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Silas Marner by George Eliot
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Silas Marner (1861)

by George Eliot

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7,142100500 (3.77)401
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It took me a little bit of time - and concentration - to settle into the story. I found Eliot's writing style to be a wordy and probably better suited for reading than listening to (especially if you are like me and tend to multi-task while listening to an audiobook!) Silas Marner is one of those classic tales that runs the gamit of tangible loss, disenfranchisement with society and seclusion of sorts until fate one day gently opens the door and presents a possible path towards a new beginning: A life of redemption and the re-discovery of what it means to love (and we don't mean a continuation of love of worldly possessions!) Eliot does a fantastic job playing sociologist, presenting 19th century England with its class structure (via the squire), rural/ small village life and the ever present role of religion and 'village values' in guiding the population through life.

For me, the first 1/3 of the book was pretty much 'ho-hum'. The story started to make its mark on me during the Christmas festivities and that was when I settled in and really was able to enjoy this story for the tale it is. ( )
  lkernagh | Apr 11, 2016 |
A book you haven’t read since high school is on the list for the 2016 Reading Challenge.
Synopsis: A young weaver, Silas Marner, is betrayed by his best friend and subsequently leaves his home to find a place to live near a small village. Although he is prosperous, he exists as a poverty stricken hermit with no real friends. One night he is robbed and although this puts him in a more sympathetic light with the townspeople, he goes into a deep depression. During one of catatonic episodes, a two year old girl toddles into his home and changes his life for the better. The mystery of her parentage and of the disappearance on Marner's money are eventually solved.
Review: There are huge portions of this story that I'd forgotten since the days in Betty Swyers's classroom. Although the language of the 1800s tends toward verbosity, Silas Marner is much less dense that Middlemarch, one of Eliot's other books. The 'truth will out' and the relentless progression of time are two of the main themes of the story, although unlike many writers in this same time period, the happy ending adds a touch of pleasant finality to Eliot's tale. ( )
  DrLed | Feb 27, 2016 |
I remember deciding to read this book in seventh grade, though I didn't get far. (It was around the same time I attempted the unabridged Les Miserables, so maybe I was just overwhelmed by my own ambition.) It took me almost twenty years to pick it up again, but I'm so glad to know how lovely George Eliot's writing is. Every few pages, it seemed—starting on page one, with the quote below—I was stopping to reread a sentence or paragraph that was so unique, so perfectly descriptive, I wanted to write it down. It did drag a bit in places, mostly around the middle when she was setting up the background with Godfrey Cass, who is useless and whiny and totally uninteresting to me. But the book is beautiful, and I can't wait to read more of her titles that have been on my "to-read" list for essentially my whole life.

In that far-off time superstition clung easily round every person or thing that was at all unwonted, or even intermittent and occasional merely, like the visits of the pedlar or the knife-grinder. No one knew where wandering men had their homes or their origin; and how was a man to be explained unless you at least knew somebody who knew his father and mother? To the peasants of old times, the world outside their own direct experience was a region of vagueness and mystery: to their untravelled thought a state of wandering was a conception as dim as the winter life of the swallows that came back with the spring; and even a settler, if he came from distant parts, hardly ever ceased to be viewed with a remnant of distrust, which would have prevented any surprise if a long course of inoffensive conduct on his part had ended in the commission of a crime; especially if he had any reputation for knowledge, or showed any skill in handicraft. All cleverness, whether in the rapid use of that difficult instrument the tongue, or in some other art unfamiliar to villagers, was in itself suspicious: honest folk, born and bred in a visible manner, were mostly not overwise or clever—at least, not beyond such a matter as knowing the signs of the weather; and the process by which rapidity and dexterity of any kind were acquired was so wholly hidden, that they partook of the nature of conjuring. In this way it came to pass that those scattered linen-weavers—emigrants from the town into the country—were to the last regarded as aliens by their rustic neighbours, and usually contracted the eccentric habits which belong to a state of loneliness.
  mirikayla | Feb 8, 2016 |
classic ( )
  bedda | Feb 1, 2016 |
A story of redemption. Eliot teaches a simple lesson: When we let go of the goods we get the gold. Simplistic but real. Love is the answer. ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (88 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Eliot, Georgeprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Allen, WalterAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cave, TerenceEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Garrigues, Ellen E.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gulick, Edward LeedsEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Herrick, RobertIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Leavis, Q.D.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moffett, H. Y.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Montazzoli, PaulIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pitt, David G.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rowe, ClarenceIllustratorsecondary 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.
Instead of trying to still his fears, he encouraged them, with that superstitious impression which clings to us all, that if we expect evil very strongly it is the less likely to come;...
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:00 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

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

» see all 28 descriptions

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2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141439750, 0141389451

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