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Bosnia and Herzegovina – BH Pošta

09 June 2020

Charles Dickens 150th Death Anniversary

Bosnia and Herzegovina BH Pošta: Charles Dickens 150th Death Anniversary, 9 June 2020. Images from private collection.

Technical Specifications:

Issue: Jubilee
Motif: 150 years since the death of Charles Dickens (1812-1870)
Colors: Multicolor
Face value: 2,00 KM
Designer: Sunita Hamzić
Date of issue: 09.06.2020
Number of stamps in sheets: 10
Product Code: 3000706
Printing: Offset lithography

Charles John Huffam Dickens FRSA (7 February 1812 – 9 June 1870) was an English writer and social critic. He created some of the world’s best-known fictional characters and is regarded by many as the greatest novelist of the Victorian era. His works enjoyed unprecedented popularity during his lifetime, and by the 20th century, critics and scholars had recognised him as a literary genius. His novels and short stories are still widely read today.

Born in Portsmouth, Dickens left school to work in a factory when his father was incarcerated in a debtors’ prison. Despite his lack of formal education, he edited a weekly journal for 20 years, wrote 15 novels, five novellas, hundreds of short stories and non-fiction articles, lectured and performed readings extensively, was an indefatigable letter writer, and campaigned vigorously for children’s rights, education, and other social reforms.

Dickens’s literary success began with the 1836 serial publication of The Pickwick Papers. Within a few years he had become an international literary celebrity, famous for his humour, satire, and keen observation of character and society. His novels, most published in monthly or weekly instalments, pioneered the serial publication of narrative fiction, which became the dominant Victorian mode for novel publication. Cliffhanger endings in his serial publications kept readers in suspense. The installment format allowed Dickens to evaluate his audience’s reaction, and he often modified his plot and character development based on such feedback. For example, when his wife’s chiropodist expressed distress at the way Miss Mowcher in David Copperfield seemed to reflect her disabilities, Dickens improved the character with positive features. His plots were carefully constructed, and he often wove elements from topical events into his narratives. Masses of the illiterate poor chipped in ha’pennies to have each new monthly episode read to them, opening up and inspiring a new class of readers.

His 1843 novella A Christmas Carol remains especially popular and continues to inspire adaptations in every artistic genre. Oliver Twist and Great Expectations are also frequently adapted and, like many of his novels, evoke images of early Victorian London. His 1859 novel A Tale of Two Cities (set in London and Paris) is his best-known work of historical fiction. The most famous celebrity of his era, he undertook, in response to public demand, a series of public reading tours in the later part of his career. Dickens has been praised by many of his fellow writers — from Leo Tolstoy to George Orwell, G. K. Chesterton, and Tom Wolfe — for his realism, comedy, prose style, unique characterizations, and social criticism. However, Oscar Wilde, Henry James, and Virginia Woolf complained of a lack of psychological depth, loose writing, and a vein of sentimentalism.

The term Dickensian is used to describe something that is reminiscent of Dickens and his writings, such as poor social conditions or comically repulsive characters.

For more on Dickens and philately, please see the article “What the Dickens: Charles Dickens on Stamps” on the Philatelic Database or those I wrote for A Stamp A Day, most recently “The Death of Dickens: An Examination of His Characters and Reputation.”

Sheet:

First Day Cover:


Three Postal Administrations

Since independence in 1992, Bosnia and Herzegovina has had three postal authorities corresponding with the ethnic and administrative division of the country. Stamps are issued by the Bosnia and Herzegovina Post (BH Pošta, Sarajevo), Croatian Posts (Hrvatska pošta Mostar, Mostar), and Serbian Posts (Pošte Srpske, Banja Luka). In the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, stamps issued by BH Pošta (the areas controlled by the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1995) and HP Mostar (the areas controlled by the Croatian Defence Council in 1995) are valid while in Republika Srpska stamps issued by the Pošte Srpske are valid.

BH Pošta stamps were first issued 27 October 1993, inscribed Republika Bosna i Hercegovina; since 1996 the inscriptions have read just Bosna i Hercegovina. The currency was the Bosnia and Herzegovina dinar until 1 October 1998, replaced by the Bosnia and Herzegovina convertible mark.

HP Mostar has issued stamps since 12 May 1993. Initially the stamps were inscribed Bosna i Hercegovina / Hrvatska Republika Herceg-Bosna, or abbreviated HR Herceg-Bosna. From 1996, the stamps bear the inscription Bosna i Hercegovina, but with a different logo than BH Pošta. The currency was initially the Croatian kuna, and from 1999 the Bosnia and Herzegovina convertible mark. Since 2011, both postal authorities have used the double label Bosna i Hercegovina / Federacija Bosne i Hercegovine (sometimes abbreviated as FBiH), maintaining different logos and areas of use.

Pošte Srpske in Banja Luka started to issue stamps on 26 October 1992. The stamps first had the inscription Republika Srpska, and the currency was the Yugoslav dinar until 24 December 1992. Since 15 July 2003, the stamps bear the double inscription Bosna i Hercegovina / Republika Srpska. The stamps of Republika Srpska usually use the Cyrillic script, so the label reads Рeпублиҝa Српска.

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