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Posting ItThe Victorian Revolution in Letter Writing$
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Catherine J. Golden

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780813033792

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813033792.001.0001

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Signed, Sealed, Delivered Mulreadies, Caricatures, and the Penny Black

Signed, Sealed, Delivered Mulreadies, Caricatures, and the Penny Black

(p.83) Chapter 2 Signed, Sealed, Delivered Mulreadies, Caricatures, and the Penny Black
Posting It

Catherine J. Golden

University Press of Florida

This chapter begins on the historic day of January 10, 1840, when the Penny Post was extended to the entire nation. It focuses on the reception and significance of two innovations that accompanied postal reform: prepaid stationery (dubbed Mulreadies), and the first prepaid adhesive postage stamps, called the Penny Black and the Two Pence Blue (2d blue). The stamp, Mulreadies, and the caricatures that followed in their wake contain images that tell stories and invite questions. These postal products are emissaries of nation, of national pride and values on a broad scale: they tell something of Britain's imperial identity, its trade relations, military and naval operations, and its conception of foreign lands and British territories abroad. They also convey information about Victorian aesthetics and humor and other relevant issues of the age. The chapter closes with George Elgar Hicks's painting The General Post Office, One Minute to Six (1860).

Keywords:   Mulreadies, George Elgar Hicks, 2d blue, postal reform, Penny Post

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