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Silas Marner by George Eliot
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Silas Marner (1861)

by George Eliot

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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6,39181599 (3.77)320
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English (77)  Spanish (2)  German (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (81)
Showing 1-5 of 77 (next | show all)
This was quite a sad tale in the beginning, as Silas through no fault of his own ends up having to leave his home town & travel far away to Raveloe, where he takes up his weaving, & becomes wealthy in the bargain, until Dunstan, the ne'er do well second son of Squire Cass breaks in to his home, & steals the hoard of gold that Silas' hard work has built up. Later on, Silas finds Eppie, who is "sent to" him after she wanders in to his home through his open door deep one winter night when her opium addicted mother passes out under a bush & dies not far from Silas' home. How these events are tied to the Cass family is kind of convoluted, but it all turns out well in the end.

Very sweet tale! ( )
  Lisa.Johnson.James | Apr 17, 2014 |
Simplistic. ( )
  thatotter | Feb 6, 2014 |
'Silas Marner' is more accessible than I remember 'Middlemarch' or 'The Mill on the Floss' being, although it's a very long time since I've read either of George Eliot's longer works. I enjoyed Silas Marner, but not so much that I'm in a hurry to read any of Eliot's other works. ( )
  cazfrancis | Jan 25, 2014 |
An inspiring story of a man's personal struggle of betrayal, selfishness, isolation, all-consuming greed, and eventual self-actualization and personal fullfillment via an unselfless act. ( )
  nlgeorge | Jan 19, 2014 |
I picked up Silas Marner as a spring board to George Eliot’s work, AKA Mary Anne Evans, before bigger commitments such as Middlemarch. Yikes – Silas did not turn out to be a walk in the park. Some misleading facts: A) The book is maybe 50% about Silas. Lots of other key (and non-key) characters occupy pages and pages of the book. B) The synopsis of the book suggests the book revolves around Silas and the child Eppie. Well, the child shows up at Chapter 12, page 108 out of 183 pages. C) I wonder if whoever did the illustration for the cover read the book. She was a 2 year old, in rags, and certainly was not holding a note!! :P Now, re-calibrate yourself to a slow Victorian start, with background stories galore and even some unrelated non-story thrown-in, and ta-da, you will enjoy Silas Marner.

Seriously, reading it was a bit of dental work, lots of poke and prod, before the pretty polishing touches. A devoted and dedicated man, deceived and framed by a devious friend, Silas leaves Lantern Yard to Raveloe. Embittered and humiliated, he keeps to himself, working non-stop, living miserly, skipping church and friends, finding joy only in the gold he has painstakingly horded, and yet to have this gold stolen. Dum dum dum. That was page 37, end of Chapter 4. Now fill the pages between Ch 5 through 11 with character stories and backdrops before we arrive at who really matters – Eppie. The story lights up when she arrives.

An entire Chapter 6 at the Rainbow (pub) was lost on me. As soon as town folks spoke in “village language”, I was stumped. It wasn’t until I arrived at this passage from the Miss Gunns sisters that I realized I wasn’t processing my reading correctly, “…what a pity it was that these rich country people, who could buy such good clothes should be brought up in utter ignorance and vulgarity. She actually said ‘mate’ for ‘meat’, ‘appen’ for ‘perhaps’, and ‘oss for horse’, which, to young ladies living in good Lytherly society, who habitually said ‘orse, even in domestic privacy, and only said ‘appen on the right occasions, was necessarily shocking.” Doh! Of course, I needed to put on the decoder ring and play guess that word. morrow for tomorrow. gell = girl. allays = always. Got it.

Two other main characters occupy the core of this book. 1. Godfrey Cass, the selfish wimp, who pines for Nancy Lammeter, hides the fact that he is married and is the biological father of Eppie for 16 years. His ‘punishment’ – a childless marriage to Nancy. “Dissatisfaction, seated musingly on a childless hearth, thinks with envy of the father whose return is greeted by young voices…” 2. Nancy Lammeter contributed to his laments by denying his request to adopt Eppie (without being told he is her father). Nancy “…had her unalterable little code, and had formed everyone one of her habits in strict accordance with that code.” This code dictated leaving things be as god defined (no adoption) and yet Godfrey is the rightful father and they can provide more physical comfort to Eppie. I had a slight urge to slap her for standing by Godfrey in persuading Eppie to leave Silas and join them.

