Far From the Madding Crowd

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Far From the Madding Crowd Characters

Bathsheba Everdene

Bathsheba, the orphaned daughter of townspeople, is raised by her aunt in the countryside. From a young age, she is used to managing things on her own: for example, her aunt has her take charge… (read full character analysis)

Gabriel Oak

Gabriel, like Bathsheba, changes over the course of the novel as a result of tragedy. For him the tragedy happens rather early on when his dog runs his sheep—which represent his life’s savings and… (read full character analysis)

Mr. Boldwood

The second of Bathsheba’s suitors, Mr. Boldwood is a respectable, handsome, but serious forty-ish farmer, who is in charge of Lower Farm, not far from Bathsheba’s farm in Waterbury. He has never married and… (read full character analysis)

Sergeant Francis Troy

Bathsheba’s third suitor is the son of a doctor who was ruined by debt after moving from town to country. Troy is impulsive—he leaves his clerk job to enlist in the army—and is often… (read full character analysis)

Fanny Robbin

The youngest servant at Bathsheba’s farm, Fanny has no friends or family to her name, though she was taken under Boldwood’s wing in order to be established at the farm. Fanny is in… (read full character analysis)
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Jan Coggan

A farm hand who is friendly and cheerful, often serving as best man or godfather in marriages and baptisms around Weatherbury. Coggan is one of the regulars at Warren’s Malt-house and often is wont to… (read full character analysis)

Joseph Poorgrass

Another of Bathsheba’s farm-hands, Poorgrass is shy and timid, though he feels at home among the other workers, especially at Warren’s Malt-house. Poorgrass is wont to make humorous, often irrelevant biblical and historical allusions… (read full character analysis)

Henry (Henery) Fray

Another farm-hand, slightly over middle age, who insists on spelling his name “Henery.” He is another one of the regulars at Warren’s Malt-house, and is more critical than the others: he rages about Bailiff Pennyways… (read full character analysis)
Minor Characters
Mrs. Hurst
Mrs. Hurst is Bathsheba’s aunt and caretaker who allows her niece to mostly manage the household. She is a bit cantankerous and scheming—she suggests to Gabriel that Bathsheba has a number of young suitors, for instance—before falling out of the story when Bathsheba leaves for Weatherbury.
Mrs. Coggan
Presumably Jan Coggan’s wife, Mrs. Coggan is one of Bathsheba’s housekeepers at the farm.
Teddy Coggan
Presumably one of Jan and Mrs. Coggan’s children—we are told that there are many Coggan children in town—Teddy is initially the reason for Bathsheba to send a valentine.
Liddy Smallbury—
Billy Smallbury’s youngest daughter, and Bathsheba’s servant and companion. Liddy helps Bathsheba navigate the social world of Weatherbury, and it’s often unclear whether she is more of a friend or a servant.
Laban Tall
Another farm hand and a young married man who is more often known as “Susan Tall’s husband,” given that she tends to direct his affairs; he becomes clerk of the parish by the end of the novel.
Susan Tall
Laban Tall’s wife and a bossy, determined woman who is also one of the town’s great gossips.
Matthew Moon
Another farm hand and just as superstitious as Joseph Poorgrass.
Mark Clark
Another farm hand.
Bailiff Pennyways
Initially the bailiff of Bathsheba’s farm, Pennyways is fired when he’s caught stealing barley. He is conniving and finds a natural ally in Troy when the latter schemes on how best to return home.
Mary-ann Money
Bathsheba’s char-woman and one of the indoor workers on the farm; a good-humored and pleasant woman.
Andrew Candle
The newest farm hand on Bathsheba’s estate.
The maltster
The very old owner of Warren’s Malt-house—he cannot or will not say his exact age—and the patriarch of the Smallbury family. He knew Bathsheba’s parents and is, in general, a useful source of knowledge about the area, even though he never leaves the malt-house.
Jacob Smallbury
One of the maltster’s sons and another farm hand.
William (Billy) Smallbury
Another farm hand, also the son of the maltster.
Cain (Cainy) Ball
A young boy who is Gabriel’s shepherd’s hand, Cain was named by his mother, who got the Abel and Cain Bible story mixed up and named her son for the murderer, not the victim.
Temperance and Soberness Miller
Two women and employees at Bathsheba’s farm, responsible for preparing sheep’s fleeces after they’re sheared.
Sam Samway
The manager of Boldwood’s farm.
Mr. Granthead
A doctor and surgeon.
Mr. Thirdly
The parish parson.