Austen Banknote: Twitter Reacts with Pride and Prejudice
25th Jul 2013
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:
I think Jane Austen is such a lazy choice to make. How about Rosalind Franklin who basically discovered DNA? – @RidaVaquas July 24, 2013
I’m not surprised, she’s a safe choice, globally known – but as a symbol of womanhood, rather dull! – @wrathofgod July 24, 2013
So many people it could be – Duffy, Emily Bronte, Woolf, Mary Shelley – list endless. Austen safe and boring. – @IntervalThinks July 24, 2013
And there were those who pointed out her suitability of the role in not a particularly flattering way…
Apposite, as it’s the sheer force of capitalism in Austen that stops me from really enjoying her – @camdenlight July 24, 2013
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.
@forbookssake For goodness sake, just be happy it’s a lady! Not my personal favourite either but that’s hardly the point – @buttonswcaramel July 24, 2013
@forbookssake I think instead of people complaining that it’s Austin instead of X Y Z female writer, we should celebrate this triumph – @Jenny_Brammall July 24, 2013
And then there were those who gave the whole darn thing a short shrift…
I’d like to point out that having Jane Austen on banknotes will make no tangible improvement to any woman’s life anywhere. – @RidaVaquas July 24, 2013
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…
Great that Gov of BoE replied quickly to my letter re banknotes. With him now at Jane Austen’s home and new £10 note pic.twitter.com/kJfga2qLh3 @MaryMacleodMP July 24, 2013
Mark Carney’s choice of Jane Austen as face of £10 note is great. After understandable row over lack of women, shows sense and sensibility – @George_Osborne July 24, 2013
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:
Let us never mention banknotes again. Unless we’re talking about eradication of the oppressive systems of capitalism – @sazza_jay July 24, 2013
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