Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Jane Austen is finally in the money

I guess it would be more accurate to say Jane Austen is on the money. I’m proud of her since she didn’t make a fortune with her writing while she was alive. Starting in 2017, the author will be the image on the ubiquitous £10 note. If authors didn’t self-doubt enough, now they won’t receive full validation until their visage is in everyone’s wallet or pocketbook.

Pride and Prejudice Quote on note - "I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading!"

Evidently, there was a hue and cry by Caroline Criado-Perez to have more women on British currency. To heck with that, what about authors being eulogized on the most important thing in many people’s lives? Ms. Austen is actually the third writer to grace a British note. William Shakespeare and Charles Dickens preceded her. And how many authors have been on United Sates Currency? None. That’s right, none. Politicians hog all the space. William McKinley has even graced the $500 bill. Now, I ask you, who has done more for Americans, William McKinley or Mark Twain?

Whoops, I just realized something. One of the top selling authors of all time is on American currency. His books were the number 2 bestseller for twenty-six years. (The Bible was number 1.) His writing made him one of the top 100 richest Americans in history. Every school kid can recite his words. It’s easy to forget that Benjamin Franklin was one of the great authors of all time and that there were few homes in colonial America without a copy of Poor Richard’s Almanac. In fact, Ben is not only on the $100 bill, it is popularly called a Franklin. So we do have a great writer on our money. Take that England.

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