spring edition of Lapham's Quarterly has a run down of what writers from previous centuries earned at their day jobs and what that salary would look like today if adjusted for inflation.
Anthony Trollope was a postal surveyor and earned )in today's dollars) $35,000-$50,000. Charlotte Bronte, a governess, only earned $1,838. T.S. Eliot, a clerk for Lloyd's Bank of London, earned between $18-$31,000.