Far From The Madding Crowd
Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy was first published in 1874.
“Gabriel Oak is a young shepherd. With the savings of a frugal life, and a loan, he has leased and stocked a sheep farm. He falls in love with a newcomer six years his junior, Bathsheba Everdene, a proud beauty who arrives to live with her aunt, Mrs Hurst. Over time, Bathsheba and Gabriel grow to like each other well enough, and Bathsheba even saves his life once. However, when he makes her an unadorned offer of marriage, she refuses; she values her independence too much, and him too little. Feeling betrayed and embarrassed, Gabriel's blunt protestations only foster her haughtiness. After a few days, she moves to Weatherbury, a village some miles off.” (Citation from Wikipedia: The free Encyclopaedia)