What would Darcy's £10,000 income be worth if he were not a fictional figure and alive today?

The answer is that is is very complicated.

History Today dealt with this in an article by Roderick Floud 'Pricing the Past' March 2019. It is often done using inflation indices which have been compiled for the past, these might be based on prices or earnings, or a combination - each giving different result. But the article suggests, as my anecdotal experience would confirm, that these give a result far too low.  People have resorted to other methods for example including taking a single commodity and using that at as the measure.   For example. you could give an idea of the buying power of a daily wage by giving it in the number of Mars Bars it could buy, or the income of a Doctor  in terms of the daily wage equivalent of unskilled labours, or Roman Legionaries.

Froud uses a site called MeasuringWorth.com which helps calculate historic value by a range of methods. Be warned it is complicated. However, I have just discovered that if you go straight to this page, then its quite simple!  www.measuringworth.com/calculators/
Froud suggests using GDP gives a better and more realistic result. Using this method Mr Darcy's income was £7m pound; the Crystal Palace cost £319m to build, and a Day's pay for a WW1 soldier was £16.50, his colonel would have been paid £462.

Using the price index suggests the cost of the Crystal Palace was a mere £8.7m, £66.3m  by the earnings index. This still seems low.  The GDP index,  by contrast, suggests a cost of £319m.  This appears more realistic but is it?  So he looks for a modern parallel  and notes that the  Dome cost £700m. So the GDP index of £319m is much more realistic than the other indices but you could conclude that finding a modern parallel is the best method. 

Darcy's income of £10,000 is a mere £620,000 by the price's income, calculated by the inflation rate makes it £620,000 still far short of the GDP index of £7m.  This  still seems low to me.  A quick google of the Duke of Chatsworth says he is worth £800m, lets say he gets a 5% return on that this would give an annual income of £40m.   My reason for choosing the Duke is that some think Austen based Pemberley on Chatsworth.  Darcy was not however titled.  So  lets be conservative and say Darcy has an annual income equivalent to £20m.

But your guess is as good as mine..

  Measuring Worth


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