LONDON — The Bank of England is set to unveil its new £10 note on Tuesday, set to come into circulation later in the year.
However, even before it has been formally presented, it is causing outrage in some corners of the internet thanks to a quote featured on the note.
Concept designs for the new £10 feature an image of English author Jane Austen next to a quote from her magnum opus, Pride and Prejudice.
“I declare after all that there is no enjoyment like reading!” — the quote says, praising the art of reading, a sentiment that is hard to disagree with.
However, in its original context, the character who utters the words, Caroline Bingley, is being more than a little disingenuous. Bingley has no real interest in literature and instead pretends to be an avid reader to attract the attentions of the book’s heartthrob, Mr Darcy.
As noted by the Guardian, Bingley utters these words to impress Mr Darcy while sitting next to him as he reads. She is “as much engaged in watching Mr Darcy’s progress through his book, as in reading her own,” Austen writes.
The use of the quote has drawn criticism online, with Twitter users taking to the platform to criticise the Bank of England for an apparent lack of research.
This is not the first time the bank’s new notes have caused some form of outrage. The central bank attracted the ire of the vegan community last year when it emerged that the new £5 note contained a tiny amount of tallow, a substance derived from animal fat. The new £10 notes will be made in the same manner.
I find the #janeausten200 saga extremely telling. In their haste to get a woman on the banknote they chose a quote that’s utterly tone-deaf pic.twitter.com/SxySfyk4z7
— Madeline Grant (@Madz_Grant) July 18, 2017
Dear news:that J Austen”quote”about joy of reading on the new tenner is uttered by 1 of her most obnoxious characters-Ironically it’s ironic
— Samira Ahmed (@SamiraAhmedUK) July 18, 2017