What wonderful news that Jane Austen is to be commemorated on our new £10 notes. Shock, horror, can campaigning really work?
The glorious Bank of England announced that it was going to replace Elizabeth Fry, the only female historical figure on a banknote, with Winston Churchill. This sparked a huge campaign by feminists that surely Jane Austen would be a worthier candidate, given that men were fully represented by Charles Darwin et al. A petition ensued, signed by 35,000 and presented to the Bank.
It was announced this week that Jane Austen is now to adorn the £10 note, thereby trumping old Churchill who has been relegated to the humble fiver. Hurrah! The people have spoken.
Ahem, it may have more to do with legal action being threatened against the Bank under the Equality Act. Who cares? It is still good to see that our notes are not monopolised by the images of man and man alone.
Incidentally, I didn’t sign the petition because it made me feel sad that Jane Austen should be selected. Now I don’t want to ruffle any of your Sense and Sensibilities, I enjoy a Darcy wet-from-the-lake moment as much as the next lover of hot men … But I find it sad that the woman selected is “soft” skilled rather than choosing an eminent physicist, economist, biologist etc we have selected a woman who wrote a few books all about bagging a rich man. Even Agatha Christie had more varied themes!