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, 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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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.
Presumably Jan Coggan’s wife, Mrs. Coggan is one of Bathsheba’s housekeepers at the farm.
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.
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.
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.
Laban Tall’s wife and a bossy, determined woman who is also one of the town’s great gossips.
Another farm hand and just as superstitious as Joseph Poorgrass.
Another farm hand.
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.
Bathsheba’s char-woman and one of the indoor workers on the farm; a good-humored and pleasant woman.
The newest farm hand on Bathsheba’s estate.
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.
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.
The manager of Boldwood’s farm.
A doctor and surgeon.
The parish parson.