I turned in my grades for the last math course I will ever teach this spring. I’m retiring. As a math teacher, I pay more attention to numbers than the average person does. Jane Austen gave almost no descriptions of characters, but she gives many numbers. See how many you remember.

Money

How much was the annual income from Pemberley?

How large was Miss Bingley’s fortune?

How much money did Mr. Bennet have to give Wickham every year?

How much money does Mr. Bennet think that Wickham should have asked for in order to marry Lydia?

How much money did Wickham receive for giving up the living at Kympton?

Distance (This includes distances measured in either time or miles.)

How far was the Gardiners home from Longbourn?

How far was Longbourn from Meryton?

How far apart were Netherfield Park and Longbourn?

How many hours did it take for Elizabeth to travel from Hunsford to the Gardiners?

How far is Pemberley from Lambton

Comparisons

Which Bennet daughter was the tallest?

Who was heavier, Elizabeth or Jane?

Coincidental answers

How many children did the Gardiners have?

How old was Mr. Darcy when Mrs. Reynolds first met him?

How many sides of paper were in Georgiana’s letter where she wrote enthusiastically about Elizabeth marrying Darcy?

Miscellaneous

How old was Mr. Collins?

How many years before Darcy’s letter, the one he gave Elizabeth, did his father die?

Tricky questions

What is the minimum number of children in the Lucas family?

Approximately, what is the size of the park at Pemberley.

How many times have you read Pride and Prejudice?

Answers

(Click “Show me the answers!” below to see the answers!

£10,000. The income from Mr. Bennet’s estate was £2,000. Mr. Bingley’s income was at least £4,000. Mrs. Bennet optimistically speculated that it might be £5,000

£20,000

£100. That is eight pounds and four shillings a month.

£10,000. This is Darcy’s income from Pemberley. I don’t think that is coincidence.

£3,000

24 miles

One mile

Three miles

Four hours

Five miles or less

Lydia

Jane. This is mentioned when Elizabeth and Jane are running to find what Mr. Gardiner wrote her father.

Four

Four

Four

25. Interestingly, he was usually portrayed by much older actors. I checked four different versions of Pride and Prejudice movies, and the actors ranged from 33 to 44 years old.

Five

Seven. Charlotte, Maria, and a seven-year-old boy are specifically mentioned. More information is given in the following passage, which occurs just after Charlotte became engaged to Mr. Collins

The younger girls formed hopes of coming out a year or two sooner than they might otherwise have done; and the boys were relieved from their apprehension of Charlotte’s dying an old maid.

Since it is unlikely that the seven-year-old was concerned about Charlotte’s marital status, that means there were at least two boys who were older than the seven-year-old boy. Maria Lucas is out, since she danced at the Assembly. This means there must be two younger girls. Thus, three boys and four girls. It’s possible there were several more children.

About eight square miles or over 5,000 acres. This assumes that Pemberley is roughly circular, and that the ten-mile figure given for the path around Pemberley is the true circumference and doesn’t meander. If it follows the terrain, the actual circumference could be considerably less. But again, the path is probably not actually on the edge. It could be a hundred feet or more from the boundary.

I will add an irrelevant side note. I graded homework, including some problems that had answers in the back of the textbook. Some students do homework by copying down those answers. Sometimes, such as with trig identities, the textbook can’t give a single answer. It is common in that case to write, “Answers vary” which some students copied. One of those misspelled “vary.”

They had to show their work. I had two stamps, which I gave away a few days ago. One said NO WORK=NO CREDIT. Another, for the student who tried but gave up and wrote down the answer from the back of the book said, YOUR WORK DOES NOT SUPPORT YOUR ANSWER.

24 Responses to Twenty Math Questions about Pride and Prejudice

Congratulations on your retirement! As for the quiz…eh, I got a few right. I didn’t remember that there were so many Lucas children! No wonder poor Charlotte was worried about her future.

Interesting. I did not keep score but guessed without looking at the answers in the book or here. I got some right, some close and some wrong. Of course, close is still wrong. Thanks for sharing.

I got most of them correct. I couldn’t remember how many hours from Hunsford to London, and I didn’t bother trying to figure out 18 and 19. I knew the Lucas’s have a large family though! And while I don’t mind math, it has been over 25 years since I did anything other than basic arithmetic or early-level algebra. And I had four different work crews working on my house today while I was here with 5 kids, so I think I can get a pass on being intellectually lazy tonight! Love your stories though, and I really enjoyed this numbers-themed post. Thanks!

Intellectual laziness in relation to mathematics needs no excuse when reading a blog on JAFF. The fact that you use any algebra at all indicates you are more comfortable with math than most people.

I’m glad you enjoyed the post and even more glad you love our stories.

Congrats on retirement, Renata. Well deserved I’m sure. Hope you can fill all that ‘extra time’ with pleasurable pursuits (including more writing.)

I missed 5, couldn’t remember the parts that mentioned all the Lucas siblings, and didn’t know how many miles between Longbourn and the Gardiners. But it was a really fun little quiz….probably because I thought I did ok. I didn’t feel too awful with not getting 5.

