DEATH, Mort and Moist von Lipwig are among the characters from Sir Terry Pratchett’s Discworld who feature in a new range of stamps dedicated to the author – who has strong links with Wiltshire and Somerset.
Royal Mail has published the set, featuring eight special stamps to celebrate the author’s globally popular, fantasy Discworld novels, and the 40th anniversary of the release of the first book in the series, The Colour of Magic.
The stamps include characters Rincewind, The Librarian, Granny Weatherwax, Sam Vimes, and Great A’Tuin, as well as specially commissioned artworks of Death and Mort, Tiffany Aching and Moist von Lipwig by Terry Pratchett’s illustrator of choice, Paul Kidby.
Sir Terry, who passed away in 2015, is regarded as one of the UK’s greatest fantasy writers. Born in Buckinghamshire in 1948, he spent some time in Bridgwater, Somerset, around 1957.
Then, in 1980, he became a press officer for the Central Electricity Generating Board (CEGB) – including for the Hinkley power stations, bringing him back to the Bridgwater patch.
But in 1987, after finishing his fourth Discworld novel, Mort, Sir Terry gave up his job at the CEGB.
He lived in the Mendips for many years, at Rowberrow, before moving to Broad Chalke, near Salisbury.
In 2007, the author revealed he had been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s and in March 2015, the ’embuggerance’ as he called it, saw Sir Terry take a walk with Death, one of his most enduring Discworld characters, when he passed away at his Wiltshire home.
His defining work is the Discworld series, which spans 41 novels that have been translated into over 40 languages, with more than 100 million copies sold worldwide.
Discworld is a flat, circular planet revolving on the shoulders of four giant elephants who stand atop a vast star turtle called the Great A’Tuin.
This turtle is 10,000 miles long and of the species Chelys galactica. Its shell is scarred with meteor craters, and its eyes are as big as seas.
David Gold, director of external affairs and policy at Royal Mail, said: “These striking stamps will be loved by generations both young and old.
“Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels remain as popular as ever and it is fitting that in the 40th anniversary year of The Colour of Magic, we celebrate with a set of stamps that honour the work of an iconic and globally admired writer.”
Royal Mail worked closely with Terry Pratchett’s estate, as well as Paul Kidby, who has been illustrating Discworld for 30 years.
Paul began working with Terry Pratchett in 1993 and has designed the Discworld book jackets since 2002. He has illustrated many Discworld publications including The Art of Discworld, best-selling The Last Hero and the 2017 publication Terry Pratchett’s Discworld Imaginarium.
In 2019, he illustrated Good Omens, written by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman.
“It has been a huge honour to illustrate this set of stamps to commemorate 40 years of Discworld,” Paul said.
“I am delighted to finally be able to tell people about it as it has been a big secret to keep. It’s a wonderful celebration of Terry’s ongoing legacy and continued popularity.”
The stamps, which go on sale on August 10, are available at 7,000 Post Office branches across the UK and via the Royal Mail website.
A Presentation Pack including all eight stamps in the set is priced at £13.50.