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Mr. Darcy's Job

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BubblesTheMonkey I was wondering if anyone knew what Mr. Darcy's job was? Also, what was Bingley's job? Did they even have any?


Gretchen They were Gentleman meaning they had no occupation and lived off of inherited family wealthy.


BubblesTheMonkey Ok. :) I was never actually sure. It didn't seem that they had a job but just wondering.


Gretchen Yep. It is weird but in that era if you worked you were looked down upon a little. You were considered common. This theme comes up often in her novels especially Sense and Sensibility.


Maria Working, in that day and age meant that you did not inherited enough lands and consequently rents to live off during the year - that´s why they refer to as having 5 000a year or 10 000 - it meant that they had rents and income that went to those values,which allowed them to not work - be a gentleman:go to London on the season, for the Opera and theaters and balls at Court and then, in the in the summer to go to the country, where the air was cleaner,to escape the heat and pestilence of London.


Jane Maria wrote: "Working, in that day and age meant that you did not inherited enough lands and consequently rents to live off during the year - that´s why they refer to as having 5 000a year or 10 000 - it meant t..."

Thanks for that! I've read a lot of Jane Austen but never understood what it meant.


Kathleen Brooks It also means that while they did not work int he sense of working the land or being an attorney like Mr. Gardner, they did have to run the estate and look out for their tenants. That is where their "work" came in. Managing their money and investments too.


Maria Jane wrote: "Maria wrote: "Working, in that day and age meant that you did not inherited enough lands and consequently rents to live off during the year - that´s why they refer to as having 5 000a year or 10 00..."

You are very welcome - if you read Vanity Fair you will also find references to gentleman and comoners, in that same sense.

Kathleen - i forgot about that: yes, they had to manage the money or either, the 5 000 or 10 000 a year would not amount to much, if they didn´t manage it well.


Erin W Mr. Darcy's estate, Pemberley, isn't just his house, but also the small village nearby. So he would have the management of his own affairs and also probably a hand in overseeing the town affairs. When the housemaid or nurse or whoever is giving Elizabeth the tour of the house, she remarks about how all the townspeople love Darcy because he's so generous, so we know that he is good at his "job." An Austen example of being poor at the job is Sir Walter Eliot in Persuasion, who mismanages everything to the point of them having to rent out their own house and live in smaller quarters.

One thing you'll find about Jane Austen is that she had an amazing understanding of economics.


message 10: by Blue (new) - rated it 4 stars

Blue I think he just managed the lands and finances and checked up on his tenants, and he lives off the rent they pay and the harvest. It all goes to him because he owns the land.


message 11: by K. (new) - rated it 5 stars

K. K. Mr. Darcy had income from other sources as well. There is some indication of vast land holdings beyond Pemberley as well as businesses.


Joanna Mikalis Perfect explanation


message 13: by Shantel (new)

Shantel Gardner My friend sent me this, becauce we were discussing this very topic over the phone a few days ago. My History Professor at the University of Minnesota, mentioned that in order for Darcy to have the wealth Jane Austen said he did, and the land holdings, not to mention the community respect, he would have had to had a plantation (sugar or tobbaco- to be processed in England, and helping the economy there) somewhere in America or the West indies, and been a slave holder.


message 14: by Shantel (new)

Shantel Gardner Purely fictionally though....


message 15: by Erin (new) - rated it 5 stars

Erin W I've never heard that about Mr. Darcy. It's well-established, however, that the Bertrams' (Mansfield Park) fortune comes from slave labor.


Breezy Thank you for clarifying. I can't keep income nor title in Austen's world straight. What is Darcy's title? And is Anne Elliot - Persuasion, of higher class than Darcy?


message 17: by Erin (new) - rated it 5 stars

Erin W Anne's father is a Baron, which is why he's addressed as Sir Walter Eliot. That makes her the daughter of a baron which makes her part of the upper class; still the title is meaningless to her as she can't inherit it and it will be superceded by Wentworth's standing (Navy Captain) when they marry anyway. A baronetcy is inherited, not merit-based, which is why we see Sir Walter who can't even keep his family financially afloat, and Sir William Lucas (in Pride and Prejudice) that the Bingley sisters make fun of.

As for Darcy, I actually have no idea if he is titled. I am sure no one ever addresses him as "Sir Darcy." I would put Darcy and the Eliots on about equal footing, although the Eliots are going down in the world. Darcy was born rich, but he's also a shrewd manager, so he is probably on the rise.

There's an amazing overview of Austens' characters' relative wealth in the The Cambridge Companion to Jane Austen. The article is just called "Money."


Breezy Erin wrote: "Anne's father is a Baron, which is why he's addressed as Sir Walter Eliot. That makes her the daughter of a baron which makes her part of the upper class; still the title is meaningless to her as s..."

