Jane Austen Will Be the New Face of the 10 Pound Note
1:45 pm, July 25th | by Grace Rasmus
Ladies and literature aficionados, rejoice! In some non-#RoyalBaby British news, the Bank of England announced today that it will issue 10-pound notes featuring the image of Jane Austen starting in 2017.
“Jane Austen certainly merits a place in the select group of historical figures to appear on our banknotes,” Mark Carney, the bank’s governor, said Wednesday in a statement. “Her novels have an enduring and universal appeal and she is recognized as one of the greatest writers in English literature.”
(They should’ve titled the press release “Cents & Sensibility”. Ha! Yes, I really did just make that joke.)
This is a great idea. In addition to being a celebration of one of Britain’s most influential writers — as Lev Grossman at Time points out, “More than any other writer in English, she has defined the structure and tone and feel of the novel for the past 200 years. If that’s not enough to get you on money, I don’t know what is.” — Austen’s selection also serves as a response to what critics have called a currency gender imbalance.
The controversy began earlier this year when the bank announced it would replace the 19th-century social reformer Elizabeth Fry with wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill on the five-pound note. Though Churchill is still revered for his World War II leadership, the change led to protests because no other woman – besides Queen Elizabeth II – is currently represented on Britain’s currency. Austen will replace Charles Darwin, who has been the face of the 10-pound note since 2000.
Just for fun, here’s my shortlist of American ladies whom I’d love to see peaking out of my wallet one day:
- Beyoncé (duh)
- The first female president (whomever she may be)
- Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, together, posing like this
- Amelia Earhart
- Myself (big dreams~*~)
Who’s on your list?