The cream of the book is undoubtedly the love and bond between Silas and Eppie. He dotted on her as lovingly as any father possibly can, and she was the sunshine of his life, representing the gold he lost. I thoroughly enjoyed these pages and wish there were more. “…where Silas Marner sat lulling the child. She was perfectly quiet now, but not asleep - only soothed by sweet porridge and warmth into that wide-gazing calm which makes us older human beings, with our inward turmoil, feel a certain awe in the presence of a little child, such as we feel before some quiet majesty or beauty in the earth or sky - before a steady glowing planet, or a full-flowered eglantine, or the bending trees over a silent pathway.” In return, Eppie loved Silas for all he has given her, declining Godfrey and Nancy with “And he’s took care of me and loved me from the first, and I’ll cleave to him as long as he lives, and nobody shall ever come between him and me.”

Reading fiction can be quite a stab to the heart, when your own parental love (or spousal love) do not measure up to the ideals of fiction. This book easily pressed such a button.

A few more quotes:
On the Rich vs. the Poor:
“The rich ate and drank freely, and accepted gout and apoplexy as things that ran mysteriously in respectable families, and the poor thought that the rich were entirely in the right of it to lead a jolly life; besides, their feasting caused a multiplication of orts, which were the heirlooms of the poor.”

On Men: :)
“…viewing the stronger sex in the light of animals whom it had please Heaven to make naturally troublesome, like bulls and turkey-cocks.”

On Women: :)
Heroines are always somehow petite-ly dainty - “…while she was being lifted from the pillion by strong arms, which seemed to find her ridiculously small and light”
Vs.
“Mrs. Kimble was the Squire’s sister, as well as the doctor’s wife – a double dignity, with which her diameter was in direct proportion.” Lol.

This book is themed much around karma. From Dolly, Eppie’s godmother:
“Ah, it’s like the night and the morning, and the sleeping and the waking, and the rain and the harvest – one goes and the other comes, and we know nothing how nor where. We may strive and scrat and fend, but it’s little we can do arter all – the big things come and go wi’ no striving o’ our’n – they do, that they do; and I think you’re in the right on it to keep the little un, Master Marner, seeing as it’s been sent to you…” ( )
1 vote varwenea | Jan 1, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 77 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (91 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Eliot, Georgeprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Allen, WalterAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cave, TerenceEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Leavis, Q.D.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Montazzoli, PaulIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pitt, David G.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
"A child, more than all other gifts
That earth can offer to declining man,
Brings hope with it, and forward-looking thoughts,"

~ Wordsworth
Dedication
First words
In the days when the spinning wheels hummed busily in the farmhouses--and even great ladies, clothed in silk and thread lace, had their toy spinning wheels of polished oak--there might be seen in districts far away among the lanes, or deep in the bosom of the hills, certain pallid undersized men, who, by the side of the brawny country-folk, looked like the remnants of a disinherited race.
Quotations
Nothing is so good as it seems beforehand.
In old days there were angels who came and took men by the hand and led them away from the city of destruction.  We see no white-winged angels now.  But yet men are led away from threatening destruction: a hand is put into theirs, which leads them forth gently towards a calm and bright land, so that they look no more backward; and the hand may be a little child's.
There were old labourers in the parish of Raveloe who were known to have their savings by them, probably inside their flock-beds.
Perfect love has a breath of poetry which can exalt the relations of the least instructed human beings.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
The heartwarming novel of a miser and a little child, is one of the great all-time classics, a tale so rich in human understanding that it will capture hearts and minds as long as books are read.

Filled with qualities that made George Eliot world-famous as a writer, it is a narrative at once bold, compassionate, and dramatically powerful.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451530624, Mass Market Paperback)

A gentle linen weaver is accused of a heinous crime. Exiling himself, he becomes a recluse, only to find redemption in his love for an abandoned child who mysteriously appears one day in his isolated cottage. Somber yet hopeful, Eliot's stirring tale continues to touch the human spirit.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:30:18 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

A lonely old man, falsely accused of theft, finds salvation in the love of a young child.

» see all 17 descriptions

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Audible.com

Twenty editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

Two editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141439750, 0141389451

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