Pride and Prejudice

We were wondering why the very wealthy Mr. Darcy isn't called Lord Darcy or some other title. Story set in early 1800s when most of the wealth in England was in the hands of the titled aristocracy.

Did we miss something? Any thoughts?

Apparently, a more than a few people have wondered the same:

The PBS version of P&P is much better than the movie's.



A quick look at Austen's characters shows that most of the major landowners are not titled.  Titled landowners owned huge estates like Chatsworth or Blenheim which would be substantially larger than the fictional Pemberly.

Pride & Prejudice:  Mr. Bennet, Mr. Bingley, Mr. Darcy whereas Sir William Lucas was newly knighted (and clearly an upstart) and there is of course Lady Catherine deBurgh

Persuasion:  the Musgroves are major landowners but not titled; Anne's father Sir Walter Eliot is an impoverished baronet

Mansfield Park:  Mr. Rushworth, Mr. Crawford; Sir Thomas Bertram

Sense & Sensibility:  the Dashwoods, Ferrars, and Willoughby, Sir John Middleton is the only titled character

I don't think there are any titled characters in Emma or Northanger Abbey.  The Abbey would have been purchased by a wealthy family when Henry VIII seized land from the Catholic Church in the 1530s.  

Also, IMHO the film version that is truest to the book is the 1980s version with Elizabeth Garvie

As you can see from my screen name, this is a topic close to my heart!

I researched this a little. One main reason was Mr Darcy at the end of the book was around 28;too young. Election to the peerage was around 50-60 years of age. If there had been a sequel maybe someday he would have been Lord Darcy.

Thank you all. Quite enlightening!

EBennett said:

Also, IMHO the film version that is truest to the book is the 1980s version with Elizabeth Garvie

 The 1980 version is on Amazon Prime, I'll check it out.



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