The Baskerville Hall Club of Sweden

Sidney Paget
OCTOBER 4, 1860-JANUARY 28, 1908
It’s possible that one of the most famous artists who ever lived is also a man few people now living have heard of. The image of Sherlock Holmes, complete with deerstalker, Inverness, and pipe is universally recognizable. The man who created it, Sidney Paget, is not.
Born in 1860, into a large Clerkenwell family, Paget entered the Royal Academy in 1881, joining an older brother, Henry Marriott (H.M.), and a younger, Walter. All three brothers would become successful illustrators in the Black and White School.
Paget was already well-known for his work in several magazines when he received a letter from W. J. Boot, Art Editor of The Strand Magazine, commissioning him to illustrate the Sherlock Holmes stories. Interestingly (some would say serendipitously), the letter was a mistake: Boot had intended to offer the job to Walter. Whether he misremembered the name, or simply addressed the commission to “Mr. Paget” has been forgotten, but apparently no one objected, and Sidney Paget Went on to illustrate one novel and 37 stories in the Canon, a total of 356 drawings. Although Conan Doyle once protested that Paget made Holmes handsomer than he’d imagined him, he was pleased enough that when he brought Holmes back for The Hound of the Baskervilles, he requested that Paget return as well. Unfortunately, he would not be able to stay for long; Sidney Paget died of a rare form of cancer on January 28, 1908. Walter finished his brother’s last Holmes story.

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