Tom Taylor [of Islington]
Tom Taylor (1817-1880), playwright and comic writer, was also a frequent visitor to the Duff Gordons (and Sandown House). By the early 1860s Taylor was 'England's leading and most versatile living dramatist' (Winton Tolles). In 1860 his play 'The Overland Route' was a success, so too was his 1863 melodrama 'The Ticket of Leave Man', which became his most popular play. 'Our American Cousin' was popular in America, and was the play Abraham Lincoln was attending when he was assassinated in 1865. Taylor contributed to Punch magazine for thirty-six years, becoming editor in 1874. As Art Critic for The Times (from 1857) and The Graphic (during the 1870s) Taylor was second only to Ruskin in prominence. He lived in a house he built near Clapham Common in Wandsworth called 'Lavender Sweep'.