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The trumpet-major (the world's classics) - The Trumpet-Major by Thomas Hardy - Goodreads



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Hardy distrusted the application of nineteenth-century empiricism to history because he felt it marginalized important human elements. In The Trumpet Major, the tale of a woman courted by three competing suitors during the Napoleonic wars, he explores the subversive effects of ordinary human desire and conflicting loyalties on systematized versions of history.

The present tale is founded more largely on testimony—oral and written—than any other in this series.  The external incidents which direct its course are mostly an unexaggerated reproduction of the recollections of old persons well known to the author in childhood, but now long dead, who were eye-witnesses of those scenes.  If wholly transcribed their recollections would have filled a volume thrice the length of ‘The Trumpet-Major.’

In the days of high-waisted and muslin-gowned women, when the vast amount of soldiering going on in the country was a cause of much trembling to the sex, there lived in a village near the Wessex coast two ladies of good report, though unfortunately of limited means.  The elder was a Mrs. Martha Garland, a landscape-painter’s widow, and the other was her only daughter Anne.


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