Thanks!


message 19: by Mia (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mia I always assumed Mr. Darcy just got by on his looks ;)


Kagama-the Literaturevixen Rachel wrote: "I was wondering if anyone knew what Mr. Darcy's job was? Also, what was Bingley's job? Did they even have any?"

Professional Gentleman ;)


message 21: by Amy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Amy Tolbert Breezy wrote: "Thank you for clarifying. I can't keep income nor title in Austen's world straight. What is Darcy's title? And is Anne Elliot - Persuasion, of higher class than Darcy?"

Erin wrote: "Anne's father is a Baron, which is why he's addressed as Sir Walter Eliot. That makes her the daughter of a baron which makes her part of the upper class; still the title is meaningless to her as s..."

Mr. Darcy does not have a title himself, but his mother's family was titled. His aunt is Lady Catherine, his uncle is an Earl (Colonel Fitzwilliam's father), and his mother would have been a lady as well. His father's family was not titled, but was wealthy and distinguished. Darcy himself would have been part of the upper circles of society.


Maria As Lady Catherine summs up for Lizzy, when she goes to Longbourn to undo the supposed engagament, his (Darcy)mother was of very ancient families and his father was of very rich provenance and of good families - don´t know if i putted this correctly.

So, in Lady catherine´s eyes, Lizzy, as a gentleman´s daughter was not fit for Darcy although, as she points out correctly, they had similar titles, since Darcy is a gentleman.


Kagama-the Literaturevixen Maria wrote: "As Lady Catherine summs up for Lizzy, when she goes to Longbourn to undo the supposed engagament, his (Darcy)mother was of very ancient families and his father was of very rich provenance and of go..."

They were both of "quality" So while Lady Catherine might think Mr Darcy married down he was marrying within his own class.

It would have been a whole different matter if Elizabeth was a "cit" Because that would have been seen as shocking. People in the regency era was starting to marry for love instead of convience but it was not as free as today.


Maria They might have been starting to marry for love but the monetary considerations were still a big issue and since women were not free to choose - it was their father´s decision, always.


message 25: by Erin (new) - rated it 5 stars

Erin W it was their father´s decision, always.
Well, that's not exactly true. It's not even true in P&P. The parents gave approval, but it's not like they hand-picked the man and pushed the girl down the aisle. (I'm sure a lot of them did, but definitely not all nor always.)


Maria The excpetions make the rule - yes, and the men were freer to make their own personnal choices rather than women, but for most of them, their marriage partner was a family business as all social visits were very much controled and they would not run around on FB or exchanging text with each other.....


Terri Bearhope Hi - when it comes to titles. A lord would be 'Lord Darcy' (surname) and a knight or baronet would be 'Sir Fitzwilliam' (first name).
Re: incomes. There are still many people who have 'private' incomes - they make their money from inherited estate profits, rents, investments, etc. They don't have to do a 'proper', 9 to 5, job. You and I just don't bump into them every day :)


message 28: by Kagama-the Literaturevixen (last edited Feb 10, 2012 02:18AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kagama-the Literaturevixen Terri wrote: "Hi - when it comes to titles. A lord would be 'Lord Darcy' (surname) and a knight or baronet would be 'Sir Fitzwilliam' (first name).
Re: incomes. There are still many people who have 'private' i..."


*tries to imagine how they spend their day*

10.00 :Breakfast with caviar and quail eggs
11.00 Start dressing
12.30 Finish dressing
12.40:Take the Bentley to London town
13.25:Arrive at your club
17.15.Leave club

etc lol

I have no idea how those people spend the day...


Terri Bearhope Kagama wrote: "Terri wrote: "Hi - when it comes to titles. A lord would be 'Lord Darcy' (surname) and a knight or baronet would be 'Sir Fitzwilliam' (first name).
Re: incomes. There are still many people who ha..."


That probably sums it up!
Seriously, though, most of the people I know who have that kind of income spend a lot of time managing their interests and doing charity work of one kind or another. Much like Mr Darcy, really.
Your timetable sounds great to me Kagama but I bet it would be mind numbing!!


Chris Kagama wrote: "Terri wrote: "Hi - when it comes to titles. A lord would be 'Lord Darcy' (surname) and a knight or baronet would be 'Sir Fitzwilliam' (first name).
Re: incomes. There are still many people who ha..."


LOL! Your timeline reminds me of Bertie's from the PG Wodehouse stories. He'd get up late, Jeeves would get him dressed, then he'd go out to the club. He always seemed to find lots of trouble though.


Maria Love the timetable - wouldn´t mind one day like that, every week. Only one, because more i would be numb and dumb.....


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Books mentioned in this topic

Pride and Prejudice (other topics)
Persuasion (other topics)
Mansfield Park (other topics)
The Cambridge Companion to Jane Austen (other topics)