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My Discovery of England

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By: (1869-1944)

"In the course of time a very considerable public feeling was aroused in the United States and Canada over this state of affairs. The lack of reciprocity in it seemed unfair. It was felt (or at least I felt) that the time had come when some one ought to go over and take some impressions off England. The choice of such a person (my choice) fell upon myself. By an arrangement with the Geographical Society of America, acting in conjunction with the Royal Geographical Society of England (to both of whom I communicated my proposal), I went at my own expense."

And from thence follow the impressions of Canadian political economist and humourist, Stephen Leacock, after a lecturing visit to England.

First Page:

MY DISCOVERY OF ENGLAND

1922

By Leacock, Stephen

Introduction of Mr. Stephen Leacock Given by Sir Owen Seaman on the Occasion of His First Lecture in London

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: It is usual on these occasions for the chairman to begin something like this: "The lecturer, I am sure, needs no introduction from me." And indeed, when I have been the lecturer and somebody else has been the chairman, I have more than once suspected myself of being the better man of the two. Of course I hope I should always have the good manners I am sure Mr. Leacock has to disguise that suspicion. However, one has to go through these formalities, and I will therefore introduce the lecturer to you.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is Mr. Stephen Leacock. Mr. Leacock, this is the flower of London intelligence or perhaps I should say one of the flowers; the rest are coming to your other lectures.

In ordinary social life one stops at an introduction and does not proceed to personal details. But behaviour on the platform, as on the stage, is seldom ordinary. I will therefore tell you a thing or two about Mr... Continue reading book >>


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