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Wal Paget (1863-1935)

Wal Paget (1863-1935)

Experience in the Sudan as a Special Artist – or visual journalist – prepared Wal Paget for a career as a sought-after illustrator of adventure novels.

Wal Paget was the sixth of nine children of Robert Paget, the vestry clerk of the parish of St James and St John, Clerkenwell, and Martha Paget (née Clarke), who is described in censuses as a ‘music professor’. He was the younger brother of two other artists, Henry Marriott Paget (1856-1936) and Sidney E Paget (1860-1908), the latter famous as the first illustrator of Sherlock Holmes. They grew up together at 19 Lloyd Square.
Like Henry and Sidney, Wal Paget trained at the Royal Academy Schools. While there, he began to exhibit at the Royal Academy (from 1884), rented space at Queen’s Road Studios, St John’s Wood (1886), and won a second prize for a ‘Design in Monochrome for a Figure Picture’ (1887). However, in the years 1884-85, he spent some time in the Sudan as a Special Artist for The Illustrated London News, covering the expedition to relieve General Gordon at Khartoum.

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