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Jane Austen will be the face of the new £10 note, the Bank of England announced. The decision is a victory for equality campaigners who launched an online protest just three months ago after the bank announced it was replacing the only woman currently featuring on a banknote with Winston Churchill.
Austen will become the third women, apart from the Queen, to be immortalised in such a way. The bank also said it will review the process it uses to select historical figures for banknotes in the future, as Richard Edgar reports.
Chancellor George Osborne has welcomed the decision by the new Bank of England Governor Mark Carney to put Jane Austen on the new £10 notes.
The Bank of England has announced today that is reviewing how it chooses the faces of its notes, given their responsibility as a public body to act within the spirit of equality.
Welcoming the decision, journalist Caroline Criado-Perez, who set up the online petition, said:
"To hear Jane Austen confirmed is fantastic, but to hear the process will be comprehensively reviewed is even better."
The Bank said it wanted to reassure people that it was never its intention that none of the historic characters appearing on banknotes would be a woman. Explaining the reasons behind the review, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said:
"We want people to have confidence in our commitment to diversity."
The Bank of England was persuaded by an online petition started by a freelance journalist on the campaign site change.org, after it announced Elizabeth Fry would be replaced by Winston Churchill on £5 notes. Journalist Caroline Criado-Perez, who started the petition, said:
"Without this campaign, without the 35,000 people who signed our Change.org petition, the Bank of England would have unthinkingly airbrushed women out of history."
One of the world's most popular female authors, Jane Austen, will soon be immortalised on our bank notes, the Bank of England confirmed.
Announcing the decision, new Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said:
The new £10 note, which will be issued by 2017, will feature the following:
- A portrait of Austen, commissioned by James Edward Austen Leigh in 1870, adapted from an original sketch of Austen by her sister Cassandra
- An illustration of Miss Elizabeth Bennet undertaking "The examination of all the letters which Jane had written to her”– from a drawing by Isabel Bishop
- The image of Godmersham Park, home of Austen's brother and believed to be an inspiration for many of her novels
- An image of Jane Austen's writing table and quills
- The following quote:
Author Jane Austen will feature on £10 notes from 2017, the Bank of England has announced.
Campaigners have hailed the Bank of England decision to have author Jane Austen appear on the new £10 note as "a brilliant day for women and a fantastic one for people power."
A 35,000-name petition was presented to the Bank in the wake of the decision to put Sir Winston Churchill on £5 notes in place of prison reformer Elizabeth Fry - one of only two female selections since historical figures were introduced in 1970.
Caroline Criado-Perez, who set up the petition on campaign site Change.org, said:
Author Jane Austen will appear on £10 notes from 2017, the Bank of England said today.
Latest ITV News reports
Unveiling Jane Austen as the new face of £10 notes, the new Bank of England Governor hinted at what is in store on August 7.