Jane Austen will appear on a new issue of the English £10 note, a welcome break in the sausage-fest that presently constitutes our specie. The new Bank of England governor Mark Carney -- a Canadian, from a country where the money is staunchly blokey -- confirmed the change after the outgoing governor Mervyn King let it slip.
"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," the new governor said.
He also announced that the Bank would carry out a review of the process for selecting the historical figures who appear on banknotes, to ensure that a diverse range of figures is represented.
"We believe that our notes should celebrate the full diversity of great British historical figures and their contributions in a wide range of fields. The Bank is committed to that objective, and we want people to have confidence in our commitment to diversity. That is why I am today announcing a review of the selection process for future banknote characters," Carney said. The review will be overseen by the chief cashier Chris Salmon, whose signature appears on banknotes.
What an amazing turn of events. The only thing that would make this better is more women on the money -- I look forward to the Ada Lovelace fiver and the Emmeline Pankhurst 20.
Jane Austen to appear on £10 note [Katie Allen and Heather Stewart/The Guardian]