stephen leacock, the living legend

Topics: Stephen Leacock, Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town, University of Toronto Pages: 2 (601 words) Published: October 5, 2013
Stephen Butler Leacock (1869-1944), Canadian author, will long be remembered for his best-selling book Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town (1912) as well as the numerous awards and honours he received during his illustrious lifetime as author, professor, lecturer and humourist. Stephen Butler Leacock was born on 30 December 1869 at Swanmore, Hampshire, England, the third of eleven children to Peter Leacock and Agnes Emma (née Butler). The Leacock family did a lot of travelling in their early years but finally emigrated to Canada in 1876 and settled near the village of Sutton, Ontario on a one-hundred acre farm. It was a difficult time, with harsh winters and hard work. It was only two years later that Stephen's father Peter travelled to Manitoba, leaving his large family behind. Leacock enrolled at the University of Toronto in 1887, studying modern and classical languages and literature with such exceptional talent and focus that he finished two years' worth of courses in just one. He graduated from University College in 1891with a Bachelor of Arts degree. During Leacock's third year at the University of Chicago he accepted the position of special lecturer in political science and history with McGill University in Montreal, Quebec. 1903 saw his dissertation The Doctrine of Laissez-faire completed and he received his Ph.D. magna cum laude. He was then to become a full-time assistant professor with McGill and began public lecturing, primarily about the British Empire, under the patronage of the May Court Club. His first book, Elements of Political Science(1906) became a standard university textbook for the next twenty years. Leacock was appointed full-time professor at McGill in 1908. Leacock published Literary Lapses in 1910, with the financial assistance of his brother George. It is a best-of compilation of his previously published writings. It sold out quickly and propelled Leacock into being known as one of the most popular authors in the English-speaking...
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