A new set of stamps is released today celebrating the life and work of one of the world's most famous novelists, Charles Dickens.
The author was born in Hampshire but grew up in Kent and his centenary has been celebrated here.
The stamps feature iconic characters from Dickens' tales. The first-class stamp show Mr Pickwick from The Pickwick Papers while Mr Bumble, the parish beadle from Oliver Twist, is featured on the second-class stamp.
The set also comprises The Marchioness from The Old Curiosity Shop, Mrs Gamp from Martin Chuzzlewitt, Captain Cuttle from Dombey and Son and Mr Micawber from David Copperfield.
– Philip Parker, Royal Mail stamps spokesman.
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, great, great, great granddaughter of Charles Dickens.
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."