" The Secrets of Success" is a short essay by Stephen Leacock. Stephen P. H Butler Leacock, FRSC (30 December 1869 - 28 March 1944) was a Canadian teacher, political scientist, writer, and humourist. In the early part of the 20th century he was the best-known humourist in the English-speaking world. He is known for his light humour along with criticisms of people's follies. The Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour was named in his honour.. Stephen Leacock, one of Canada's leading humour writers, was born in England in 1869. His father, Peter Leacock, and his mother, Agnes Emma Butler Leacock, were both from well-to-do families. The family, eventually to consist of eleven children, immigrated to Canada in 1876, settling on a one hundred-acre farm in Sutton, Ontario. There Stephen was home-schooled until he was enrolled in Upper Canada College, Toronto. He became the head boy in 1887, and then entered the University of Toronto to study languages and literature. Despite completing two years of study in one year, he was forced to leave the university because his father had abandoned the family. Instead, Leacock enrolled in a three-month course at Strathroy Collegiate Institute to become a qualified high school teacher. His first appointment was at Uxbridge High School, Ontario, but he was soon offered a post at Upper Canada College, where he remained from 1889 through 1899. At this time, he also resumed part-time studies at the University of Toronto, graduating with a B.A. in 1891. However, Leacock's real interests were turning towards economics and political theory, and in 1899 he was accepted for postgraduate studies at the University of Chicago, where he earned his PhD in 1903 In 1900 Leacock married Beatrix ("Trix") Hamilton, niece of Sir Henry Pellatt (who had built Casa Loma, the largest castle in North America). In 1915, after 15 years of marriage, the couple had their only child, Stephen Lushington Leacock. While Leacock doted on the boy, it became apparent early on that "Stevie" suffered from a lack of growth hormone. Growing to be only four feet tall, he had a love-hate relationship with Leacock, who tended to treat him like a child. His wife Beatrix Hamilton died in 1925 due to breast cancer. Leacock was offered a post at McGill University, where he remained until he retired in 1936. In 1906, he wrote Elements of Political Science, which remained a standard college textbook for the next twenty years and became his most profitable book. He also began public speaking and lecturing, and he took a year's leave of absence in 1907 to speak throughout Canada on the subject of national unity. He typically spoke on national unity or the British Empire for the rest of his life. Leacock began submitting articles to the Toronto humour magazine Grip in 1894, and soon was publishing many humorous articles in Canadian and American magazines. In 1910, he privately published the best of these as Literary Lapses. The book was spotted by a British publisher, John Lane, who brought out editions in London and New York, assuring Leacock's future as a writer. This was confirmed by Literary Lapses (1910), Nonsense Novels (1911) -- probably his best books of humorous sketches -- and by the more sentimental favorite, Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town (1912). Leacock's humorous style was reminiscent of Mark Twain and Charles Dickens at their sunniest -- for example in his even and satisfying, My Discovery of England (1922). However, his Arcadian Adventures with the Idle Rich (1914) is a darker collection that satirizes city life. Collections of sketches continued to follow almost annually at times, with a mixture of whimsy, parody, nonsense, and satire that was never bitter.
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