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Pride & Prejudice Pilgrimage: So This is Cheapside

Pride & Prejudice Pilgrimage: So This is Cheapside
In Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, the Bennets were much sneered at by the Bingley sisters and even Mr. Darcy, for having a relative in business in the Cheapside of London.

I suppose in the 1800s, wealth alone wasn't enough to make one respectable. The wealth must be passed down by land-owning aristocratic ancestors for someone to be truly respected in high society. In Pride and Prejudice, the Gardiners (sister and brother-in-law to Mrs. Bennet) made their fortune in business (as opposed to owning acres of land) and resided on Gracechurch Street in Cheapside. For that, they're considered not good enough for Mr. Darcy's acquaintance, no matter how well-educated or how well-mannered they were.

But that was the early 1800s, Cheapside today is in the heart of London's financial district. The real estate there is anything but cheap.

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