Hampshire’s Jane Austen New Face of Tenner From 2017 –
At an event at Jane Austen’s House Museum today, Bank of England Governor, Mark Carney confirmed that the world-famous novelist will appear on a forthcoming Bank of England banknote: the next new character following Sir Winston Churchill.
The Governor says Jane Austen certainly merits a place in the select group of historical figures to appear on our banknotes: “Her novels have an enduring and universal appeal and she is recognised as one of the greatest writers in English literature.
As Austen joins Adam Smith, Boulton and Watt, and in future, Churchill, our notes will celebrate a diverse range of individuals who have contributed in a wide range of fields.”
The Austen note will be issued as a £10 note, within a year of the Churchill £5 note, which is targeted for issue during 2016.
Features of the design on the reverse of the Jane Austen note will include:
- The quote – “I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading!” from Pride and Prejudice (Miss Bingley, Chapter XI).
- Portrait of Jane Austen. Commissioned by James Edward Austen Leigh (Jane Austen’s nephew) in 1870, adapted from an original sketch of Jane Austen drawn by her sister, Cassandra Austen.
- An illustration of Miss Elizabeth Bennet undertaking “The examination of all the letters which Jane had written to her”– from a drawing by Isabel Bishop (1902-1988).
- The image of Godmersham Park. Godmersham was home of Edward Austen Knight, Jane Austen’s brother. Jane Austen visited the house often and it is believed that it was the inspiration for a number of her novels.
- Jane Austen’s writing table – the central design in the background is inspired by the 12 sided writing table, and writing quills, used by Jane Austen at Chawton Cottage.
The Bank regularly changes the design of its banknotes to address issues such as counterfeiting and quality.
As part of its programme of issuing new banknotes, the Bank has the honour of celebrating the contribution of great Britons and has included historic figures on banknotes since 1970. There is a wealth of talented people across a range of fields and, over time with the rolling programme, the Bank says it seeks to commemorate some of these.
The Bank announced in April that Sir Winston Churchill would be the historical figure to appear on the next Bank of England banknote (pictured).
While there was general support for Churchill’s inclusion on a banknote, concerns were also raised that, if he featured on the £5 note there would, in the absence of further changes, be a lack of female representation on banknotes.
The Bank says it knows that the public have great pride in Bank of England banknotes and that there is much interest in the characters that are featured.
They say they acknowledge the concerns that have been raised recently about the diversity of characters on the notes, and would like to provide reassurance that, as part of the rolling programme of note launches, it was never the Bank’s intention that none of the four characters on their notes would be a woman.
If members of the public would like to provide feedback as part of the review, they can do so via the Bank’s website
Hampshire’s Jane Austen New Face of Tenner – About Jane Austen
Jane Austen was born on 16 December 1775 in Steventon, Hampshire, one of eight siblings. After a short period of formal education, she was home-schooled by her father, Reverend George Austen. During this time she developed a fascination with books.
She was close to her family, and their homes and holidays in places such as Hampshire, Kent, Bath and the West Country were influential in her novels. Her brother Edward was adopted by the Austen’s cousins – the Knight’s, whose estate, Godmersham Park in Kent, he later inherited. Jane often visited Godmersham and it is believed that her visits there may have inspired some of the great houses in her novels.
Jane began to write in her adolescence and often read her stories aloud to her family. It took time, however, for her novels to be accepted by a publisher and her first works were published anonymously. The first, Sense and Sensibility, was published in 1811, swiftly followed by Pride and Prejudice (originally known as First Impressions, which celebrates its 200th anniversary this year), Mansfield Park and Emma. Persuasion and Northanger Abbey (originally Susan) were published posthumously. While her work gave her little personal fame and only a few positive reviews in her lifetime, her novels have never since been out of print.
Around the start of the 20th Century, Jane Austen’s novels began to appear on university reading lists, and are today an integral part of English Literature courses at secondary and tertiary levels. The influential scholar, Frank Raymond (“F.R.”) Leavis, referred to her as the mother of the great tradition of the English novel. Towards the end of the 20th Century, Austen’s popular appeal increased with adaptations of her novels being developed for television. Books and films which used her novels as the underlying story also began to appear, demonstrating the timeless qualities of the themes of her writing.
Jane Austen died on 18 July 1817 and is buried at Winchester Cathedral. In a private journal written in 1826, Sir Walter Scott described Austen: “That young lady had a talent for describing the involvement and feelings and characters of ordinary life which is to me the most wonderful I ever met with…What a pity such a gifted creature died so early.”
(Pictures: Bank of England. Jane Austen History reproduced with thanks to the Bank of England)