ABSTRACT

James Paget (1814–1899) was an English surgeon and pathologist. He described osteitis deformans (Paget’s disease of the bone) and intraductal breast cancer (Paget’s disease of the nipple). Paget’s rise through the ranks of medicine was slow yet inexorable. He shone as an undergraduate – winning prizes and even discovering novel pathogens (such as Trichinella spiralis, the cause of trichinosis). On qualiflying however he was too poor to afford to become a house surgeon or dresser and eked out a living by writing articles for journals and curating material at the museum of the Royal College of Surgeons.