The new £10 looks like Jane Austen’s had a makeover and people are furious

Joe Vesey-Byrne
Monday 22 May 2017 15:45
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Picture:(Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

In 2016, some of the most disappointing news stories ever were that the new £5 notes used in England and Wales were going to have Winston Churchill on them.

The image of the two time prime minister was to replace that of prisoners campaigner Elizabeth Fry.

In honour of an English great, the Royal Mint elected to put the novelist Jane Austen on the reverse of the next £10 note.

The announcement was made in 2013 by Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney at Austen House museum, Chawton, England.

Picture: Chris Ratcliffe - Pool/Getty Images

Now that the design's been examined, some say she's been made to look 'prettier'.

Picture: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The image used by the Bank of England appears to be based on an image made posthumously, in which the designer had 'prettified' the author.

Austen biographer Paula Byrne complained to the Sunday Times about the Bank of England's choice.

They presumably said to the artist, make it look prettier,

It is like doctoring a selfie by a celebrity. It is such a shame because that demure image is just not Austen,

Historian Lucy Worseley joined the criticism.

Jane Austen fans are pleased, obviously, that she’s going to appear on the banknote, but it’s deeply ironic that the image chosen by the Bank of England isn’t really her.

It’s an author publicity portrait painted after she died in which she’s been given the Georgian equivalent of an airbrushing — she’s been subtly ‘improved’

The sketch which Austen fans seem to agree is 'the real' Jane is one done by her sister Cassandra, currently owned by the National Portrait Gallery.

See here for the sketch.

HT Sunday Times

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