Scenes from each of Jane Austen’s six published novels feature on a set of stamps marking the 200th anniversary of the publication of Pride & Prejudice.

Released on February 21, the stamps use illustrations by Angela Barrett which were commissioned especially for the issue. The set was designed by Webb & Webb and printed in lithography by Cartor.

Philip Parker of Royal Mail Stamps said: 'Jane Austen has contributed immeasurably to British culture, and new generations continue to fall in love with her work through television and film adaptations, as well as the original texts.

'It is therefore a great joy to commemorate her work with this special set of stamps, and fitting that it falls during the 200th anniversary celebrations of Pride & Prejudice, her most famous masterpiece.'

Scenes from four of the six novels were previously illustrated in a 1975 set marking the bicentenary of Austen's birth.

VERDICT

COMMEMORATIVE WORTH 
Austen was one of Britain’s greatest authors, but this is a curious anniversary to mark

QUALITY OF DESIGN 
It’s good to see an issue which doesn’t merely co-opt photographs or book covers

WOW FACTOR 
The illustrations are pallid and anodyne, if redolent of Austen’s genteel world

 

1st class Sense & Sensibility
Austen’s first published novel, which appeared in 1811 under the pseudonym 'A Lady', follows the lives and loves of sisters Elinor and Marianne Dashwood as they experience both romance and heartbreak.

1st class Pride & Prejudice
Published in 1813, this is one of the most popular novels in English literature, telling the story of the coming of age of the judgemental Elizabeth Bennet as she works out her true feelings for the proud Mr Darcy.

77p Mansfield Park
Published in 1814, this is the story of Fanny Price, the poor relation of the wealthy Bertrams, who is acutely conscious of her inferior status and yet ends up as the family’s bastion of morality.

77p Emma
Published in 1815, this comedy of manners concerns the attempts of meddling Emma Woodhouse to manage other people’s lives for their own good, which almost turns out very badly but eventually awakens her mind to some of life’s more intractable dilemmas.

£1.28 Northanger Abbey
First drafted in around 1799 but published posthumously in 1817, this is the tale of Catherine Morland, who becomes embroiled in misapprehension, mistreatment and mortification when she is invited to stay at the forbidding ancestral seat of the Tilney family, the home of her suitor, Henry.

£1.28 Persuasion
Also published posthumously in 1817, Austen’s last completed novel concerns Anne Elliot, a young lady who is persuaded to break off her engagement to a naval officer, Captain Wentworth, because he has no fortune. Later he returns as a self-made man, and the two are eventually reunited.

OTHER PRODUCTS
In the presentation pack, mystery writer P D James assesses Austen’s life and work, focusing on Pride & Prejudice. A first day cover and stamp cards are also available.

PRICES

Set of 6 stamps £5.30
Presentation pack £5.80
Stamp cards £2.70
First day envelope £0.30
First day cover £6.84
TOTAL £20.94