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

Catherine J. Golden

in Posting It

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print October 2009 | ISBN: 9780813033792
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813039336 | DOI:
Signed, Sealed, Delivered Mulreadies, Caricatures, and the Penny Black

Show Summary Details


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

Chapter.  12537 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literary Studies (19th Century)

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.