Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
Bathsheba Everdene is a headstrong young woman who attracts the attentions of a succession of ill-matched suitors: a quiet sheep farmer, a handsome soldier and an older, wealthy landowner. As the men vie for her affections, she struggles to retain her independence of spirit in the face of their declarations. Introducing readers to the fictional county of Wessex, Thomas Hardy's fourth work of fiction was one of his greatest triumphs, both commercially and critically. Its tale of passion, jealousy and unrequited love is now regarded as one of the finest novels of the nineteenth century, and one of the greatest love stories of all time.