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10.08.2016 - Vincent Schouberechts: The Post Book - 500 Years of history in Europe

(mb) The year 1516 was a pivotal year for the European post. For two reasons:
- That year, the family Thurn und Taxis was the first to receive the monopoly of the international postal service and
- England saw the birth of the Royal Mail.
In ‘The Post Book - 500 Years of history in Europe’ Vincent Schouberechts tells the story of the European post, not only using historical documents but also magnificent maps that show postal routes. In his book he presents and describes fifty major postal documents selected from public and private collections, some of which never have been published. The overview starts with a clay tablet, 3,000 years old, dating back to the Persian king Cyrus, who organized in his empire the first postal service.
Much attention goes to the postal service of Thurn and Taxis; among the letters that Schouberecht presents is the document in which Charles V confirms that the lucrative postal monopoly will be granted to the family Thurn und Taxis. We also see a letter from Peter Stuyvesant, the governor of New Amsterdam (nowadays New York). The book is concluded with a letter that was sent to the international space station ISS and signed by the Belgian astronaut Frank De Winne.
Here we have a splendid book, written in two official Belgian languages (French and Dutch). A French/English edition is also available. Vincent Schouberechts’ publication deserves to be included in every serious philatelic library. The book is published by Lannoo. It is available in bookstores or directly from the author (victoria2000@telenet.be).