At a press conference at Chawton House on 24 July 2013, Bank of England Governor, Mark Carney, confirmed that Jane Austen will appear on a forthcoming Bank of England banknote: the next new character following Sir Winston Churchill.
The Governor said: “Jane Austen certainly merits a place in the select group of historical
figures to appear on our banknotes. Her novels have an enduring and universal appeal and she is recognised as one of the greatest writers in English literature. As Austen joins Adam Smith, Boulton and Watt, and in future, Churchill, our notes will celebrate a diverse range of individuals who have contributed in a wide range of fields.”
The Austen note will be issued as a £10 note, within a year of the Churchill £5 note, which is targeted for issue during 2016.
Features of the design on the reverse of the Jane Austen note will include:
- The quote – “I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading!” from Pride and Prejudice (Miss Bingley, Chapter XI).
- Portrait of Jane Austen. Commissioned by James Edward Austen Leigh (Jane Austen’s nephew) in 1870, adapted from an original sketch of Jane Austen drawn by her sister, Cassandra Austen.
- 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.
Jane Austen to feature on Bank of England banknotes
A short video of Chris Salmon, Chief Cashier, discussing the choice of Jane Austen.
Victoria Cleland talks about the process for producing a new banknote
A short video of Victoria Cleland, Head of Notes Division, describing the process leading up to the launch of a new banknote.
For further information
Tel: 020 7601 4878