The Trumpet Major
by Thomas Hardy
Light, humorous and observant as it is, The Trumpet-Major nevertheless has a vein of tragedy running through it--the unhappiness and despair of unrequited love. Anne Garland lives with her widowed mother in a mill owned by Miller Loveday. She is wooed by three men: the stupid, coarse Festus Derriman, a man with expectations; John Loveday, the quiet, thoughtful trumpet-major; and Bob his brother, a sailor whose heart isn't as faithful as it should have been. In the course of the story, Anne has to overcome many obstacles and hazards before she marries the man of her choice. Located firmly in the rural traditions that Hardy knew so well, it is also a wonderfully comic and affectionate picture of a small community set ablaze by the threat of Napoleon.
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