Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town
  • Publication Date: August 12, 2002
  • ISBN: 9781551111780 / 1551111780
  • 321 pages; 5½" x 8½"

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Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town

  • Publication Date: August 12, 2002
  • ISBN: 9781551111780 / 1551111780
  • 321 pages; 5½" x 8½"

Set in the fictional landscape of Mariposa on the shores of Lake Wissanotti in Missinaba County, Leacock’s Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town is an affectionate satire of small town life. This series of humourous connected sketches about graft, high finance, religion, love and romance is, on one level, an intimate, comic portrait of town life and local politics. On another level, the narrative is a powerful commentary on the workings of community values and on Canada’s place within the British Empire.

The Broadview edition includes a critical introduction, thorough annotation, a list of textual variants, and a range of contextual materials, including Leacock’s stage adaptation of Sunshine Sketches.


“Although we have long celebrated Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town as a Canadian classic, we have had to wait until now for an edition that would put the best possible version of the text into our hands. It is wonderful to have that at last. The additional framing this edition gives Leacock’s great work is invaluable. This new edition of Leacock’s pastoral comedy should provoke new critical consideration of a literary work that is far more complex and richer than we have so far noticed.” — Russell Brown, University of Toronto: co-editor, The Oxford Anthology of Canadian Literature

“Carl Spadoni’s edition of Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town is a delight to peruse. As a critical edition it brings to twentieth-century textual study what the CEECT series accomplished for nineteenth-century Canadian books. Beyond that, Spadoni provides new information and revelations throughout his introduction, enriching our sense of the complex place that Mariposa held in Stephen Leacock’s imagination and the welter of critical response that his apparently innocent book has engendered. It’s an important work, worth at least a year of shaves and haircuts in Jeff Thorpe’s memorable barber shop.” — Michael Peterman, Trent University

“Spadoni’s edition deserves a welcome place on the shelves of Canadian literature specialists and general readers alike.” — Canadian Literature


  • Biographical Information about Leacock
    The Writing and Publication of Sunshine Sketches
    The Social and Political Context of Mariposa
    Literary Reception and Criticism
    Orillia and Mariposa
    The Choice of Copy-Text

Stephen Leacock: A Brief Chronology


Appendix A: Leacock’s Outline and Tables of Contents
Appendix B: Leacock’s Correspondence with His Publishers
Appendix C: Sunshine Sketches and Orillia
Appendix D: Contemporary Reviews of Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town

  1. Times Literary Supplement (15 August 1912)
  2. Spectator (24 August 1912)
  3. Canada: An Illustrated Weekly for All Interested in the Dominion (31
    August 1912)
  4. Tatler (11 September 1912)
  5. Toronto Globe (21 September 1912)
  6. Vancouver Daily Province (5 October 1912)
  7. New York Times (29 September 1912)
  8. Canadian Magazine (November 1912)
  9. Orillia Packet (12 December 1912)
  10. Review of Historical Publications Relating to Canada (1912)

Appendix E: Sunshine in Mariposa: A Play in Four Acts
Appendix F: Textual Variants in the Manuscript
Appendix G: Textual Variants in the Montreal Daily Star
Appendix H: Changes Made to the Copy-Text
Select Bibliography

Carl Spadoni the Research Collections Librarian at McMaster University Library, is the editor of Stephen Leacock’s My Recollections of Chicago and The Doctrine of Laissez-Faire (1998), and the author of A Bibliography of Stephen Leacock (1998).