The Bank Of England confirmed the news last week, revealing that Austen would replace the current £10 star, Charles Dickens, from 2017.
Earlier this year, it was revealed that Winston Churchill would replace Elizabeth Fry on £5 notes. An online petition was launched to make sure that a woman other than the Queen would remain on UK banknotes. The campaign – set up by The Women’s Room and bought to the public eye by Caroline Criado-Perez – saw over 30,000 add their signature to the bid. A group of 46 female MPs also wrote to the Bank of England’s governor, Mark Carney, and the Prime Minister to make sure that women stayed on bank notes.
At the time, a representative from the Bank of England said: “The Bank did consider the representation of women when selecting the next figure to feature on a banknote. The selection decision was made taking into account objectively selected criteria. Four candidates, three men a woman, were considered when Sir Winston Churchill was chosen as the historical character to appear on the next new banknote, and the female candidate was chosen as the contingency candidate.”
Chancellor George Osborne was one of the first to tweet about the plans, writing: “Mark Carney’s choice of Jane Austen as face of £10 note is great. After understandable row over lack of women, shows sense and sensibility.”
Oh George, you joker, you.
Mark Carney said that Austen ‘certainly merits a place in the select group of historical figures to appear on our banknotes’, adding: “Her novels have an enduring and universal appeal and she is recognised as one of the greatest writers in English literature.”
The portrait of Austen that will be used on the note was sketched by her sister Cassandra, and will be matched with a number of mini features, including a quote from Pride And Prejudice (“I declare there is no enjoyment like reading!”, an illustration of Austen’s most famous heroine, Lizzie Bennet.
Winston Churchill will be printed on £5 notes from 2016, whilst it is thought that Jane Austen’s £10 note will go into circulation in 2017.