My thanks to Helen Rappaport for her wonderful Christmas in the Crimea guest blog post and also for this rather different prize draw to accompany it.
You may recall the story of Helen's discovery of the portrait of Mary Seacole which now resides in the National Portrait Gallery.The gallery collects portraits of those who have made a signifiant contribution to British life, recognising both historical importance but also popular culture and it's a place I love to visit.
The portrait of Mary Seacole was one of a set of special stamps issued on the 18th July 2006 to celebrate 150 years of the gallery, and Helen has donated three signed and stamped First Day Covers together with three signed postcards of Mary Seacole's portrait.
The other portraits included in the collection of stamps are Sir Winston Churchill, Sir Joshua Reynolds, T.S.Eliot, Emmeline Pankhurst, Virginia Woolf, Sir Walter Scott, William Shakespeare, Dame Cicely Saunders (founder of the Hospice movement) and Charles Darwin so this collection and this prize something very special indeed.
Something really special to prop on your book case or tuck inside a copy of Helen's book No Place for Ladies if you have it or can locate a copy. I can recommend it highly as a fascinating read but currently sadly out of print so you may have to chase your library... Devon have 5 copies and the audio version ...or take out a mortgage on a second-hand copy, which should be all the incentive a publisher needs to bring it back into print perhaps.
In order to spread the prizes around a little further, the first three numbers drawn by our usual random number generator method will win the First Day Covers, the second three the signed postcards. We have them here safely, they are very lovely and we will happily pack with care (Bookhound's speciality) and post to winners worldwide after Christmas.
Names in comments as usual.