Linton, William James, 1812–97, Anglo-American wood engraver, author, and political reformer. In 1842 he began working as a wood engraver with John Orrin Smith and produced illustrations for the newly formed London Illustrated News. An ardent radical, he helped found the Leader, expounded the principles of Mazzini in the Red Republican, and started (1851) the English Republic. Later, he returned to wood engraving and in 1867 moved to the United States and set up a printing press in New Haven, Conn.; he continued the tradition of Thomas Bewick, advocating the use of the white as well as the black line. The best wood engraver of his day in England, he contributed more than any other to the regeneration of the art in America. His publications include The Life of Thomas Paine (1839), Some Practical Hints on Wood-Engraving (1879), The History of Wood-Engraving in America (1882), and Memories (1895).
See biography by F. B. Smith (1973).
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