Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town

Stephen Leacock (1869 - 1944)

Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town is a sequence of stories by Stephen Leacock, first published in 1912. It is generally considered to be one of the most enduring classics of Canadian humorous literature.

The fictional setting for these stories is Mariposa, a small town on the shore of Lake Wissanotti. Although drawn from his experiences in Orillia, Ontario, Leacock writes in the introduction:

“Mariposa is not a real town. On the contrary, it is about seventy or eighty of them. You may find them all the way from Lake Superior to the sea, with the same square streets and the same maple trees and the same churches and hotels.”

This work has remained popular for its universal appeal. Many of the characters, though modelled on townspeople of Orillia, are small town archetypes. Their shortcomings and weaknesses are presented in a humorous but affectionate way.

Often, the narrator greatly exaggerates the importance of the events in Mariposa compared to the rest of the world. For example, when there is a country-wide election, “the town of Mariposa, was, of course, the storm centre and focus point of the whole turmoil.” (Summary from Wikipedia)

Genre(s): Humorous Fiction

Language: English

Section Chapter Reader Time
Play 00 Preface Esther
Play 01 The Hostelry of Mr. Smith Chuck Spann
Play 02 The Speculations of Jefferson Thorpe Chuck Spann
Play 03 The Marine Excursion of the Knights of Pythias Dave Ranson
Play 04 The Ministrations of the Rev. Mr. Drone Kevin McAsh
Play 05 The Whirlwind Campaign in Mariposa Esther
Play 06 The Beacon on the Hill Betsie Bush
Play 07 The Extraordinary Entanglement of Mr. Pupkin Betsie Bush
Play 08 The Fore-ordained Attachment of Zena Pepperleigh and Peter Pupkin Esther
Play 09 The Mariposa Bank Mystery Ted Delorme
Play 10 The Great Election in Missinaba County Sean McGaughey
Play 11 The Candidacy of Mr. Smith Robin Cotter
Play 12 L'Envoi. The Train to Mariposa Esther