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Far From The Madding Crowd is much more than a tale of rural life; at times the principal characters act madly enough to make the title seem ironic. Hardy subtly spins his story around the disruption of a small community by two differing but equally strong willed outsiders, Bathsheba and Troy. In the end Bathsheba learns from the whirlwind of passion she has unleashed and settles for the best of her suitors. Meanwhile, the beauty of the countryside and the down-to-earth attitudes of the farm workers provide a natural backdrop to the story.