Austen Banknote: Twitter Reacts with Pride and Prejudice

Jane Austen on the ten pound note
Campaigners, led by Caroline Criado-Perez, yesterday succeeded in their goal of stopping the Bank of England brush over the achievements of an entire gender, when it was announced that Jane Austen will be the next figure to appear on the ten pound note, replacing Charles Darwin.

Twitter exploded, initially in a sea of congratulations to Criado-Perez which had Jane Austen trending in the UK and an obviously delighted Criado-Perez thanking everyone who sent her a tweet.

Things soon started swinging into the bickering sidelines quickly enough though. As we discovered through a quick trawl of our twitter feed, there were many disappointed with the Bank of England’s choice, mainly because of her perceived dullness and predictability:

And there were those who pointed out her suitability of the role in not a particularly flattering way…

Just be happy it's a lady!Virginia Woolf, Mary Wollstonecraft, Mary Shelley and Emmeline Pankhurst were all touted as being more deserving, more suitable or more useful to the cause than old Aunt Jane. Understandably there were a few who gave this viewpoint rather a short shrift.

And then there were those who gave the whole darn thing a short shrift…

And those who were deservedly given short shrift themselves, for either attempting to steal the fruits of someone else’s hard labour, or for terrible puns – both well-known Tory traits…

We’d like to make it very clear that we’re over the moon about the Austen banknote, and that her face will be beaming back at us as we splash the cash, but can’t quite help, after all that, sympathising with this:

But, to end with, let’s celebrate a bit of an under-reported victory: the campaign didn’t just keep a woman on our bank notes, it got something else it asked for: the Bank of England is going to review the process it has for choosing who appears on the notes.

Let’s be happy too that the money raised for the legal challenge will now go, as promised, to charity. In the words of For Books’ Sake founder Jane Bradley: “BOOM“.

Rebecca Winson and Jennie Gillons