Hugh Thomson was born in Coleraine in 1860 and became an accomplished painter after his family moved to Kilrea.

However, it was as an illustrator that his talents shone and he was discovered by the prestigious publishing firm, Marcus Ward of Belfast. Until recent times his illustrations lay in an attic, and through funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Coleraine Borough Council were able to acquire what now amounts to over 700 works of art. Hugh Thomson’s story delights all who hear it.

The local boy whose illustrations went on to give form to the personalities described in works by Dickens, Thackeray, Jane Austin, Oliver Goldsmith, Austen Dobson, George Eliot and Shakespeare.

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