Thomas Hardy named his novel Far from the Madding Crowd after a line from Gray's Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard.
The grave remains central to Hardy's novel. When Fanny Robin dies Sergeant Troy shows his devotion to her, which runs far deeper than his love for Bathsheba, by his lavish expenditure on a marble tombstone for her grave. His impetuous tending of the grave borders on the obsessive and yet it lacks any sense of practical planning. The grave is badly damaged by heavy rain when water spews from the mouth of a gargoyle on the church roof and cascades onto the site where Fanny lies buried. It is Gabriel Oak who makes the necessary repairs and thus ensures the grave survives. Troy is ultimately reunited with Fanny when, following his own death, he is interred by her side.