A novel by T. Hardy, published 1874. The title is a quotation from Gray's Elegy Written in a Country Church‐Yard.
The shepherd Gabriel Oak serves the young and spirited Bathsheba Everdene, owner of the farm, with unselfish devotion. The dashing Sergeant Troy loves one of Bathsheba's servants, Fanny Robin, but after a fatal misunderstanding deserts her and she eventually dies in childbirth in the workhouse. Troy has meanwhile married Bathsheba, but soon begins to ill‐treat her. When he hears of Fanny's death he disappears and is deemed to have been drowned. Farmer Boldwood, now obsessed with Bathsheba, gives a party at which he pledges Bathsheba to marry him some time in the future. Troy reappears at the party and Boldwood shoots him. Boldwood is tried and pronounced insane. Gabriel and Bathsheba are at last married.
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Thomas Hardy (1840—1928) novelist and poet