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Jane Austen novel stamps go on sale

21st February 2013

A set of stamps featuring illustrations of Jane Austen have gone on sale, including newly commissioned artwork depicting scenes from her books, to mark the 200th anniversary of Pride and Prejudice.

All six of the author's published novels are included in the new series, with two first-class stamps featuring illustrations from Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility and images from Mansfield Park, Emma, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion making up the set.

Royal Mail also announced that letters posted in Chawton, Hampshire – where Austen spent the final years of her life – and in Steventon, near Basingstoke, where she was born, will carry a special postmark to celebrate the occasion. The mark will feature the Pride and Prejudice quote: 'Do anything rather than marry without affection.'

Royal Mail's Andrew Hammond said: 'When you think of great British authors, Jane Austen inevitably comes to mind. Her novels have contributed immeasurably to British culture over the last two centuries.

'New generations continue to fall in love with her work through television and film adaptations, as well as, of course, the books themselves.'

Austen, who was born in 1775 and died aged 41 in 1817, did much of her writing toward the end of her life when she lived in Chawton.

It was there she revised and published Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice and wrote both Emma and Persuasion.

The 17th century house she lived in is now open to the public as Jane Austen's House Museum, with a number of events taking place there this year to mark Pride and Prejudice's 200th anniversary.

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