Own a Quentin Blake print for 46p thanks to Royal Mail’s new stamps

The Royal Mail are currently honouring author Roald Dahl with a special stamp programme featuring six of his children’s books. The Royal Mail describes the limited edition set as “a tribute to one of the world’s greatest children’s authors” and fans can pick up a first class stamp featuring Quentin Blake’s drawing of Charlie Bucket waving a golden ticket for 46p (if I’m remembering the price of a first class stamp correctly!)

The thing which has puzzled me is that the stamps – and all the accompanying merchandise – are so focused on Blake’s illustrations they would probably be more appropriate as a tribute to the artist – or at least a tribute to Blake and Dahl’s working partnership.

Without a shadow of a doubt Roald Dahl’s books would not have appealed to me nearly so much as a child without the glorious illustrations of his longterm collaborator. It felt like Blake understood how to transfer the verve and spirit contained in Dahl’s prose into a single image. Their partnership was perfect fit.

The fact that Blake’s sketchy drawings, bursting with charm and character, can serve as a cipher for most of Dahl’s literary output in this Royal Mail Collection just illustrates my point further.

Dahl very much deserves to be recognised with the collection and I’m so glad that Blake’s illustrations were used but it feels bizarre that the Royal Mail are billing the set as just a tribute to Roald when the stamps themselves show the artwork as being so inextricably linked to our enjoyment of the stories.