So, in case you haven’t heard the news, the Bank of England plans to put Jane Austen on its £10 note. She’ll probably make her debut in 2017 and will replace Charles Darwin. Apparently the Bank of England chose her partly in response to criticism that it wasn’t featuring enough notable women on its banknotes.
I’d like to think Jane would be pleased. No starry-eyed romantic, she knew the value of money. “Single Women have a dreadful propensity for being poor—which is one very strong argument in favour of Matrimony…” she wrote to her niece in 1817. She spoke from experience; as an unmarried woman, she was dependent on her older brother Edward.
The banknote will feature the only known authentic portrait of Austen (drawn by her sister Cassandra), and an image of Godmersham Park, Edward Austen Knight’s home. It also includes a quote: “I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading.” That’s from Caroline Bingley, of all people, Charles Bingley’s snobbish sister in “Pride and Prejudice.”
Surely they could have found a more interesting quote, maybe from Austen herself?