Royal Mail releases Jane Austen stamp set - and a unique limited Chawton and Steventon postmark (From Basingstoke Gazette)
When news happens, text BAZ and your photos or videos to 80360. Or contact us by email and phone.
Royal Mail releases Jane Austen stamp set - and a unique limited Chawton and Steventon postmark
2:48pm Thursday 21st February 2013 in Leisure
ROYAL Mail has released a set of special Royal Mail stamps in conjunction with the 200 th anniversary of Hampshire author Jane Austen’s novel Pride and Prejudice.
And, if you post any mail from Chawton in Alton or in Steventon until Wednesday, February 27, the postmark will feature the quote “Do anything rather than marry without affection”, which is taken from the book, the most famous of her six published novels.
Pride and Prejudice has sold in excess of 20 million copies worldwide, spawning many film, theatre and television adaptations, including a BBC treatment from 2005 which launched the career Colin Firth, who was educated in Winchester.
The first copy of the book, the story of the romance of Elizabeth Bennett and Fitzwilliam Darcy, was delivered to Jane Austen at her home in Chawton on January 27, 1813, one day in advance of the first advertisements appearing announcing the book’s publication.
Jane was born in Steventon in Hampshire in 1775 and spent the vast majority of her adult life in Chawton, in a 17 th century cottage now known as the Jane Austen’s House Museum. She moved to Winchester for the last few months of her life and died there at the age of 41 in 1817.
Her ‘Chawton years’ were the author’s most productive. During her time there she revised and published both Sense and Sensibility (1811) and Pride and Prejudice (1813), and wrote both Emma (1815) and Persuasion (1816). Both Persuasion and Northanger Abbey were published posthumously.
All six of her published novels are featured on the stamps, which depict original, newly commissioned artwork by illustrator Angela Barrett. The two 1st Class stamps in the set are Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility. Mansfield Park and Emma are both commemorated on 77p stamps and completing the set are Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, both of which appear on £1.28 stamps.
Author P.D James, who recently published Death Comes to Pemberley, has written the presentation pack, providing her perspective of Austen’s life and works, focusing specifically on Pride and Prejudice in celebration of the bicentenary.
Royal Mail spokesperson Andrew Hammond said: “Jane Austen’s novels have contributed immeasurably to British culture over the last two centuries.
“It is therefore an honour for Royal Mail to commemorate her work with this special set of stamps and fitting that it falls during the 200th anniversary celebrations of Pride and Prejudice, her most famous masterpiece.”