New stamps celebrate Charles Dickens

Royal Mail is to release a set of stamps to celebrate the life and work of Charles Dickens.

Dickens used his many novels and papers to critique Victorian Britain, particularly the stark social inequalities and harrowing plight of children living in poverty.

The first class stamp features Mr Pickwick, from the Pickwick Papers, and Mr Bumble, the parish beadle from Oliver Twist.

Other characters to appear in the set of six stamps include Son and Mr Micawber, from David Copperfield, and the Marchioness, from The Old Curiosity Shop.

The stamps are being released to mark the bicentenary of Dickens’ birth.

The designs use illustrations by Joseph Clayton Clarke, otherwise known as ‘Kyd’.

Philip Parker, Royal Mail Stamps spokesperson, said: “Charles Dickens was one of the truly great British novelists. We couldn’t think of a more fitting tribute to his life and works than celebrating them on a set of special stamps.”

Lucinda Dickens Hawksley, the great, great, great granddaughter of Charles Dickens commented: "When Charles Dickens was born into an impoverished home in 1812, no one in his family imagined he would become an international celebrity.

"Royal Mail's decision to produce stamps to commemorate the bicentenary of his birth illustrates the phenomenon he became in his lifetime and still remains today.

“The stamps not only celebrate his life and work, they are testimony to what a unique and extraordinary man Charles Dickens was."