Hardy is still not, it seems, unanimously considered to be a major short story writer. But his output in this genre is substantial and Life’s Little Ironies (1894) evidences his considerable success with it. This is nowhere more evident than in “An Imaginative Woman”, which the author added as the opening work of the collection for the 1912 Wessex edition. Written at a fairly late point (late 1880s-early 1890s) in Hardy’s prose writing career, the stories in Life’s Little Ironies invite comparison with certain of his novels in their treatments of middle-class marriages but also ask to be viewed on their own as incisive works of some power, and of arresting formal strategies.
White, Adam. "Life's Little Ironies". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 04 August 2017
[https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=3940, accessed 20 October 2017.]