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Book description

Life's Little Ironies (a phrase coined by Hardy) was Thomas Hardy's third collection of short stories. The volume's eight stories and one sequence of shorter tales (presented in a Canterbury Tales-type framework) had all appeared first in magazines before being gathered together in 1894. Not only do they reflect the strengths and themes of his great novels – they are also themselves powerful works, encompassing tragedy and humour. Part of the Cambridge Edition of the Novels and Short Stories of Thomas Hardy, this volume presents an authoritative text which aims to reflect Hardy's original artistic intentions. A full scholarly apparatus includes every authorial revision, from manuscript (where extant) onwards, enabling readers to trace Hardy's creative process. An introductory essay gives details of the stories' composition, publishing history and critical reception; there are comprehensive explanatory notes and a glossary, and the illustrations that accompanied the stories' magazine publication also provide valuable context.

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