New £10 Jane Austen note hits the streets

New £10 Jane Austen note hits the streets

The new £10 note featuring novelist Jane Austen has entered circulation replacing that featuring Charles Darwin.

The note comes after a four-month period when no women except for the Queen have been represented on the Bank’s notes according to the BBC.

Campaigner Caroline Criado-Perez who successfully secured female representation on banknotes, has pledged to donate her first one to a women’s shelter, to celebrate her victory, according to the Guardian. She threatened the Bank of England with legal action in 2013 when it announced was removing paper £5 notes featuring the prison reformer Elizabeth Fry, the only woman other than the Queen to feature on legal tender.

The Bank of England originally unveiled the Jane Austen note in July in honour of the author’s 200th birthday at Winchester Cathedral where Austen is buried. 

More than one billion of the polymer notes have been printed, with raised dots for enhanced accessibility, according to the Bank of England, and they will be increasingly visible over the coming days as the notes leave cash centres around the country and enter general circulation.

“Jane Austen” is now trending on Twitter and with a number of retailers commenting on it. London booksellers Goldsboro Books tweeted out a promotion to encourage people to spend theirs in the shop: “First customer to come and pay in the shop using a  #JaneAusten £10 note will receive a free book with their purchase.”

Fellow London retailer, Kirkdale Books, tweeted: “My groovy colleague is at the bank getting hold of Jane Austen, whoever the heck that is.”

Bank of England governor Mark Carney said the new note "celebrates" the Pride and Prejudice author's work. He said: "Austen’s novels have a universal appeal and speak as powerfully today as they did when they were first published.”