The Royal Mail has released six new Jane Austen stamps today in honor of the 200th anniversary of the publication of Pride and Prejudice. Designed by artist Angela Barrett, they include illustrations of scenes from the six major novels: Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice as first-class stamps and Mansfield Park, Emma, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion in other values, and can be purchased through the Royal Mail Shop online. My favorite is the illustration from Northanger Abbey which includes the ponderous chest so mysterious to heroine Catherine Morland.
There are several collectors sets to select from including a special Presentation Pack with additional text by author P.D. James and a First Day Cover pack where the special stamps are affixed to a cover featuring a Jane Austen signature and cancelled with a Steventon, Basingstoke postmark, chosen because it was the home of Jane Austen for many years.
The Royal Mail also announced that letters posted in Chawton in Hampshire, where Austen spent her last years, and Steventon, near Basingstoke, where she was born, will have a special postmark for a week, featuring the Pride and Prejudice quote “Do anything rather than marry without affection”. Continue reading