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18 Jul 2017

UK to introduce new banknote featuring novelist Jane Austen

The Bank of England is introducing a new polymer £10 note featuring the 19th century novelist Jane Austen.

The move will make Austen the only woman, besides Queen Elizabeth, to be featured on a British banknote.

The note's introduction marks the 200th anniversary of Austen's death.

This is a part of Britain's attempt at replacing paper £5, £10 and £20 with secure plastic notes.

In context

Britain's new currency note to feature Jane Austen


New note to feature quote from Austen's 'Pride and Prejudice'

The new Austen note is reportedly smaller than the current £10 note.

It has attracted criticism from some quarters because Austen's portrait appears to be "airbrushed," showing her noticeably prettier than her only contemporary painting displayed at the National Portrait Gallery in London.

The note also features a quote from Austen's 'Pride and Prejudice': "I declare after all there is no enjoyment but reading!"


Why was Austen selected?

Bank of England governor Mark Carney said: "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."

Austen joins Adam Smith, Winston Churchill and others who contributed immensely in their respective fields.

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Petition against note's use of animal fat

Meanwhile, a Change.org petition against the Bank of England has gathered 136,000 votes calling for an end of the use of animal fat in the note's production. The new note will be gradually released to the public after another two months.

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