I admire anyone who is so skilled and gifted at math….and you’re an author too! So much to admire.

Congratulations on your retirement!! I missed 5 of the math questions…math was never my forte (still isn’t) but I did learn something I missed before. I loved History and English though!

Middle school math teacher here. Enjoyed your number-based questions. I was surprised about the number of children in the Lucas family.
Love your stamps. I could use them, for sure. It’s an ongoing struggle to get kids to show work. Can’t believe a student actually copied “Answers vary.”

Turning in those final grades is a great feeling! Enjoy your retirement!

I mentioned the “answers vary” in a department meeting. One person expressed disbelief. Another teacher said she had seen it. In fairness, I only saw it twice.

Well, I found I was a tad off on about five. Way off on the Lucas children. Mileage and money was my forte. And when my daughter and I work on book covers, I do the math. It confounds her. Probably what helps me most was the fact I took eleven years of classical piano. Thank you, Renata, for the fun post. I enjoyed stretching my brain. And I’m pleased. I last read Pride and Prejudice nearly five years ago. Enjoy your retirement. 🙂

Congratulations on your retirement! As for the quiz…eh, I got a few right. I didn’t remember that there were so many Lucas children! No wonder poor Charlotte was worried about her future.

Congrats on your retirement. I am terrible at remembering figures so I did very poorly on the quiz.

Congratulations on retiring, and thanks for a fun quiz! Even as many times as I’ve been through the book I was still stumped on some of these. 🙂

Thank you.

I’m glad you enjoyed the quiz.

Love these details, because whenever I wonder about these things, I can never seem to find them. Thanks for your post.

Thank you.

I had to do some searching to confirm my answers.

Interesting. I did not keep score but guessed without looking at the answers in the book or here. I got some right, some close and some wrong. Of course, close is still wrong. Thanks for sharing.

I stopped giving out grades, but if I gave them here, close might get part credit. I’m glad you found it interesting.

I got most of them correct. I couldn’t remember how many hours from Hunsford to London, and I didn’t bother trying to figure out 18 and 19. I knew the Lucas’s have a large family though! And while I don’t mind math, it has been over 25 years since I did anything other than basic arithmetic or early-level algebra. And I had four different work crews working on my house today while I was here with 5 kids, so I think I can get a pass on being intellectually lazy tonight! Love your stories though, and I really enjoyed this numbers-themed post. Thanks!

Intellectual laziness in relation to mathematics needs no excuse when reading a blog on JAFF. The fact that you use any algebra at all indicates you are more comfortable with math than most people.

I’m glad you enjoyed the post and even more glad you love our stories.

Congratulations on your retirement! Blessings on your new adventure! I’m not a fan of math.

Thank you.

Most people aren’t math fans.

Congrats on retirement, Renata. Well deserved I’m sure. Hope you can fill all that ‘extra time’ with pleasurable pursuits (including more writing.)

I missed 5, couldn’t remember the parts that mentioned all the Lucas siblings, and didn’t know how many miles between Longbourn and the Gardiners. But it was a really fun little quiz….probably because I thought I did ok. I didn’t feel too awful with not getting 5.

I admire anyone who is so skilled and gifted at math….and you’re an author too! So much to admire.

Thank you. I always enjoyed math, but now I’m finding writing is more fun.

I only missed 3! <3 Congrats on your retirement!

Good for you!

Thank you.

I am such a math person that I briefly read part of your comment as “three factorial is less than 3”

It took me a second or two to reinterpret …3! <3 correctly.

Congratulations on your retirement!! I missed 5 of the math questions…math was never my forte (still isn’t) but I did learn something I missed before. I loved History and English though!

I was terrible in English and thus was not fond of it. I needed a word processor before I could write well. Perhaps, I also needed maturity.

Middle school math teacher here. Enjoyed your number-based questions. I was surprised about the number of children in the Lucas family.

Love your stamps. I could use them, for sure. It’s an ongoing struggle to get kids to show work. Can’t believe a student actually copied “Answers vary.”

Turning in those final grades is a great feeling! Enjoy your retirement!

They were really final grades!

I mentioned the “answers vary” in a department meeting. One person expressed disbelief. Another teacher said she had seen it. In fairness, I only saw it twice.

Well, I found I was a tad off on about five. Way off on the Lucas children. Mileage and money was my forte. And when my daughter and I work on book covers, I do the math. It confounds her. Probably what helps me most was the fact I took eleven years of classical piano. Thank you, Renata, for the fun post. I enjoyed stretching my brain. And I’m pleased. I last read Pride and Prejudice nearly five years ago. Enjoy your retirement. 🙂

I’m glad you enjoyed it.

Summer does our book covers, including any math involved.

As a math professor, my mind goes to numbers quite often as well. 🙂

Thank you for this great quiz, Renata and congratulations on turning in your final grades!

Thank you.

I am happy to know that there are others who like both math and Jane Austen.