War threatens the rich, green fields of Wessex in Hardy’s historical novel, The Trumpet-Major. The Napoleonic Wars are at their height, and upheaval and uncertainty plague British soil. In the midst of it all the impoverished beauty Anne Garland finds herself at the centre of a love quadrangle. She is torn between the persistent and annoying Festus Derryman, her womanising childhood sweetheart Bob Loveday, and the reliable and thoughtful John Loveday, the eponymous Trumpet-Major. Who will she choose? Hardy’s eighth published novel is a gentle and humorous tale about the confusion and conflict of life.