Jane Austen to Appear on Banknote
Wednesday saw a rare moment when the Bank of England bowed to public pressure. They announced that after a storm of protest, Jane Austen will be featured on the 10 pound note. The pressure was laid on the Bank of England after BOE Govenor Mr. King announced last month that Winston Churchill would be replacing prison reformer Elizabeth Fry. This would mean that no woman would be depicted on any of the banknotes other than Queen Elizabeth, as Head of State she appears on every note.
This meant that new BOE Govenor Mr. Carney came into office under a storm of protests about the gender imbalance on the banknotes.
The removal of Ms. Fry led to more than 35,000 people signing an online petition and also led to the campaign group The Women’s Room to threaten legal action under the Equalities Act.
The BOE said that in light of these concerns they will now review how they choose which famous Britons appear on the banknotes.
Jane Austen’s contributions to the literary world led to Mr. Carney stating that she certainly had a place in the select group of historical figures to appear on the country’s banknotes.
“Her novels have an enduring and universal appeal and she is recognized as one of the greatest writers in English literature,” he said.
“We believe that our notes should celebrate the full diversity of great British historical figures and their contributions in a wide range of fields. The Bank is committed to that objective, and we want people to have confidence in our commitment to diversity,” Mr. Carney said.
The BOE said Jane Austen will appear on the 10 pound note in 2016 or 2017, replacing Charles Darwin.