Jane Austen to grace £10 notes


England has a writer on its10. The U.S. has a banker. Discuss.


The English 20 pound note has a Scottish economist on it.

Austen’s a bit of a boring choice.

Should have gone with Ada Lovelace, Emmeline Pankhurst or Mary Somerville.

Hell, go with all of them.

Edit: I see Cory already mentioned two of the above. Guess I should have RTFA. Oh well, I’m going to blame the article being separated from the comments.

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“I look forward to the Ada Lovelace fiver”


“and the Emmeline Pankhurst 20”

Much as one might approve of her vigorous opposition to communism and defence of British imperialism, I suspect her criminal record might count against her.

a Canadian, from a country where the money is staunchly blokey

I didn’t realize Queen Elizabeth was a “staunch bloke.”…


Was writing the Federalist Papers not the work of a writer?

I doubt it. When the cause is just, people tend to forget about the terror tactics used, which in the case of the WSPU (the group she founded) included arson and bombings.

Similarly with Nelson Mandela, people remember the just cause but forget that he was chairman of the MK, which conducted an extensive bombing campaign.

There is some considerable controversy over the extent of Ada Lovelace’s contributions to programming. However there are plenty of other British female scientists to chose from. How about Rosalind Franklin?

I’m fine with that argument (even if it does define being born as something of a major achievement worthy of celebration), so long as after the old dear pops her clogs and we have Charlie, Billy and then Georgie as King, we have nothing but eminent women on the other side.

Could be worse, I guess. Am I right in thinking that no US banknotes have ever had a woman on them?

Here in the US, we only get dead Presidents? Bo-ring. It would be cool if we could have Neil Armstrong, Muhammad Ali, Edgar Allan Poe, Janis Joplin on our specie.


Incorrect. While women are a rarity on US banknotes, people of color are even more rare.

In 1886, Martha Washington was on the $1. I believe she was the only actual historical women to be depicted as the main figure on US paper money.

Pocahontas was on the 1896-1878 $10, but it was an allegorical representation.

There were some women on the $100 in 1880 though I’m not sure who they are (or if they were real people).

The Educational Series of notes contained images of women (though as allegorical figures). The $500 had a a picture of allegorical Justice depicted as a woman.

The $10 at one point had topless women on it (again, allegorical).

US paper money used to be far more interesting.

Well the current £5 note has Elizabeth Fry (the prison reformer) on it. She will be replaced by Winston Churchill with the new set.

So the total set of notes will continue to have one woman and three men.

Current list
£5 Elizabeth Fry
£10 Charles Darwin
£20 Adam Smith
£50 Matthew Boulton and James Watt

The fiver will change to Churchill in 2016, and the tenner to Austin in 2017. So for a while there will be no women.

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Jane Austen will appear on a new issue of the English £10 note, a
welcome break in the sausage-fest that presently constitutes our

I do find it interesting that the Queen is apparently not considered a woman. She is on every single Bank of England note last I checked. With Elizabeth Fry, pictures of women constitute 50% of all pictures on Bank of England notes (would have been greater, but Matthew Boulton and James Watt are on the 50).


I actually like these suggestions of Boudicca & Mary Seacole.

As pointed out by many commenters, though, Marie Stopes’ views on eugenics probably rule her out as a good choice.

What about Amy Johnson, or Grace Darling?

How about a Margaret Thatcher note? :wink:

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You can’t imagine my distress at the loss of Darwin. I like Austen, but would have preferred Nanny from Peter Pan.

[Note the national publicity gained by Carney with this event]

So long as the total set of currency excludes coinage?
Numerically (though not numismatically) , I’d think that the female of the species is more prevalent than the male though - if you were to count all legal tender…

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Has any other country produced a bill with an alien on it?


Last I checked Benjamin Franklin (on the $100 note) was never a president. Some unusual denominations in the last century also had no presidents—Salmon P. Chase ($10000) comes to mind.