Tantalizer 275: Premonitions - From New Scientist #826, 28th December 1972 [link] “Methinks I am a prophet new inspir’d”, says John of Gaunt in Act II of Shakespeare’s King Richard II. I...
Friday, July 18, 2008
Illustration Friday - Enough
Digital collage based on my own version of the only portrait, from life, of Jane Austen that exists.
Today, 18th July 2008, it is exactly 191 years since the death of Jane Austen and I just happen to have been going through a Jane Austen season recently, hence this image.
Money and marriage are her themes. And how much money is enough is a common thread. Miss So-and-so with so many thousand pounds is a common way to describe an unmarried woman. The marriage market required money or breeding, preferably both.
I wanted to know just how much this was in today's terms. According to one source (measuringworth.co.uk), £10,000 then is the equivalent of over half a million pounds now. It would have been invested in government bonds that gave a steady income of 5% per year (sorry I've lost that source), so was the equivalent of an annual income of £25,000 now (or $50,000 in US dollars).
No wonder the wealthy Emma, with £30,000, could pick and choose and need not have married at all.
Most of the heroines are not so lucky and Jane Austen experiments with a mixture of bad luck financially and a variety of backgrounds setting herself the puzzle of how to get them from this position to some sort of happy ever after. And being a romantic at heart she was also determined that her favourites would at least like, if not fall madly in love, with their future husbands!
More than enough Enoughs at Illustration Friday.