Jane Austen to be featured on Britain's £10 polymer banknote

By Andrew V. Pestano  |  July 18, 2017 at 2:06 PM
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July 18 (UPI) -- The Bank of England on Tuesday announced that novelist Jane Austen will be featured on Britain's new £10 banknote.

Mark Carney, the bank's governor, revealed the design during a ceremony at Winchester Cathedral.

"Today, on the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen's death, Gov. Mark Carney unveiled the design of the new £10 note featuring the world-renowned author. The note is printed on polymer and is the first Bank of England banknote with a tactile feature to help blind and partially sighted users," the Bank of England said in a statement Tuesday. "The new £10 note is cleaner, safer and stronger.

Austen is a famed British novelist who wrote a number of renowned novels -- including Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice and Mansfield Park. She died in 1817 at the age of 41.

"Austen's novels have a universal appeal and speak as powerfully today as they did when they were first published," Carney said.

"It joins the Churchill £5 in the first family of polymer Bank of England banknotes and a new £20 note featuring J.M.W Turner will follow in 2020."

The British bank said the bill has sophisticated security features that make it "very difficult to counterfeit" and should last two-and-a-half times longer -- or about five years -- than paper notes.

"Our banknotes serve as repositories of the country's collective memory, promoting awareness of the United Kingdom's glorious history and highlighting the contributions of its greatest citizens," Carney added. "The new £10 note celebrates Jane Austen's work."

The note design features a portrait of Austen and the quote, "I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading!" said by the Caroline Bingley character in Pride and Prejudice.

The Austen £10 polymer note will be issued Sept. 14.

The new note comes at a time when the United States is working to place a woman on the $20 bill. Former slave and abolitionist Harriet Tubman will replace former President Andrew Jackson on the bill by 2020.

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