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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, 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.
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