New plastic £10 note featuring Jane Austen unveiled

By user
In July 19, 2017

Source: Bank of England;  Telegraph UK

18 July 2017:

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has unveiled the new £10 polymer banknote featuring Jane Austen on the 200th anniversary of her death.  The big reveal took place at Winchester Cathedral, where Austen was buried following her death in 1817. It is the first time that members of the public were given an exclusive look ahead of its general release on September 14.

Speaking at Winchester Cathedral, Mr Carney said: “The new £10 note celebrates Jane Austen’s work. Austen’s novels have a universal appeal and speak as powerfully today as they did when they were first published.”

Among her most acclaimed novels are Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice and Emma. Austen’s books have been translated into over 40 languages.

The new note features Austen’s portrait  (an engraving by William Home Lizars that has been commissioned by her family and based upon an original sketch of Jane Austen drawn by her sister, Cassandra Austen) and a quote from ‘Pride and Prejudice’ when Miss Bingley says: “I declare after all there is no enjoyment but reading!” /Chapter XI/ (However use of this particular quote has caused controversy as it isn’t spoken by Austen, but by one her most obnoxious characters, a woman who doesn’t actually like reading books at all.)

The design includes also:

  • 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 (1902-1988).
  • The image of Godmersham Park. Godmersham was home of Edward Austen Knight, Jane Austen’s brother. Jane Austen visited the house often and it is believed that it was the inspiration for a number of her novels.
  • Jane Austen’s writing table – the central design in the background is inspired by the 12 sided writing table, and writing quills, used by Jane Austen at Chawton Cottage.

The new £10 is around 15% smaller than the current paper note.

The new £10 is the first Bank of England banknote to be printed with a series of raised dots in the top left-hand corner to help vision impaired people.

The £10 note contains sophisticated security features which make it very difficult to counterfeit. It is expected to last at least 2.5 times longer than the current paper £10 notes – around 5 years in total – and stay in better condition during day to day use.

The old paper notes featuring Charles Darwin can continue to be used until Spring 2018 when they will cease to be legal tender, with the exact date being announced at least three months in advance.

The Royal Mint has also launched a Jane Austen £2 coin in celebration of her life and works.

 Images: Bank of England