A portrait of author Jane Austen and other images related to her
will be the focus of a design for the £10 note to be issued in 2017.
On July 24, new Bank of England governor Mark Carney unveiled the
design as a tribute to “one of the greatest writers in English literature.”
The unveiling took place at Chawton Cottage where Austen lived the
last eight years of her life. The cottage is now Jane Austen’s House
Museum, located in the village of Chawton, north of London.
The portrait on the note is taken from a painting commissioned by
James Edward Austen, Jane Austen’s nephew, in 1870. It was adapted
from an original sketch drawn by Jane’s sister Cassandra Austen.
Austen will be only the third woman — other than Queen Elizabeth
II — to appear on British bank notes, following prison reformer
Elizabeth Fry, who is being replaced by Winston Churchill on £5 notes
in 2016, and nurse Florence Nightingale, who was depicted previously
on £10 notes.
The bank faced criticism after announcing in April that Winston
Churchill’s portrait will be on the new £5 note. That decision meant
that, aside from Queen Elizabeth II, no woman would be depicted on any
currently circulating British notes.
Many female members of Parliament joined more than 30,000 people
who signed an online petition demanding a woman be depicted on the £10
note. The petition was started by freelance journalist Caroline
Criado-Perez, according to a story published in the July 15 issue of
the Los Angeles Times. ■