English Novelist Jane Austen to Appear on £10 Banknotes

Colin Firth in Pride and Prejudice

The Bank of England said the scribe, whose work has spawned myriad movie and TV adaptations, will show up on the back of "tenners" from 2017.

LONDON – English novelist Jane Austen, whose works Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice and Emma have spawned myriad movie and TV adaptations, is to be immortalized on the back of the new £10 banknote from 2017.

Austen will replace the current portrait of British naturalist Charles Darwin on the note after a campaign to ensure that a woman remained on an English banknote, following the decision to replace social reformer Elizabeth Fry with Winston Churchill on the £5 note from 2016.

The decision to put Austen, whose Pride and Prejudice was turned into a Emmy Award-winning TV show and credited with helping launch Colin Firth's big-screen career, was taken by Mark Carney, the new governor of the Bank of England.

Carney said: "Jane Austen certainly merits a place in the select group of historical figures to appear on our banknotes. Her novels have an enduring and universal appeal, and she is recognized as one of the greatest writers in English literature."

Oscar-winning actress Emma Thompson won a second Academy award for best-adapted screenplay with her script for Ang Lee's Sense and Sensibility in 1995.

Romola Garai most recently starred in a TV adaptation of Emma, produced by the BBC and taken to the U.S. by Masterpiece Theater.

Culture minister and women's and equalities minister Maria Miller, who supported the campaign to have Austen on the note, described it as "great news that the Bank of England has reassessed the importance of having other women, alongside the Queen, on its banknotes and that as a first step Jane Austen will now feature on the new £10 note." The author died in 1817.

Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing, and Fry were on previous notes.