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 center of a love quadrangle. She is torn between the persistent and annoying Festus Derryman, her womanizing childhood sweetheart Bob Loveday, and the reliable and thoughtful John Loveday, the eponymous Trumpet-Major. Who will she choose?
Against the larger-than-life backdrop of England's conflict with Napoleon, young Anne Garland is courted by three suitors: the trumpet-major John Loveday, his sailor-brother Bob, and Festus Derriman of the yeomanry cavalry. For Hardy, the loves and sorrows of ordinary characters are as much the material of history as any record of emperors and generals.
"Far Below Both Author's and Narrator's Quality"