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 Mr Bumble, Mr Pickwick and Mr Micawber - all instantly recognisable creations of Charles Dickens, one of Britain's greatest novelists.
 
To celebrate the bicentenary of Dickens' birth Royal Mail is to celebrate his life and work of with ten new stamps issued on 19 June.
 
The stamps feature iconic characters from some of his most famous novels, including Mr Bumble from Oliver Twist, Mr Micawber from David Copperfield and Captain Cuttle from Dombey and Son.
 
Six of the stamps feature original illustrations adapted from Character Sketches from Charles Dickens, by Joseph Clayton Clarke (otherwise known as Kyd) and originally published around 1890.
 
Royal Mail is also issuing a miniature sheet of four stamps of illustrations by Hablot Knight Brown, (known as Phiz), who illustrated ten books by the author.
 
The presentation pack that accompanies the issue is written by Lucinda Dickens Hawksley, who takes a look at her great, great, great grandfather's life and works.
 
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".
 
"Fittingly the First Class stamp features Mr Pickwick, one of Dickens' many classic characters, taken from his first novel The Pickwick Papers."
 
        Ends
 
 
Natasha Ayivor
Royal Mail Press Office
100 Victoria Embankment
London EC4Y 0HQ
Tel: 0207 250 2468/07587 888841
www.royalmail.com/stamps
 
NOTES TO EDITORS
 
Stamps and stamp products are available at all Post Office branches, online at www.royalmail.com/dickens and from Royal Mail Tallents House (tel. 08457 641 641), 21 South Gyle Crescent, Edinburgh, EH12 9PB.
 
What the Dickens? Some facts about the author:
 
Charles Dickens or his work has appeared on four stamp issues: Literary Anniversaries (1970), Christmas (150th Anniversary of A Christmas Carol, 1993), Musicals (Oliver! 2011) and 2012.
 
Charles Dickens was born in Portsmouth on 7 February 1812. In 1836 he married Catherine Hogarth; they had ten children.
 
The Charles Dickens Museum in London holds the world's most important Dickens collection with over 100,000 items.
 
At the age of nine his family were imprisoned in Marshalsea Debtor's Prison in Southwark for his father's debts, while Dickens went to work in a blacking factory. He later used the prison as one of the settings for Little Dorrit.
 
His first novel The Pickwick Papers was serialised between 1836 and 1837.
 
In 1837 Catharine's 17 year old sister Mary died in Dickens's arms becoming the inspiration for the death of Little Nell in The Old Curiosity Shop.
 
On 9 June 1865 Dickens survived the Staplehurst rail crash. The First Class carriage he was travelling in was the only one of seven not to plunge off the bridge. Dickens helped to tend the wounded and used his experience later in the ghost story The Signalman.
 
His final unfinished novel The Mystery of Edwin Drood was published after his death. The identity of the murderer was never revealed.
 
Dickens was interred at Poet's Corner in Westminster Abbey, despite his wish to be buried at Rochester Cathedral.
Between 1992 and 2003 Dickens was featured on the reverse of the Bank of England £10 note together with a scene from The Pickwick Papers
 
His best-selling novel, A Tale of Two Cities has sold over 200 million copies
 
Dickens' most autobiographical work was also his favourite - David Copperfield. Such was the interest generated by the serialisation of his work, a huge crowd gathered at the dock in Boston to await the ship that carried chapter 71 of Dickens' The Old Curiosity Shop
 
The only person said to be able to predict the conclusion of Dickens' complex plots was the American author and poet Edgar Allan Poe
 
Dickens is regarded as the most 'adapted' author of all time, all of his novels have been adapted for the cinema or television and in addition to modern versions, around 100 silent films were made – a third of which still exist.

JUAN FRANCO CRESPO * E-43800 VALLS-TARRAGONA (ESPAÑA-SPAIN


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