Sidney Paget

The Dastardly Past:  Sidney Paget.

Today (October 4th) marks the anniversary of the birth of illustrator Sidney Paget in 1860.  If his name is not immediately associated with that of Sherlock Holmes, his images surely are.  In the course of his successful career, he created 356 Holmes illustrations–mostly for The Strand magazine.  They have been a source of inspiration for actors throughout the past century, giving life to the postures, mannerisms, and expressions of Holmes, Watson, LeStrade, et al.

Sadly, Paget passed away at the age of 47 from a mediastinal tumor–a tumor located between his lungs, sternum, and spinal column.  The area also touches on the heart, esophagus, and aorta, and is therefore a tricky place to operate.  Such tumors are rare and, in the early twentieth century, they represented a death sentence.  In his short life, however, he created work that seems destined to remain immortal.

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