Pride and Prejudice

Where do the rich men like Darcy and Bingley get their money from?

Jane Austen often mentions income to express the wealth of a character, but I never saw her specifically stating what Mr. Bingley or Mr. Darcy did for a living. "Trade" was as specific as she would get. What kind of trade is she referring to? Why was she so ambiguous regarding this yet frequently states figures?

Could it be the slave trade that was common during that time?

How would this affect the story? In other words how different would the story be if Austen was more specific?

Your answers will be useful and highly appreciated!

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Last updated by Aslan
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England was extremely class oriented. That is wealth was seldom self made rather inherited through generations of family lineage. Rich people died rich and poor people died poor, for the most part. Men like Darcy and Bingley come from "old money" or aristocratic families that trace their wealth through the generations. I'd be skeptical about the whole slave-trade idea. Trade probably meant items. Often trade included colonies of Britain (like India...). I think social class was Austin's point here rather than a moral statement as to how a specific family derived their wealth.