Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Great literature on postage stamps

When I attend a stamp show, which isn't often, I seek out stamps with literary themes, those devoted to certain authors or certain literary works. This is what I did last weekend when I visited a stamp show in Largo, Fla.

Although I searched through stamps from a number of countries, I found success only among those from Great Britain and France, countries that have produced great literature and often commemorate their literary heritage on their postage stamps. Here are the stamps I brought home with me.

Oddly enough, Great Britain issued a stamp in 1976 celebrating "The Bicentennial of American Independence." The stamp, which features an image of Benjamin Franklin, thus celebrates a war the British lost, making American independence possible in 1776. Franklin always referred to himself as a printer, but he was many other things, including the author of one of the first classics of American literature, his Autobiography.

In 1992, the death of Alfred, Lord Tennyson (in 1892) was remembered with the issue of four gorgeous stamps honoring the great poet and his work. Each stamp shows an image of Tennyson at a different stage of his life, as well as paintings by the likes of John Waterhouse and Dante Gabriel Rossetti tied to certain Tennyson poems.

Great Britain commemorated the Year of the Child in 1979 with four stamps showing characters from notable children's books by British authors. These include Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter and The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame.
The French honored Colette (1873-1954) with a stamp in 1973. The stamp I purchased showing novelist Marcel Proust (1871-1922) was issued in 1966. The commemorative for Emile Zola (1840-1902) came out in 1967. The Proust and Zola stamps in particular have such fine detail that one needs a magnifying glass to fully appreciate them.

I paid just five bucks for all of these beauties. Each will make a very fine addition to my album.

No comments:

Post a Comment