LONDON — Jane Austen will become the new face on England’s 10-pound notes – in an attempt to add a little pride and fight the prejudice against women on the country’s currency.
The Bank of England chose the chronicler of 18th century English country life as the new face of the note, bowing to critics who complained that the venerable institution was ignoring women on their currency.
“Jane Austen certainly merits a place in the select group of historical figures to appear on our banknotes,” the bank’s new governor Mark Carney 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.”
From The Guardian – Why that Jane Austen quotation on the new £10 note is a major blunder
Yet surely there has been a blunder. The new note displays an image of Austen based on the only certain surviving portrait of her, a drawing by her sister Cassandra. Fine. It also blazons forth some of the great writer’s immortal words. You can imagine being the Bank of England employee given the task of finding the telling Austen quotation. Something about reading, perhaps? A quick text search in Pride and Prejudice turns up just the thing: “I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading!”
While it is a great quote in that many of us feel the same way about reading, it’s taken out of context and does kind of skew the sentiment behind the statement. We know it was Caroline Bingley who spoke the line, and that she probably never picked a book up in her life.