Twenty Math Questions about Pride and Prejudice

Twenty Math Questions about Pride and Prejudice

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

  1. How much was the annual income from Pemberley?
  2. How large was Miss Bingley’s fortune?
  3. How much money did Mr. Bennet have to give Wickham every year?
  4. How much money does Mr. Bennet think that Wickham should have asked for in order to marry Lydia?
  5. How much money did Wickham receive for giving up the living at Kympton?

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

  1. How far was the Gardiners home from Longbourn?
  2. How far was Longbourn from Meryton?
  3. How far apart were Netherfield Park and Longbourn?
  4. How many hours did it take for Elizabeth to travel from Hunsford to the Gardiners?
  5. How far is Pemberley from Lambton

Comparisons

  1. Which Bennet daughter was the tallest?
  2. Who was heavier, Elizabeth or Jane?

Coincidental answers

  1. How many children did the Gardiners have?
  2. How old was Mr. Darcy when Mrs. Reynolds first met him?
  3. How many sides of paper were in Georgiana’s letter where she wrote enthusiastically about Elizabeth marrying Darcy?

Miscellaneous

  1. How old was Mr. Collins?
  2. How many years before Darcy’s letter, the one he gave Elizabeth, did his father die?

Tricky questions

  1. What is the minimum number of children in the Lucas family?
  2. Approximately, what is the size of the park at Pemberley.
  3. How many times have you read Pride and Prejudice?

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.

How did you do on the quiz?

23 Responses to Twenty Math Questions about Pride and Prejudice

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

  5. 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.

    • 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.

  6. 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!

  7. 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.

  8. 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. 🙂

  9. 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!

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