IT IS the ultimate love story that will ensure that added sprinkle of romance for Valentine’s cards sent in 2013.

Images from the timeless classic Pride and Prejudice will adorn stamps throughout the month of February as Hampshire novelist Jane Austen is honoured by the Royal Mail.

The set of six stamps will see scenes from six of Austen’s iconic novels immortalised for keen collectors as the Royal Mail celebrates the very best of British.

Austen, who lived in Steventon, north of Winchester, before moving to College Street, Winchester in her final days, was chosen for the honour to mark 200 years of her best known tale of love between Mr Darcy and Miss Bennett.

But the Royal Mail are keeping the Pride and Prejudice design a closely guarded secret until February, instead choosing to reveal the stamp depicting a scene from Emma, right, as a taster.

Other icons of Britishness honoured include Doctor Who, the Merchant Navy and the London Underground, which will kick off the special series on January 9 to mark the 150th anniversary of the first underground railway in the world.

Some of the 2013 special stamp programme issues include:

  • January – London Underground
  • February – Jane Austen
  • March – Doctor Who
  • May – Football Heroes
  • August – British Auto Legends
  • September – Merchant navy
  • October – Dinosaurs
  • November – Christmas