The news that renowned classic British author Jane Austen would be gracing the brand new £10 was greeted with huge excitement from literary fans. The note, released officially on 18th July, has been brought out on the 200th anniversary of her death, and was thought to be a fitting tribute to the acclaimed writer.
But unfortunately, the reality of the brand new note has turned out to be somewhat of a let-down for fans of the author.
Ardent readers of Jane Austen’s celebrated works were quick to notice something not quite right with the quote included on the note. The quote reads, “I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading!”, and is taken from one of Austen’s most famous novels, Pride and Prejudice.
So far, so good right? Well, wrong. Fans have pointed out that quote, although seemingly innocent, was actually said by the character Caroline Bingley, who in fact despised reading and only said the quote in order to impress heartthrob Mr Darcy.
Users on social media are criticising the Bank of England and the quote choice, claiming it was evidence that the quote was poorly researched and may simply just have been plucked straight from a Google search without an understanding of the context.
But Mr Mark Carney, Bank of England governor, defended the choice, saying that despite the fact that the quote was ironic in context, it still captures the spirit of the celebrated British author.
He said, “It captures much of her [Jane Austen’s] spirit, at least in my mind,” he said. “It draws out some of the essence of some of her social satire and her insight into people’s character. So it works on multiple levels.”
And it’s not the only reason the new £10 note has drawn criticism. Earlier in the year, the new £5 note was slammed for including traces of animal fats, making it difficult for vegetarians and vegans. The £10 is also made of the same polymer, garnering a petition of 100,000 signatures to ban the note.