gentry, landed gentry:

The landed gentry is the class from which most Jane Austen characters were drawn. They are below the nobility but may include the lower ranks of the titled, like baronets and knights. Fitzwilliam Darcy, for all his pride, is from this class, as is Mr. Bennet. Their status was also marked by the amount of land they owned and how long their family had owned it (see entailed above). Their income was derived from the land they owned (landed gentry) and farmed. Often, they did not directly farm their land but instead rented it to other gentlemen (the gentry). If you actually worked with your hands, you were not a gentleman and so they usually had managers who handled the actual business of running the estate.

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