Edward Linley Sambourne
In 1906 the 62 year old Edward Linley Sambourne was the chief cartoonist at Punch magazine but he was also a particularly ardent amateur photographer. He had initially taken it up to help with his cartoon figure drawings – he had formerly used life-models to draw from. In his later years, however, photography became more important and his wife Marion wrote in her diary that his hobby had become almost an obsession. One of the attic rooms in his home in Stafford Terrace was converted into a studio and the bathroom had become his dark-room.
His photographs of young women taken around 1905-1907 (not long before he died in 1910) are fascinating not least because he used a concealed camera. Creepy it might have been but these photographs give us a chance to see the natural posture and clothes of women walking around Kensington and west London of the time. Suddenly the stiff, staid and unnaturally posed pictures of Edwardians are forgotten. Despite the huge hats and Edwardian clothing these are women we would recognise today.
These photographs are mostly taken from the brilliant Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Library Time Machine blog where you can find out much more about the fascinating Edward Linley Sambourne. His house at 18 Stafford Terrace is also open to the public.