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Jane Austen honoured on the new £10

Categories : Cash is trust
July 27, 2017
Tags : Banknote/Note, History, Security features, United Kingdom
Jane Austen was a famous novelist but few people know that she also had a connection with the banking world.
Communication Team / Equipo de Comunicación
Following the introduction of the new £5 note last year, the Bank of England will soon issue the second banknote of its new series, the £10. The design of the new note was unveiled a few days ago at Winchester Cathedral and honours the famous novelist Jane Austen. The new series is entirely made of polymer and presents key figures of the British history on the back side of each note. 
Jane Austen was a British novelist known for her critique and comment upon the British landed gentry at the end of the 18th century, with novels including Pride and Prejudice or Sense and Sensibility. Nevertheless, few people know that Jane Austen also had a close connection with the banking world. Indeed, her favourite brother Henry was a financier owning numerous country banks notably in Petersfield and Alton. As a result, several banknotes bearing the name “Austen” have been issued, and some of these can still be found in Jane Austen’s House Museum. Furthermore, the Portal paper mill owned by Henry used to manufacture the paper for Bank of England’s banknotes and many other British banks until the 20th century. 
Henry also acted as Jane’s informal literary agent. Indeed, he backed her works financially and helped her enter the marketplace notably by publicising her novels among his client book, which included influential politicians and Whig aristocrats. Nevertheless, after bad loans and economic storms, the banker went bankrupt and dragged his family along in his fall, who invested money in his affair. As a result, the Austen family kept Henry’s business failure quiet and various documents including letters were destroyed, explaining why Jane’s link to finances is little known. However, various articles have been published in recent years in the journal of Jane Austen Society presenting new archival evidence.
The new banknote will be issued on September 14, 2017. A large portrait of Jane Austen appears in the back side of the note, while the front side features the portrait of the Queen Elizabeth II. Among the numerous security features, a see-through window integrates the Winchester Cathedral, where Jane Austen was buried exactly 200 years ago. For more information about the £10 note, please visit Bank of England’s website dedicated to the new banknote. 
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