Finally, Austen's in the money…

July 25, 2013

The governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, displays the concept design for the new 10-pound banknote featuring author Jane Austen.

…or, rather on the money. And, Charles Darwin is off. The Bank of England announced that starting in 2017, the image of Jane Austen, one of the world’s favorite authors, will grace the 10-pound banknote. This was in response to a huge outcry when one of the few women other than the queen to be portrayed on English notes, Elizabeth Fry, a prison reformer, was replaced with Winston Churchill on the five-pound note. According to an article by Lev Grossman in TIME magazine, the bank is doing it right with an accompanying drawing of Elizabeth Bennet, the heroine of Pride and Prejudice, and an apt quote from Austen’s best-loved work:  “I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading!” (albeit an insincere sentiment uttered by the snobby Miss Bingley). What might Darwin think? Maybe something like, “I say, I suppose it’s a natural selection at that!”

Barbara L.

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