The Trumpet-Major

The Trumpet-Major

The Trumpet-Major

The Trumpet-Major


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. This edition restores Hardy's original punctuation and removes the bowdlerisms forced upon the text on its initial publication.


The first concern in The World's Classics editions of Hardy's works has been with the texts. Individual editors have compared every version of the novel or stories that Hardy might have revised, and have noted variant readings in words, punctuation, and styling in each of these substantive texts; they have thus been able to exclude much that their experience suggests that Hardy did not intend. In some cases this is the first time that the novel has appeared in a critical edition purged of errors and oversights; where possible Hardy's manuscript punctuation is used, rather than what his compositors thought he should have written.

Some account of the editors' discoveries will be found in the Note on the Text in each volume, while the most interesting revisions their work has revealed are included as an element of the Explanatory Notes. In some cases a Clarendon Press edition of the novel provides a wealth of further material for the reader interested in the way Hardy's writing developed from manuscript to final collected edition.

I should like to thank Shirley Tinkler for her help in drawing the maps that accompany each volume.


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