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Deepen your knowledge about our museums with our selection of articles containing fascinating insights into the lives, careers and sentiments of Frederic Leighton and Linley Sambourne. Plus, a chance to keep updated with our latest news, offers and exciting developments.

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Immerse yourself in the diaries of the Sambournes

Read Linley Sambourne's diaries

Linley Sambourne first experimented with writing a diary in 1871, three years before his marriage. He used a very small notebook which had space on each page for only about 20 words. He gave it up at the end of the year and did not begin again until 1882, when he and his wife embarked on diary writing together.  These diaries are not confessional or introspective, more a simple list of actions and engagements, but they give a clear picture of a man who worked hard, loved his family, had many friends with a wide range of interests, and enjoyed plenty of exercise and good living.


Read Linley's diaries here

Read Marion Sambourne's diary

Marion Sambourne (1851-1914) married Linley Sambourne in 1874 and they had two children, Maud and Roy. As was expected of married women in the Victorian era, Marion’s life revolved around her husband and children. She was a skilful seamstress and embroiderer, was adept at running a household and had a good head for managing money. She recorded her life in her diaries which she kept from 1882 up until her death in 1914. These diaries are preserved in the museum archive and provide a remarkable insight into the life of a middle-class housewife during this period.


Read Marion's diaries here