Putting Jane Austen on their 10 pound note!
I have to say, I'm both ecstatic and a little disappointed. I mean, based on the LSD-esque opening ceremonies we witnessed last summer, I was hoping that Voldemort and a hundred Mary Poppinses would be featured.
But this is a very acceptable runner up. Why Jane Austen? That's a question I've considered before. In a lot of ways, I think she embodies what the British want to project as their cultural image. Smart, witty, classy, self-aware, and self-depreciating. And considering that a single novel of hers has spawned an entire genre of film and book that people keep finding interesting things to do with...
And that her brand of humor has become what the rest of the world expects from British comedy, she's a pretty apt choice.
I've heard a lot of chatter about how she's too obvious or that there are other female British notable figures who should have been considered. I'll stay out of that debate. But I can say that Jane Austen is truly a national treasure that the UK should rightly be proud of and celebrate.
So here's to you, Miss Austen. May we have ever more reasons to remember and rejoice in your fiction. In honor of Miss Austen, may I offer you the first installment of my favorite modern update of her work: