Sunday, 4 November 2012

Charles Dickens

File:Dickens Gurney head.jpg
Charles Dickens was an English writer, generally considered to be the greatest novelist of the Victorian period and responsible for some of English literature’s most iconic novels and characters. He is a philanthropist and tireless campaigner for the poor.

To celebrate the bicentenary of Charles Dicken’s birth, Royal Mail pleased to present a set of six single stamps and four stamps in one miniature sheet on June 19, 2012.


The six stamps feature the characters of his novel, Mr. Bumble, Mr. Pickwick, the Marchioness, Mrs. Gamp, Captain Cuttle, Mr. Micawber and miniature sheet feature the comic strip of his novel Great Expectation.

The stamp present the character, Mr. Bumble is one  of the novel’s characters  of Oliver Twist.

Mr. Bumble, despite his impressive sense of his own dignity, continually mangles the king's English he tries to use. Around the time of Oliver's ninth birthday, Mr. Bumble, a parish beadle, removes Oliver from the baby farm and puts him to work picking oakum at the main workhouse.

Oliver, who toils with very little food, remains in the workhouse for six months. He escapes and travels to London where he meets the Artful Dodger, leader of a gang of juvenile pickpockets. Oliver is led to the lair of their elderly criminal trainer Fagin, naively unaware of their unlawful activities. 
 Oliver Twist, is notable for Dickens' unromantic portrayal of criminial and their sordid lives, also known as the Parish boy's progress, published by Richard Bentley in 1838.

The stamp present Mr. Samuel Pickwick as main characters of the Pickwick Papers novel. Written for publication as a serial, The Pickwick Papers is a sequence of loosely-related adventures. The action is given as occurring 1827–1828, though critics have noted some seeming anachronisms.

The novel's main character, Samuel Pickwick, Esquire, is a kind and wealthy old gentleman, and the founder and perpetual president of the Pickwick Club. To extend his researches into the quaint and curious phenomena of life, he suggests that he and three other "Pickwickians" (Mr Nathaniel Winkle, Mr Augustus Snodgrass, and Mr Tracy Tupman) should make journeys to remote places from London and report on their findings to the other members of the club.

The Old Curiosity Shop tells the story of Nell Trent, a beautiful and virtuous young girl of 'not quite fourteen.' An orphan, she lives with her maternal grandfather in his shop of odds and ends. Her grandfather loves her dearly, and Nell does not complain, but she lives a lonely existence with almost no friends her own age.
Nell has died as a result of her arduous journey. Her grandfather, already mentally infirm, refuses to admit she is dead and sits every day by her grave waiting for her to come back, until a few months later, he dies himself.

The stamp present the Marchioness,  is  one of many characters of this story as  small servant, Miss Brass's maidservant,  later gives her the name Sophronia Sphynx. In the original manuscript it is made explicit that the Marchioness is in fact the illegitimate daughter of Miss Brass, possibly by Quilp (Daniel Quilp, is the novel's primary villain)

The stamp present Mrs. Gamp, is one of many characters of the novel Martin Chuzzlewit.

Martin Chuzzlewit was raised by his grandfather and namesake. Years before, Martin senior takes the precaution of raising an orphaned girl, Mary. She is to be his nursemaid, with the understanding that she would be well cared for only for as long as he lived. She would thus have great motivation to care for his well-being, in contrast to his relatives, who only want to inherit his money. However, his grandson Martin, falls in love with Mary and wishes to marry her, ruining senior Martin's plans. When Martin refuses to give up the engagement, his grandfather disinherits him.

Sarah or Sairey Gamp was a nurse in the novel Martin Chuzzlewit, written by Charles Dickens and first published as a serial in 1843–1844. She was dissolute and drunk and became a notorious stereotype of the bad secular nurse in the early Victorian era, before the reforms of campaigners like Florence Nightingale.

The caricature was popular with the British public and umbrellas became known as gamps after her own which was displayed with "particular ostentation". The character was based upon a real nurse described to Dickens by his friend, Angela Burdett-Coutts.

The stamp presents Captain Cuttle character,  has a larger humanity and as a character with the creation of humour. He is one of many characters of the novel Dombey and Son.

Dombey and Son is a novel by Charles Dickens, published in monthly parts from 1 October 1846 to 1 April 1848 and in one volume in 1848. Its full title is Dealings with the Firm of Dombey and Son: Wholesale, Retail and for Exportation.

The story concerns Paul Dombey, the wealthy owner of the shipping company of the book's title, whose dream is to have a son to continue his business. The book begins when his son is born, and Dombey's wife dies shortly after giving birth. Following the advice of Mrs Louisa Chick, his sister, Dombey employs a wet nurse named Mrs Richards (Toodle). Dombey already has a daughter, Florence, whom he neglects.

The stamp present Mr. Micawber, is one of many characters of the novel David Copperfield.  Micawber is known for asserting his faith that "something will turn up". His name has become synonymous with someone who lives in hopeful expectation.

Wilkins Micawber is a fictional character from Charles Dickens's 1850 novel, David Copperfield. He was modelled on Dickens's father, John Dickens, who like Micawber was incarcerated in debtors' prison (the King's Bench Prison) after failing to meet his creditors' demands. The character of Wilkins Micawber has given rise to the English noun "Micawber" and the adjectives "Micawberish" and "Micawberesque." The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a Micawber as "one who is poor but lives in optimistic expectation of better fortune"

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