Saturday 9 December 2023

Stephen Leacock, FRSC (1869 - 1944) – British-born Canadian writer

Suggested by AC Benus* who discovered Stephen's WW1 articles

Stephen Butler Leacock was born on 30th December 1869 in Swanmore, a hamlet and parish on "Waltham Chase" in Hampshire, UK. His parents were Walter Peter Leacock and his wife, Agnes Emma Leacock, nee Butler. Stephen was the third of eleven children and grew up in Oak Hill on the Isle of Wight - an estate purchased by his grandfather on returning from Madeira where his family had made a fortune out of plantations and Leacock's Madeira wine, founded in 1760. 

Stephen was six years old when the family moved to Canada, where they lived on a farm near the village of Sutton, Ontario, on the shores of Lake Simcoe. Educated at the private school of Upper Canada College in Toronto, Stephen went on to study at University College at the University of Toronto. He left university to work as a teacher. 

In 1899 Stephen enrolled for graduate studies at the University of Chicago under Thorstein Veblen, where he received a doctorate in political science and political economy. On 7th August 1900, Stephen married Beatrice Maude Hamilton. 

Moving from Chicago, Illinois, to Montreal, Quebec, Stephen became the William Dow Professor of Political Economy and long-time chair of Department of Economics and Political Science at McGill University. 

Stephen died on 28th March 1944.

 “The Boy who came back” published in “Vanity Fair” magazine November 1918 

Sources: Find my Past, FreeBMD, Wikipedia

*AC Benus is the author of a book about German WW1 poet Hans Ehrenbaum-Degele : “The Thousandth Regiment: A Translation of and Commentary on Hans Ehrenbaum-Degele’s War Poems” by AC Benus (AC Benus, San Francisco, 2020). Along with Hans's story, the book includes original poems as well as translations.    ISBN: 978-1657220584