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E. M. HARE

1893 — 1955

An Englishman, who was in the tea business in Ceylon from 1918 to 1950, earned a high reputation as a Pali scholar and competent editor and translator of Buddhist texts. He was Edward Miles Hare.

Born on 4 March, 1893, Hare hailed from a Norfolk family on the east side of England. He was educated at Stamford Grammar School, Lincolnshire, where F.L. Woodward, before he came out to Ceylon in 1903, had been an assistant master. Hare came to know Woodward as his teacher, and in later life the two became very close friends. Inspired by Woodward, he began the study of Pali, and by the time he came out to Ceylon as a businessman he had mastered the language.

While engaged in business in Ceylon, he spent his leisure hours in editing and translating Buddhists texts for the Pali Text Society, London. His rendering into English of the Anguttara Nikaya (Gradual Sayings), volumes 2 and 3 (1934-1935), and Sutta Nipata (Woven Cadences), 1945, is considered outstanding.

On his return to England after retirement in 1950, he undertook the enormous task of editing the Pali Tipitakam Concordance from material collected to some extent by himself and a few scholars, but principally by his friend F.L. Woodward. Working at great speed, he produced in all 10 parts of the Concordance, i.e. volume 1 in seven parts and volume 2 in three parts, the value of which has been acclaimed by Pali scholars in all parts of the world.

Always a generous donor to the Pali Text Society, Hare had bequeathed it a sum of f 1,000 with the wish that the money be applied, if possible, towards the cost of publishing the Concordance.

He died on 26 October, 1955.


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