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  • Writer's pictureDeborah Yaffe

I spoke too soon!

Just yesterday, I was expressing skepticism about whether the famous, allegedly valuable Jane Austen £5 notes would turn up any time soon.

And then today -- Jane Austen's birthday, no less! -- comes word that one of the four fivers specially engraved with a miniature portrait of Austen has indeed turned up. But no juicy details of the discovery, at least so far: the finder is described only as a senior citizen who plans to give it to her granddaughter.

It's delightful to learn, however, that the first note to be discovered is the one on which the Austen portrait by noted miniatures engraver Graham Short is encircled by Mary Crawford's apt line from Mansfield Park, “A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of.”

Apparently, this is the note that was put into circulation at a cafe in Wales -- the notes spent in Scotland, England and Northern Ireland remain at large. Happy hunting. . .


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