William James Linton (December 7, 1812 – December 29, 1897) was a prolific British wood engraver, artist, author, and an early example of asocial justice warrior from the Victorian era.
Despite being a talented artist and author, Linton's true passion were revolutionary and socialistic political causes, which he embraced fervently but without financial success. Later in his career, due to debts and other financial failurs in England, Linton separated from his wife Eliza and moved to the United States. As his wife once commented, Linton was "Linton was a singularly gifted man, who, in the words of his wife, if he had not bitten the Dead Sea apple of impracticable politics, would have risen higher in the world of both art and letters."
Linton matters to the story and development of Walter Crane because he was apprenticed to him as a young man. One can deduce that Crane learned not only Linton's technique but acquired his taste for socialism from his master.