Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town

Stephen Leacock presents a vibrant portrait of the citizens of the fictional town of Mariposa, Ontario.

Stephen Leacock

Stephen Leacock is the grandfather of Canadian humour writing, and Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town is his most important work. Set in the fictional town of Mariposa, the stories present an affectionately wry portrait of small-town Canada and the characters who call it home. The citizens of Mariposa, with all their foibles, spring vividly to life. Originally published in 1912, Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town remains funny and relevant more than a century later.

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From the book

I don't know whether you know Mariposa. If not, it is of no consequence, for if you know Canada at all, you are probably well acquainted with a dozen towns just like it.

There it lies in the sunlight, sloping up from the little lake that spreads out at the foot of the hillside on which the town is built. There is a wharf beside the lake, and lying alongside of it a steamer that is tied to the wharf with two ropes of about the same size as they use on the Lusitania. The steamer goes nowhere in particular, for the lake is landlocked and there is no navigation for the Mariposa Belle except to "run trips" on the first of July and the Queen's Birthday, and to take excursions of the Knights of Pythias and the Sons of Temperance to and from the Local Option Townships.

From Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town by Stephen Leacock ©1912. Published by McClelland & Stewart.

More about this book

Leacock's Sunshine Sketches

10 years ago
Duration 2:50
Orillia, Ont. is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the release of Stephen Leacock's Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town, reputedly based on his experiences in the Ontario town.

Adapting Sunshine Sketches

11 years ago
Duration 7:44
Actress Jill Hennessy talks to CBC about the new TV adaptation of Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town, airing Sunday and marking the 100th anniversary of Stephen Leacock's Canadian classic.