Citywire for Financial Professionals
Share this page:
Stay connected:

Citywire printed articles sponsored by:

View the article online at

Jane Austen to appear on £10 banknote

Charles Darwin will be replaced by the novelist as the face of the £10 note.


by Michelle McGagh on Jul 24, 2013 at 15:30

Jane Austen to appear on £10 banknote

Jane Austen, one of Britain’s greatest novelists, will appear on future £10 notes as wartime leader Winston Churchill replaces social reformer Elizabeth Fry on the £5 banknote.

The decision to oust Fry from the £5 note, which was taken by former Bank of England governor Mervyn King, caused a furore earlier in the year and led to the creation of a 30,000-signature protest against the female-free line up of English banknotes.

The petition argued that having no women except the Queen represented on notes relegated the achievements of females throughout history.

On taking over the job of Bank governor, one of the first things Mark Carney (pictured) did was to review the banknote debacle.

Now the Bank has said Austen, who wrote Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park and Emma, will appear on the £10 banknote within a year after Churchill replaces Fry on the £5 note in 2016.

Austen will replace scientist Charles Darwin, best known for his theory of evolution, who has appeared on the £10 note since 2000.

Carney said: ‘Jane Austen certainly merits a place in the select group of historical figures to appear on our banknotes. Her novels have an enduring and universal appeal and she is recognised as one of the greatest writers in English literature.'

He added that the figures on English banknotes would ‘celebrate a diverse range of individuals who have contributed to a wide range of fields’.

What’s on the Jane Austen note?

The design of the new £10 banknote incorporates a number of images of Austen and places of relevance to her:

  • The main image of Austen is a portrait commissioned by her nephew and produced by artist James Andrews from a sketch original drawn by Austen’s sister Cassandra. It is now in the National Portrait Gallery.
  • The quote: ‘I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading’ is from Pride and Prejudice, the 200th anniversary of which will be celebrated this year.
  • The illustration of Austen writing is by Isabel Bishop who also illustrated the 1976 edition of Pride and Prejudice.
  • The house featured is Godmersham Park, which was home to Austen’s brother and is believed to be the inspiration for a number of her novels.
  • In the background is the image of Austen’s 12-sided writing desk that is now housed in the Jane Austen’s House Museum. The background image also incorporates quills which Austen would have used to write.

2 comments so far. Why not have your say?

Jimmy Gibbs

Jul 24, 2013 at 17:36

Really, that's the best they could come up with? That's more an insult to female figures in history than having none was.

I don't know whose bloody idea it was to change it anyway. Elizabeth Fry's work in pushing through the revolution of the judiciary system was absolutely paramount on our road to modern, humane society.

report this

Ian Lees

Jul 24, 2013 at 22:07

Good to see Jane Austen on the side of a British Note . Following the tradition of Great's on the Bonk of Scotland and the Scottish tradition of Sir Walter Scott - and Robbie Burns. Interesting for those golfers and the recent revelations near Edinburgh - where the Open held at Muirfield . . and the joke the difference between a woman and a dog at Muirfield is a dog can get a drink of water ! As the golf closed with some great golf - the lack of SNPleader ( lax sSalmond as he is sometimes known ) and . . . first minister ( as if there was a second ? ) . . . was nowhere to be seen waving his wee saltire . At the end of the meeting it was announced that " the Honourable Gentlemen of Edinburgh's", golf tournament - had concluded . . . it left us wondering if there are any "honourable women" in Edinburgh - or do they know their place - under the Presbyterians ?

report this

leave a comment

Please sign in here or register here to comment. It is free to register and only takes a minute or two.

Sponsored By:

Weekly email from The Lolly

Get simple, easy ways to make more from your money. Just enter your email address below

An error occured while subscribing your email. Please try again later.

Thank you for registering for your weekly newsletter from The Lolly.

Keep an eye out for us in your inbox, and please add to your safe senders list so we don't get junked.

Latest from The Lolly


Diary of a Dumb Investor: I'm Russian for returns

by Dumb Investor on Apr 17, 2014 at 15:01

Sorry, this link is not
quite ready yet