As from the 14th of September, the new ten pound note featuring Jane Austen (the renowned novelist, known for Pride and Prejudice, etc.) has been released.
The Telegraph reported that Austen is the first woman (apart from the Queen) to be featured on an English bank note after the replacement of Elizabeth Fry (a prison reformer) with Winston Churchill on the new five pound note. According to The Guardian it was campaigner Caroline Criado-Perez who “forced the Bank of England” to have female representation on the English currency notes. Criado-Perez was also reported by The Guardian to have in turn threatened to take the Bank to court for discrimination when it was initially announced that the only female besides the Queen (Elizabeth Fry) was to be removed for Winston Churchill on the five pound note.
It has been six days since the release of the note and it can be seen that there has been a lovely response to the release of it.
On Twitter, Caroline Criado-Perez ignited a trend upon the release of the note to donate the first Jane Austen tenner to local women’s shelters.
As a result, several people began to tweet pictures of their new Jane Austen ten pound note, thanking Criado-Perez for her campaigning as well as revealing which charity they will be donating their ten-pound note to under the hashtag of ‘#austenner’ (also sparked by Criado-Perez).
— Kelly Dunlop (@kellydunlop) September 19, 2017
— Sonia L (@SoniaL77) September 20, 2017
— Tara Finney (@tara_finney) September 20, 2017
The campaigner spoke to The Guardian and expressed how the new note “represents so much more than a banknote”. She said that “the Bank of England changed their entire selection procedure to make sure an all-male line-up would never happen again.”
Criado-Perez has successfully ensured the continuation of select female representation on bank notes and has encouraged donations to women’s charities. It can now be hoped that an even greater representation of women will follow.