Stephen Leacock

Stephen Butler Leacock, FRSC (30 December 1869 – 28 March 1944) was an English-born Canadian teacher, political scientist, writer, and humorist. In the early part of the 20th century he was the best-known humorist in the English-speaking world. Leacock was born in Swanmore, near Bishop's Waltham, Hampshire, England, and at the age of six moved to Canada with his family, which settled on a farm in Egypt, Ontario, near the village of Sutton and the shores of Lake Simcoe. While the family had been well off in England (the Leacocks had made a fortune in Madeira and lived on an estate called Oak Hill on the Isle of Wight), Leacock's father, Peter, had been banished from the manor for marrying Agnes Butler without his parents' permission. The farm in the Georgina township of York County was not a success and the family (Leacock was the third of eleven children) was kept afloat by money sent by Leacock's grandfather. Peter Leacock became an alcoholic; in the fall of 1878, he travelled west to Manitoba with his brother E.P. Leacock, leaving behind Agnes and the children. E.P. Leacock was the subject of the title sketch in Stephen's 1942 work My Remarkable Uncle.

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