Southwest England at the beginning of the 1840's, Gabriel Oak is a 28 year old shepherd who aspires to be a farmer with his own sheep. He proposes to recently arrived Bathsheba Everdene, but she turns him down because he seems too plain and unpropertied. Bathsheba inherits her father's farm where Oak eventually becomes the de facto supervisor in reduced circumstances. The upright Farmer Boldwood, proposes marriage to her.
After a series of events, let-downs and deaths, Oak and Bathsheba find themselves face-to-face again. Bathsheba, our immature heroine, plays with hearts, but eventually knows the pain that she has caused. A delightful and ironic portrayal of the "simple" country life, filled with rich language.