We recommend combining your visit to Leighton House with another historic location – the house of Edward Linley Sambourne, a cartoonist for the satirical magazine Punch and book illustrator.
Leighton and Sambourne lived as neighbours for over 20 years and had many acquaintances in common.
Unlike Leighton House this is an untouched Victorian home that gives an insight into the personal lives of the Sambourne family and provides a rare example of what was known as an ‘Aesthetic interior’ or ‘House Beautiful’ style.
The London townhouse
Jam-packed with drawings, photographs, furniture, diaries, it allows you to picture a life of late-Victorian middle-class people.
For example, to meet Punch’s tight weekly deadlines (topics were decided at black-tie staff dinner parties), Sambourne photographed models in the garden, amassing a library of poses that he could use in his cartoons.
The models were dressed as key figures of the day, with members of the family and household servants sometimes playing supporting roles.