[Note added 25 July – for an alternative perspective on the ‘Jane Austen on banknotes’ story, I recommend the following piece by one of my favourite American lady bloggers:
The inevitable has come to pass. In response to the simulated outrage which whiny feminists – Laura Bates (The Everyday Whining Project) and Caroline Criado-Perez among them, inevitably – felt over the replacement of Elizabeth Fry by Winston Churchill on banknotes, and their highly organised whinefests, the Bank of England has caved in and declared that from 2017, £10 notes will feature the authoress Jane Austen. Need we point out that without Winston Churchill, British feminists would now be whining in German, which must surely be far more difficult than whining in English?
The BoE’s capitulation should come as no surprise to anyone. It’s riddled with feminists, as we revealed over a year ago:
A ‘crowdfunding’ appeal to seek funds for a legal challenge against the BoE raised a lot of money. Given that there isn’t now going to be a legal challenge – quelle surprise – the money will be handed over to whiny feminist campaigning organisations, including the Fawcett Society, to finance yet more whining. Joy. The feminist strategy of ‘winning through whining’ isn’t going to slow down any time soon.
So, what should we make of the choice of Jane Austen for the £10 banknotes? Is there a covert anti-feminist at the BoE, laughing his socks off tonight? Let’s consider the following gems:
I think I may boast myself to be, with all possible vanity, the most unlearned and uninformed female who ever dared to be an authoress. (Letter, 11 December 1815. ‘Jane Austen’s Letters’ – 1952)
One of Edward’s Mistresses was Jane Shore, who has had a play written about her, but it is a tragedy and therefore not worth reading. (‘The History of England’ – 1791)
Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery. I quit such odious subjects as soon as I can. (‘Mansfield Park’ – 1814)
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife. (‘Pride and Prejudice’ – 1813)
How horrible it is to have so many people killed! And what a blessing that one cares for none of them! (Letter to Cassandra Austen, 31 May 1811, after the Battle of Albuera, 16 May 1811. ‘Jane Austen’s Letters’ – 1952)
Julie Bindel tweeted her disappointment over the choice of Jane Austen an hour ago. One of my literary heroes is Mark Twain. Here are some of his comments about Ms Austen:
Jane Austen’s books, too, are absent from this library. Just that one omission alone would make a fairly good library out of a library that hadn’t a book in it. ‘Following the Equator’ (1897)
To me Edgar Allan Poe’s prose is unreadable – like Jane Austen’s. No, there is a difference. I could read his prose on a salary, but not Jane’s. (Mark Twain’s Letters)
It seems a great pity that they allowed her to die a natural death. (Letter to W. D. Howells, 18 January 1909.)
So has the whiny feminist campaign to put Jane Austen on £10 banknotes been a Pyrrhic victory for feminists? Of course it has. Haha.