Stephen Leacock

Stephen Leacock
Margaret MacMillan

Margaret MacMillan’s biography of Stephen Leacock is a brief and affectionately gentle account of the life of a man whose own most popular work was typified by those same qualities. Most writers do not lead particularly interesting lives and Leacock was no exception. MacMillan wisely avoids personal details (not very telling in this case anyway) and structures the book around introductions to different aspects of Leacock’s writing and thought: as a humourist, an academic, and a public intellectual. Dismissive of his conservative and conventional take on economics, history, and politics, MacMillan makes the case for why Leacock’s fiction still matters today.