Tuesday 7 February 2012

Happy Birthday Charles Dickens - new stamps in June.


In celebration of the life and works of Charles Dickens, the Royal Mail today revealed a sneak preview of two stamps - officially launching in June - to celebrate the bicentenary of the novelist’s birth.

The two stamps feature illustrations from his first novel, The Pickwick Papers (originally serialised and entitled The Posthumous Papers of Pickwick) and his 1838 novel, Nicholas Nickleby.

The character of Mr Pickwick forms a set of six stamps featuring original illustrations adapted from Character Sketches from Charles Dickens, by Joseph Clayton Clarke (otherwise known as Kyd) and originally published around 1890.

The Nicholas Nickleby stamp will be part of a special Miniature Sheet of four stamps of illustrations by Hablot Knight Brown, (known as Phiz ), who illustrated ten books by the author.

Philip Parker, Royal Mail Stamps spokesperson said: “Charles Dickens was one of the truly great British novelists, a man born into poor circumstances who went on to change the world in which he lived thanks not just to his novels, but his campaigning journalism and philanthropy”.


  1. Hello!

    When I first saw the subject matter on the list of new issues for this year, I was not that excited. Now I have seen those two pics - wow! Amazing designs, added to my shopping list for this year.

    Can we also have a special mention for the "Diamond Queen" programme on BBC1 last night? Interesting documentary (part one of three), made even better by the Machin in the opening credits and the unissued Edward 8th coronation set that featured in the show.

    (The Machin was a gold 1st class, u-shaped slits, no underprint - does this actually exist?!?!)

    Keep up the good work,


    1. Thanks for your comments.

      The BBC1 programme last night was good - and two more to come.
      The 1st class gold with slits and no security print does exist from additional coils that were needed for direct mail before the printers were ready, as far as I know. It was never offered through the philatelic bureau although some mint copies have been offered by some dealers, I'm told.

  2. Two points:

    What brilliant, actual designs! Not predominantly black and white photographs with The Queen's head and values stuck on them. But wait, they are based on people's artwork from another century, so hardly original designs...

    Secondly, can the Royal Mail only find Dickens, Robert Burns and Charles Darwin to celebrate? Robert Burns has had 3 sets alone!

    J. Paul Murdock

    1. I think Dickens is a worthwhile subject on his 200th anniversary, though.


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