Joyous news. Jane Austen’s face will haunt us on £10 bank notes (replacing Charles Darwin) and £2 coins.

Joyous news in the Telegraph. The piece is by Robert Mendick, the paper’s Chief Reporter, and it was published online less than 90 minutes ago. He starts:

For two centuries, she has ruled the nation’s bookshelves. [Hmm, only slightly hyperbolic…] Now she is set to dominate the public’s purses and wallets as well.

Jane Austen, long revered as the greatest of female novelists, [What does that say about female novelists? No wonder women have their own literary awards.] is about to break new ground 200 years after her death – by appearing simultaneously on a coin and a bank note. [Female multi-tasking at its finest, posthumous.]

No man has managed such an honour in a generation. Only the Queen, who as head of state must be depicted on British currency, will be more prevalent.

Needless to say, Mendick had to refer in his article to Caroline Criado-Bloody-Perez OBE, winner of a number of our awards – Lying Feminist of the Month (three times), Toxic Feminist of the Month, Gormless Feminist of the Month, and Whiny Feminist of the Month (twice). She was an inaugural member of The Whine Club in 2013.

Extracts from two of Jane Austen’s letters, cited in the Oxford Book of Quotations:

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)

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.)

For the unvarnished truth about Jane Austen, we turn to Frances Wilson, Literary Critic of the Daily Mail. In August 2013 she wrote a splendid article for the paper, titled, ‘So dull. So over-rated. Jane Austen doesn’t deserve to be on the £10 note.’ An extract:

Austen, who died in 1817 at the age of 41,  was the daughter of a Hampshire rector. She wrote six novels about well-to-do  families in, for the most part, rural England.

The books are regularly lauded as among the  finest in the English language. Fans find them bright and breezy, charming and  romantic. In fact, they are boring, nasty and superficial. [My emphasis.]

The virgin from the vicarage is perfectly  placed on a tenner — there could be no better home for her than the comfort of  the cash-register.

A link to our blog piece and Frances Wilson’s article is here.

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About Mike Buchanan

I'm a men's human rights advocate, writer, and publisher. My primary focus is leading the political party I launched in 2013, Justice for Men & Boys (and the women who love them). I still work actively on two campaigns I launched in early 2012, Campaign for Merit in Business and the Anti-Feminism League. In 2014 I launched The Alternative Sexism Project, aiming to raise public understanding that the sexism faced by men and boys has far more grievous consequences than the sexism faced by women and girls.
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  • epistemol

    I shall console myself with the very first amongst ALL Great- British plastic notes, prized far above it’s face value – the ‘fiver’.

    Which I call ‘A Churchill’.

  • William Gruff

    I don’t know about other readers of Justice for Men and Boys but I found the assertion ‘no man has managed such an honour in a generation’ very funny, although I must admit, shamefacedly, that I’m not nearly up to it; I had a go this morning, before breakfast, but just couldn’t hack it, and that was not my first attempt. We’re clearly not up to much when not one of us can get his portrait on a coin and a banknote contemporaneously in a generation.

    Now I think about things, I wonder how we pathetic males get anything done at all (you know, conceiving of, designing, developing, building and maintaining everything that has brought us from the trees and plains of Africa two million years ago to where we are now).

    I suspect that we’re supposed to feel emasculated by the decision of some placewoman and mangina stuffed committee somewhere to choose, perhaps in desperation, the probably not terribly lifelike portrait of a long dead authoress of dreary ‘romantic’ tosh, and thus inadequate and purposeless, but I won’t be losing any sleep over this inconsequential decision, nor any sense of manhood.

  • It’s quite astonishing that they were so short of female candidates to place on currency that they had to use the same (highly overrated) women twice.

    I guess they’ll do anything to avoid having Thatcher commemorated.

  • Sean44SS

    Oh dear. Jane Austen tenner runs into criticism on Twitter over choice of quote: