Not wanting to ruin it for anyone I shall hold my tongue, but early in this Leacock story his character, a professor, reflects that: "it is a maxim of the book business that a professor standing up in a corner buried in a book looks well in a store. The real customers like it." This story feels very much drawn from personal experience and I wonder, even though the story seems to be set in New York, which bookstore managers in Montreal during the early part of the last century may have seen themselves, or others, as the original of Mr. Sellyer the "sales manager"? The bookshops in Montreal during this period included The Montreal Book Room, A. T. Chapman, F. E. Phelan, the book department of Henry Morgan & Co. Ltd. and W. H. Scroggie Ltd. among many others. Perhaps there are descendants of these booksellers who still bring out the old story at family get-togethers of how their relative was the real Mr. Sellyer.
Stephen Leacock was born in Swanmore, Hamshire, England on December 30, 1869. In May of 1970, a commemorative plaque was placed on the house in Swanmore where he was born.
Stephen Leacock died on this date, March 28, 1941.