Engraving from 1873 featuring Jane Austen
Photograph via Getty Images

The only woman currently featured on British banknotes is Queen Elizabeth II

By Valentina Zarya
July 18, 2017

On the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s death, the Bank of England has revealed a new £10 note featuring her image.

The only other woman currently featured on England and Wales’ currency is Queen Elizabeth II, though two other women have previously appeared on the territories’ bills: nurse Florence Nightingale and philanthropist Elizabeth Fry. (Scotland and Northern Ireland print their own pound notes, many of which feature women.) The new notes will enter circulation in September.

The image will be accompanied by a quote from Austen’s novel Pride and Prejudice—“I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading!”—which is causing some controversy among her fans. The issue isn’t the quote itself, but rather the character to whom it is attributed: Caroline Bingley, a woman with no interest in books.

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Last year, the U.S. treasury announced that abolitionist Harriet Tubman will be the new face of the $20 bill, a decision that President Donald Trump last year called “pure political correctness.”

In April of last year, he lamented the fact that former President Andrew Jackson would be removed from the bill. “I think Harriet Tubman is fantastic, but I would love to leave Andrew Jackson or see if we can maybe come up with another denomination?”

Several suffragette leaders will be added to the $10 bill and former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt will appear on the $5 bill.

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