Leacock, Stephen Butler

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Leacock, Stephen Butler,

1869–1944, Canadian economist and humorist, b. England, grad. Univ. of Toronto (B.A., 1891), Univ. of Chicago (Ph.D., 1903). Head of the department of political science and economics (1908–36) at McGill Univ., he wrote standard works in his own field, in Canadian history, and in biography. He is best remembered, however, for his many volumes of humorous essays and stories, many of them genial satires, including Literary Lapses (1910), Nonsense Novels (1911), Behind the Beyond (1913), Frenzied Fiction (1918), Winnowed Wisdom (1926), My Discovery of the West (1937), and How to Write (1942). Last Leaves (1945) are posthumously published essays.


See his autobiographical fragment, The Boy I Left behind Me (1946).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Leacock, Stephen Butler


Born Dec. 30, 1869, in Swanmoor, England; died Mar. 28, 1944, in Toronto. English Canadian writer.

Leacock graduated from the University of Toronto in 1891. In 1903 he graduated from the University of Chicago and became a professor. The author of works on political economy and the history of Canada and Great Britain, he was popular for his humorous short stories, which were published in a number of collections: Literary Lapses (1910), Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town (1912), and Arcadian Adventures With the Idle Rich (1914). In these stories he described the mores of Canadian provincial towns and made fun of the prejudices and double standards of bourgeois morality. Leacock rose to the level of political satire in his stories on the electoral system in the USA and on British parliamentarianism. He published Humour as I Understand It (1916), Humor: Its Theory and Technique (1935), Humour and Humanity (1937), and How to Write (1944).


The Best of Leacock. Edited by J. B. Priestley. Toronto, 1958.
Perfect Lover’s Guide and Other Stories, 2nd ed. [Foreword by N. Mikhal’skaia.] Moscow, 1960.
In Russian translation:
Chaevye. Moscow-Leningrad, 1926.
Okhotniki za dollarami. Moscow-Leningrad, 1927.
Moe otkrytie Anglii. Moscow-Leningrad, 1927.
Sumasshedshie vydumki Moscow-Leningrad, 1929.


Curry, R. L. Stephen Leacock—Humorist and Humanist. New York, 1959.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.