When the Bank of England announced that Sir Winston Churchill was replacing social reformer Elizabeth Fry on the £5 note there was national outcry that no women would appear on any banknotes. Feminist Caroline Criado-Perez started a campaign against women being "airbrushed out of history." Well today that petition - which went on to be signed by 35,000 people - has come to fruition. The Bank of England governer Mark Carney has just announced that from 2016 Jane Austen will replace Charles Darwin as the face of the £10 note.
Speaking outside Austen's Hampshire home yesterday with a mock up of how the new £10 note will look Carney insisted that it had never been the Bank's intention to have no women on the four banknotes and that Austen's name had been mooted early-on. He also promised that there would be regular reviews of who should front our money. As for Austen? He says the move 'celebrates the full diversity of great British historical figures and their contributions in a wide range of fields.'
So what does this mean for us? Well, of course it's started a conversation about the great British women who've achieved things that should win them a place on a banknote. It's meant we've had a whole series of quite frankly brilliant tweets, including chancellor George Osbourne saying the move 'shows sense and sensibility'. And we reckon it also means that every time we pull out a tenner to buy a Starbucks or the such, we should remember that classic Austen saying, 'I decalre after all there is no enjoyment like reading!'