What is the best way to explain the pre-decimal British Pound in a text that has multiple references to it.

I already have something written to explain how to convert from pre-decimal to post-decimal to add as an appendix, along with something to help convert the value (i.e £x y shillings and z pence in 1935 = £x.xx in 2020.

However: The text has multiple references to money spanning several decades, thus it becomes not just about converting from £sd to £p but accounting for inflation as well as £1 in 1935 doesn't amount to £1 in 1945 for example.

Leaving a footnote for each and every monetary reference seems overly messy as some pages have several such references.

Is there a better way to deal with this?

  • Your formula leaves out the shilling and pence? Should be "£x, y shilling, z pence = £x.yz" perhaps? Anyway... You could give readers vital information by following all historic values with current values, as in, "He paid £30 8 shillings (£90 in 2021). You could state in an initial footnote that all historic monetary values are followed by the current value in parentheses, and explain that current values are converted to current decimal valuation and adjusted for inflation to a specific year. You would not need to repeat the qualifying words "today" or "in 2021" after the explanation.
    – user8356
    May 19 at 14:56

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