Jane Austen on the British £10 note
In honor of the Bank of England's fine decision to place Jane Austen on the British £10 note in 2017, AbeBooks is celebrating other literary giants by adding them to greenbacks. However, it took Austen almost 200 years to achieve this recognition so we have selected mostly contemporary authors who could be perceived as unconventional choices.
Founding Fathers, presidents, prime ministers, inventors, explorers and royalty often appear on money but we want more authors. The UK is leading the way in this respect with Winston Churchill set to replace prison reformer Elizabeth Fry on the £5 note in 2016. Churchill always considered himself to be an author. Three cheers to the Bank of England and enjoy our newly minted (don't try and spend it) money.
Click images to view larger versions
Hunter S. Thompson on the US $100 note
The father of Gonzo journalism will never be placed on money. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas might be one hell of a read but it's not the sort of literature enjoyed by the Federal Reserve. We love the idea of Hunter on the $100 note, smoking and wearing shades, and he'd probably like it too.
› Find books by Hunter S Thompson
JK Rowling on the UK's £20
Perhaps in 200 years, we'll see this one. Rowling is allegedly richer than the Queen so it's not that much of a stretch. Rowling has thrilled millions with her stories and single-handedly put books on the front page. Of course, the British would immediately assign a nickname to the note - the Joanne perhaps.
› Find books by JK Rowling
Walt Whitman on the US $50 note
Walt, bless him, died in 1892 but we feel he is worthy of inclusion because he looks so unlikely. His wide-brimmed hat and tangled beard is particularly memorable. Plus poets do not receive enough recognition in this world and Whitman pushed the boundaries of poetry. He was on a 5 cents stamp so why not a note?
› Find books by Walt Whitman
Margaret Atwood on the Canadian $20 note
AbeBooks is based in Canada so we want to acclaim a literary Canuck. Margaret is prolific and writes great books. She fights for authors, readers and the environment. Margaret, Peggy to her friends, is fiercely Canadian and yet rarely conventional. She would have to displace Canada's first prime minister, John A MacDonald, however.
› Find books by Margaret Atwood
Malcolm Gladwell on the US $10 note
Non-fiction needs to be represented on our literary money so we plumped for Malcolm Gladwell, because he sells books by the truckload and is very recognizable. Who else has a hair style like that? He's done a wonderful job of exposing the social sciences to a greater audience and often describes how the little things matter.
› Find books by Malcolm Gladwell
George RR Martin on the US $20 note
He's been writing since 1970 and yet Martin is the author of the moment thanks to the continuing success of Game of Thrones on the telly. We also liked the idea of having an author of science fiction, fantasy and horror on some money. With those glasses, hat and beard, George is more recognizable than Andrew Jackson.
› Find books by George RR Martin