Jane Austen Featured on New £10 Note

Writer Jane Austen was known for her realism, her social commentary on the role of women in 18th century society, and her vivid characters. Now, her image will adorn the £10 plastic note. Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, revealed the new £10 note to the public this Thursday. The new note will be released to the general public on September 14, marking the two-hundredth. anniversary of Austen’s death.
The Royal Mint has also released a new £2 coin into circulation with a bust of the author, a limited circulation coin commemorating the great novelist’s contributions to literature.
The news came with a number of controversies.
The £10 plastic note contains the same material as the £5 note. This note controversially used animal fat, which many vegans and religious groups found unacceptable last September. Over a hundred-thousand signatures have signed a petition to ban the new note, which contains tallow, an animal product.
However, a greater controversy and slight embarrassment was caused by the choice of quote for the new note. The quotation reads: “I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading!” The quotes comes from Pride and Prejudice, and aims to encourage British citizens to read more books. However, the Bank of England seems to have missed the context of the quote, which is uttered by Caroline Bingley. In the novel, Ms. Bingley has no interest in books at all, but simply says the line to woo Mr. Darcy. Overlooking the context seems to many a major oversight, one that overlooks the subjectivity of 18th century women, a theme that Austen tried to capture. Mr. Carney defended the quote, stating that it captures the “spirit” of Jane Austen, saying: “It draws out some of the essence of some of her social satire and her insight into people’s character. So it works on multiple levels.”