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Book Details

  • Paperback
  • Bookstore's Wholesale Price: $15.50
  • February 2006
  • ISBN: 978-0-393-92634-7
  • 256 pages
  • Territory Rights: Worldwide

Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town

Norton Critical Editions


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Stephen Leacock (Author), D. M. R. Bentley (Editor, University of Western Ontario)


Canada’s answer to Mark Twain and Charles Dickens, Stephen Leacock was a master of humor and characterization.

His endearing portrayals of small-town life in Ontario and his memorable characters place him in the company of Canada’s finest writers.

This Norton Critical Edition of Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town uses the text of the 1912 first edition, second impression, the only edition that takes into account the corrections made between impressions.  It is accompanied by explanatory annotations and textual emendations.

"Backgrounds and Contexts" includes a concise excerpt on Sunshine Sketches from the leading Leacock biography, as well as a selection of contemporary reviews from Canada, Britain, and the United States.

"Criticism" is comprised of two sections.  The first presents eight scholarly interpretations, by Desmond Pacey, Silver Donald Cameron, W. H. Magee, Ina Ferris, Beverly J. Rasporich, Frank Birbalsingh, Gerald Lynch, and Glenn Willmont, selected for their contribution to critical discussion of the novel.  The second brings together responses to the novel by esteemed Canadian novelists Robertson Davies, Guy Vanderhaeghe, and Mordecai Richler.

A Chronology and Selected Bibliography are also included.




    The Text of Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town

    1. Editorial Emendations

    Backgrounds and Contexts


    1. Albert Moritz and Theresa Moritz – From Stephen Leacock: His Remarkable Life


    1. From The Times Literary Supplement
    2. From The Spectator
    3. From The New York Times
    4. From Canadian Magazine



    1. Desmond Pacey – Leacock as Satirist
    2. Silver Donald Cameron – Faces of Leacock
    3. W. H. Magee – Stephen Leacock: Local Colorist
    4. Ina Ferris – The Face in the Window: Sunshine Sketches Reconsidered
    5. Beverly J. Rasporich – Charles Dickens and Stephen Leacock: A Legacy of Sentimental Humour
    6. Frank Birbalsingh – Stephen Leacock and the Canadian Literary Sensibility
    7. Gerald Lynch – Stephen Leacock: Humour and Humanity
    8. Glenn Willmott – The Cost of a Drink in Mariposa


    1. Robertson Davies – Stephen Leacock
    2. Guy Vanderhaeghe – Leacock and Understanding Canada
    3. Mordecai Richler – Spend a Few Hours in the Town of Mariposa

    Stephen Leacock: A Chronology

    Selected Bibliography