know about this particular
situation. So if it was to be the two of them, um, or even one child, it's, it's still going to go
quite far, that money is. And I think for an, any situation is going to be good now because one
she's on like the brink of being classed as like a spinster or an old mate. And, um, two, she still
manages to marry somebody that she loves. And three he's actually in a financial situation.
That's better off than her father.
If anything, she, yeah, she's got a better life ahead. Um, her sister doesn't really pushy from
what I can remember. I don't think there's any.
Yeah. So you, Mary married, Charles who, and they're just like living, they have kids and
everything, but she doesn't seem like she's like living the best life,.
All about everything. Well, I find really interesting. I, Jane must have hated someone called
Mary, right? Every character called Mary is just totally miserable or boring, or I kind of love that.
I love this. She writes one of her like most beautiful and like loving characters. Jane. It's just,.
I love that. Just like the most beautiful all the family was named Jane like me, I mean.
Guys. If I'm writing a book, the main character who's wonderful and exciting and beautiful
name will be Izzy. Okay.
Handsome, clever, rich, perfect.
I'm putting it out there. It needs to happen. Well maybe if I find somebody else who's writing a
book, I'll say to them, I’ve got an idea for a character for you. Oh, dear so funny. So I think from
that, it's really interesting to see, um, somebody from the military is actually doing well because
from reference, some of the other characters are in the military that we see all Brittany, not like
Wickham. Obviously we see him gambling in a way all of his fortune doesn't really have any
money himself, particularly the militia. Like I didn't realise this, but that's like a specific branch
that was made for people who don't have any money or have done something bad to society.
Um, I think it's interesting that we don't actually like WIC and tries to say to Elizabeth it's
because he doesn't have any money and he's trying to make his way. But when I read that, I
was like, it's really interesting that actually Wickham could have been in the militia because of
Absolutely. Yeah, of course. That would make perfect sense. Wouldn't it? Um, I hadn't really
considered that before that it does make real logical sense cause he is a bad boy.
Oh, I didn't think about that. But I was like, considering me lies about everything else. I mean,
wha what's to say that that's not why he's in there originally. Anyway,.
I think I would, if anything, that would add an extra element of his character. I think that really
does make perfect sense. So maybe people reading it back when it was first written would
have completely got that. That's something we've lost as moderators of just understanding
that from the word go. So that was interesting.
Yeah, I know. So yeah, I think it's nice to have cats in Wentworth and him to be kind of a
successful military personnel. I like it. Um, so let's move on to the next books. The next one I
have on my list is Emma. And as we were saying that the star Emma's is like such a unique
book because our heroine is handsome, clever, rich, all of the in between she's living the
Yeah, it's great because it changes the whole framework. Look at Austen novels. We're looking
at people who are searching for husbands basically as the main drive of the whole character
journey. A lot of the time Emma doesn't need that. So she's having fun. She is playing with
society, you know, it's great. It's a really different and more comedic book I think. And that's
why it's my favourite. I just think it's really funny and has the chance to play with things that the
other one was don't necessarily have because everyone isn't in a great position. Um, but it also
shows how too much money is also possibly a bad thing in terms of just how you treat other
people in some ways like Ms. Smith has kind of carried along with her and I, the intention is
good obviously, but it is all about kind of here's my, I'm a rich person and here's my kind of
play thing vibe in some places, which is yeah,.
Yeah, no, I agree. I agree. I think you're right there. Like the fact that Emma has money means
that we don't have that same anxiety about finances in this book in the same way. Um, I think
like how are you, Smith is probably more like our usual heroines in the sense that it's kind of
uncertain. Um, and they, they even say, cause obviously Amma's convinced that Harry is in a
position to marry Mr. Elton, but, um, miss the night, at least like nobody knows what Harriet's
upbringing is. They don't know who a family are. She's obviously lives in, in like a bored in
school, so nobody really knows what's going on there. And um, I think because I'm a say
wealthy, she doesn't actually realise the bounds of what that means like financially. And I think
as read as we end up seeing it through MSIs and we kind of forget those concerns and what
it's like, if you don't have the money. And again, I think it's interesting to see, um, the Emma
and her sister actually will do okay. Even though that there's no kind of male, um, line, they'll