Yesterday, the Bank of England unveiled their brand new £10 note, which features the prolific writer, Jane Austen and a quote from Pride and Prejudice to commemorate her life and work 200 years after her death. However, we think they need a new fact checker – because fans aren’t happy with their choice of quote.
The new £10 note will be emblazoned with the quote, ‘I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading!’ which to any other person would be a lovely, happy and heartfelt quote which promotes reading, and the work of the classic author. However, Jane Austen fans know better. Although the quote appears in the popular novel, Pride and Prejudice, it was not said by the loveable heroine, Elizabeth Bennet. Instead, it was said by one of the most disliked Austen characters – Caroline Bingley.
Miss. Bingley, a snooty socialite with little manners and a penchant for gossip, is not portrayed in a positive light at any point in the novel, with Austen making it very clear that Miss. Bingley detests reading and says the quote to attract the attention of the handsome Mr. Darcy. In this chapter, Bingley sees Mr. Darcy engrossed his own book and attempts to woo him with her own, and continues,
‘How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book!…When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.’ She then proceeds to throw the book across the room and carry on her snooty ways. So yeah, not exactly the kind of reader we want to look up to.
The quote will appear underneath Austen on the new plastic £10 note from September, and fans have taken to Twitter to react to the quote in the best way possible. We love you, Twitter.
some yobbo has just googled “jane austen quotes” and banged it in, that’ll do lads
— Jessica Elgot (@jessicaelgot) 18 July 2017
Whoever made the decision for the Jane Austen quote on the new £10 note has clearly never read Pride & Prejudice.
— Alice Banks (@AliceBanks_) 18 July 2017
— Ethan Parkin (@RealEthanParkin) 18 July 2017
Despite the backlash, the Bank of England have defended their decision, saying,
It draws out some of the essence of her social satire and her insight into people’s character.