Biography Stephen Leacock

Stephen Leacock

photo of Stephen Leacock
  • Time Period1869 - 1944
  • Place
  • CountryCanada

Poet Biography

Stephen Butler Leacock was a well known humorist, essayist, teacher, political economist, and historian. The recipient of numerous honorary degrees, awards and distinctions Leacock was the English-speaking world's best-known humorist 1915-25.

Leacock's two masterpieces are Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town (1912) and Arcadian Adventures with the Idle Rich (1914). The first humorously anatomizes business, social life, religion, romance and politics in the typical small Canadian town of Mariposa, whose name has attained mythic significance in the Canadian psyche. On the stamp above right is the contours of "Mariposa". Perhaps the greatest creation of Sunshine Sketches is the narrator himself, who, in his affection for and bemusement at the community of Mariposa that he so admirably represents, reveals the essential Leacock. Arcadian Adventures dissects life in an American city with sharper satire, less qualified by the author's affection and pathos. Taken together, these 2 books reveal the imaginative range of Leacock's vision - the nostalgic concern for what is being lost with the passing of human communities and his fear for what may issue. However, Leacock believed that the best humour resides at the highest reaches of literature.