Its title taken from Thomas Gray’s Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard, Far from the Madding Crowd is one of Hardy’s ‘Wessex’ novels and the first of real substance. It takes place in the village of Weatherbury - unsophisticated compared to the modern city - where the central character Bathsheba Everdene who is loved by three men: the shepherd Gabriel Oak, Farmer Boldwood and Sergeant Troy. She marries the last of these three first, but each represents a different form of love. Troy is selfish and allows Fanny Robin to die in a workhouse after a misunderstanding and concurrently becomes involved with Bathsheba who he treats cruelly in turn over the course of their marriage. Troy disappears after the death. The story tells of Bathsheba’s life as Troy returns, is shot by Boldwood who is pronounce insane and as Gabriel’s simple and devoted love is finally appreciated. Although the novel is not Hardy’s most subtle, it is a convincing portrait of the rural life that the author knew so well and cherished in his years after London.