Thomas hardy, Life’s little ironies: A set of tales with some colloquial sketches entitled A few crusted characters, With a map of Wessex, Macmillan and Co., London 1925 (First Collected Edition 1894).
To Please His Wife - Introduction
Nagoya Institute of Technology, where I attended for undergraduate courses from April 1957 to March 1961, was one of the so-called New-Scheme Universities/Colleges, which was created after the World War II according to the Educational Reform Act on the basis of the former sub-university level Nagoya Technical High-school, and the teachers as well the facilities were yet to be satisfactory. Among boring classes was an exception, an English class by Prof. Yasuteru Tsunashima who confidently and passionately lectured about the Thomas Hardy’s To Please his Wife (1891), not only the interpretation of the text, but he also told us about the great writer’s background and his other works, including Tess of the d'Urbervilles. I remember the work was extremely difficult compared to those other English novels, such as of Somerset Maugham and Robert Louis Stevenson, which were fragmentally included in high-school text books. Recently, I have found a review by Prof. Tsunashima, entitled, “Thomas Hardy And The Mellstock Quire” , in which not only the works but also the life of Hardy was written in detail, and reviewed his lecture after sixty years.
Recently I have started to spare time for reading those novels again. To Please His Wife was still difficult for me to read, despite that I have been using English in the subsequent six decades, although the landscape and scenery could be imagined rather easier through my experience of living in and visiting England during that period. Although To Please His Wife has been translated into Japanese ever since 1920s by several scholars of English literature , the translation uploaded in this “Literature perusal” is the one which has been done by me in a literal manner, although the translated text still remains rather awkward. Most previous translations looked excessively paraphrased.
The English text was taken from the following book (1). Some words and phrases changed or added or deleted in later editions, e.g. in (2), have been noted in the “Endnotes”.
Thomas hardy, Life’s little ironies: A set of tales with some colloquial sketches entitled A few crusted characters, With a map of Wessex, Macmillan and Co., London 1925 (First Collected Edition 1894), p.125-148.
Thomas Hardy, The Wessex Edition: The Works of Thomas Hardy in Prose and Verse with Preface and Notes: Volume VIII: Life’s Little Ironies: A Set of Tales with some Colloquial Sketches entitled A Few Crusted Characters, London; Macmillan & Co, 2nd impression, 1920).
 綱島康煕，「トーマス・ハーディとメルストック合唱隊」，名古屋工業大学学報 (Yasuteru Tsunashima, “Thomas Hardy And The Mellstock Quire”, Bull. Nagoya Institute of Technology), 1965, No.17, p.136-143.
 Tokuboku Hirata （Japanese version and notes）, To please his wife by Thomas Hardy, Ars Bookshop, Tokyo 1920 (平田禿木譯註, 『トオマス・ハアデイ作, 歸らぬ船』, アルス, 1920); Eutaka Morimura（trans. and notes）, Thomas Hardy： To please his wife, Shobundo, Tokyo, 1931; 宮島新三郎, 『英米近代文学叢書:第1輯第5巻: 妻ゆゑに其他』春陽堂, Tokyo1932 (Shinzaburo Miyajima, Modern English and American Literature Series 1-5, Thomas Hardy: To please his wife and other stories, Shunyodo Publ., Tokyo1932), etc.