Stephen Leacock, one of the finest humorists of this century deserves reassessment. Born in 1869 in Swansmore, Hampshire, England, and resettled with his family on a farm near Lake Simcoe, Ontario, at age six, he survived the rigors of frontier life in a family of twelve children, all reared by a mother of breeding, hardihood, and humaneness, and deserted by a profligate, Micawber-like but insensitive father. Through his mother's encouragement and meager family endowment, he attended Upper Canada College, a private secondary school in Toronto. Leacock's best known and most widely used text, Elements of Political Science (1906), earned him more money than any of his books of humor. It was revised and reissued in 1921, again proving successful. He published widely and influentially in his professional disciplines, chiefly political science, but it was his humor that built his reputation.

Note on the Author

Harold Ridlon has been at Bridgewater State College for nineteen years during which he has served as Division Director of Humanities and Creative Arts and Chairman of the English Department (19651980).