Stephen Leacock’s satiric masterpiece Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town captures “the Empire forever” mentality that marked Anglo-Canadian life in the early decades of the twentieth century. Historian Margaret Macmillan—whose books Women of the Raj and Paris 1919 cast fresh light on the colonial legacy—has great affection for Leacock’s gentle wit and sharp-eyed insight. The renowned historian examines Leacock’s life as a poor but ambitious student who rose to become an economist, celebrated academic, and, most importantly, the beloved humorist who taught Canadians to laugh at themselves.
Margaret MacMillan received her PhD from Oxford University and is now a professor of international history at Oxford, where she is also the warden of St. Antony’s College. She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature; a senior… More about Margaret MacMillan
“Lively…. precise and eloquent.” – The Globe and Mail
“Margaret MacMillan does a superb job of breathing life into Stephen Leacock’s quirks and eccentricities—and evoking wrenching pity in the reader’s heart for Leacock’s often very unhappy lot in life.” – Calgary Herald
“A sympathetic but not uncritical portrait.” – Geist magazine
“MacMillan’s taut biography is rich in historical detail. In addition to sketching the career path of the McGill economics professor who developed a lucrative sideline in humour, the book provides fascinating glimpses into Canadian life during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.” – CBC News