In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

268 LETTERS IN CANADA 1998 selection of contemporary reviews; a sampling of Victorian views on marriage ranging from Ruskin (whose 'Of Queens' Gardens' is referred to approvingly within the novel by the pathologically oppressive heavy husband Widdowson) to J. S. Milli a number of contributions to the debate on the 'Woman Question'; and various excerpts dealing with the possibilities and conditions of both male and female labour in the nineteenth centUIY. For the most part, these appendixes are exceptionally well chosen. It is especially enjoyable to be confronted with such a range of genre: Young includes selections from Tennyson's The Princess (another narrative about a female educational project threatened by intrusive romantic love), Coventry Patmore, Charlotte Bronte, and H.G. Wells as well as the more expected voices of T.H. Huxley, Bernard Shaw, Mona Caird, and E.L. Linton. Particularly illuminating are the selections from Evelyn March Phillips, Frances H. Low, and Eliza Orme dealing with the difficulties encountered by single women, genteel by upbringing but without money, who must work or starve, but for whom little suitable employment is available. Somewhatless immediately relevant to Gissing's novel, although still of great interest, are the appendixes dealing with male white-collar workers: an excerpt from Kipps is well paired here with a selection from Wells's Experiment in Autobiography. Excellent as the appendixes are~ they do not constitute the sole strength of this edition. Particularly noteworthy is Yoting's introduction, in which she skilfully anatomizes the semiotics of late-Victorian class and gender. The annotation throughout the novel is similarly good, erring (if at all) on the side of over-inclusion. Young's edition provides an admirably thorough explication ofThe Odd Women as sociological and ideological document. Less attention is paid to the novel as literary text, but that can scarcely be regretted when such a wealth of cultural history is so intelligently deployed. (MARY ELLEN KAPPLER) Stephen Leacock. 'My Recollection ofChicago' and 'The Doctrine of Laissez Faire.' Edited by Carl Spadoni University of Toronto Press. xliv, 126. $17.95 This volume, a welcome addition to Leacock scholarship, is not as large as its double title might imply. 'My Recollection of Chicago,' after all, is only four pages long. However, Carl Spadoni's introduction fills in and rounds out some of what Leacock's snippet of memorabilia lacks, just as Spadoni does a fine job of historicizing how and why Leacock wrote his doctoral thesis, 'The Doctrine of Laissez Faire,' at the University of Chicago. It appears that 'My Recollection' was written only months before Leacock 's death and, for whatever reason, failed to make it into his posthu- HUMANITIES 269 mous autobiography The BOlJ I Left behind Me (1946). The short text classic comic Leacock - 'I had selected Chicago because of the arrival there on the staff (1899) ofDr. Gordon Laing. He andlhad been fellow students, Damon and Pythias, - or is it, Scylla and Charybdis, - at Toronto. He beat me at graduation by thirty seconds. He had taken classics [and] ... he had stuck to it, attended Johns Hopkins, studied at Rome and Athens, dug excavations , read inscriptions, wrote papers - in short never let on that he didn't really know anything and kept it up for fifty succesful years' - whether in terms of the tone, or the mocking of higher education, is also representative of Leacock's gracious warmth. In fact, his sense of 'gratitude' for having studied at Chicago with the likes of Thorstein Veblen is very apparent Spadoni's attention to Leacock's graduate studies, a heretofore overlooked period, sheds light not only on his scholarly works on economics, such as Elements of Political Science (1906) or The Unsolved Riddle of Social Justice (1920), but also on some of his social satire and criticism. For instance, Spadoni reminds us that Chicago was the actual template for 'the world of competition gone mad,' as Donald Cameron characterized it, of Arcadian Adventures with the Idle Rich (1914)~ and Leacock's dissertation evidences how early and thoroughly he rejected the economic and social viability of laissez-faire. The eleven chapters of the thesis are a historical review and critique of the origins of the doctrine of laissez-faire...


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 268-270
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.