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Silas Marner (1861)

by George Eliot

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
9,639138580 (3.77)548
In this heartwarming classic, a gentle linen weaver named Silas Marner is wrongly accused of theft actually committed by his best friend. Silas exiles himself to a rustic village, where he finds spiritual rebirth through his unselfish love of an abandoned child. Includes a new Afterword. Revised reissue.… (more)
  1. 80
    Les Misérables by Victor Hugo (ncgraham)
    ncgraham: Both great classics, with orphaned girls and themes of redemption.
  2. 10
    The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey (suniru)
    suniru: Both stories center around ophans and have heavy fairy tale roots.
  3. 10
    The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy (kxlly)
  4. 00
    The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin (TheDivineOomba)
    TheDivineOomba: The Storied Life of AJ Frikry is based off of Silas Marner.
  5. 00
    The Lamplighter by Maria S. Cummins (KayCliff)
  6. 01
    Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton (kxlly)
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» See also 548 mentions

English (130)  Catalan (3)  Spanish (2)  German (1)  Danish (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (138)
Showing 1-5 of 130 (next | show all)
Classics
  hpryor | Aug 8, 2021 |
Read this in 2009. I really liked it but did not review it. ( )
  Kristelh | May 5, 2021 |
George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans 1819-1880) wrote Silas Marner as her version of Pilgrim’s Progress. Like Bunyan’s masterpiece, Silas Marner also has the feel of a universal fable, the redemption of a man from desolation to love and riches.

Unlike Progress, however, the characters in Silas Marner are well-drawn and invite sympathy. Knowing how shabbily Silas has been treated and knowing the inner journey of Silas and the nasty young Squire, makes the reader care about the characters.

Eppie, the toddler who appears in Silas’ life after his precious gold has been taken, is less believable as an individual. She is beautiful in body and soul, humble in aspiration and devoted to Silas. But she is lovely because she is so deeply loved by Silas, her ‘Papa’.

The inner journey Silas makes is not like the ‘ascent’ of Pilgrim to the river and the City of Heaven. Nor is it in the tradition of the ‘ascent’ to God mapped by medieval mystics like Bonaventure and Richard of Saint Victor.

Silas’ journey to redemption stays in the gritty reality of Victorian poverty. Grace – in the form of the toddler he names Hephzibah (Eppie) – comes to Silas once and all at once. The name Hephzibah means ‘My delight is in her’, and it is used in the Hebrew Scriptures as the symbolic name for the restored Jerusalem (Isaiah 62:4). The redemption takes the miser, Silas, with his short-sight and propensity to fitting, and teaches him how to love deeply.

Eliot contrasts the emotional and spiritual poverty of his former state with the richness of loving and being loved: the gold is even returned to Silas and secrets, liberating once shared, are brought to light.

Names are important to Eliot: Silas is named for the companion of the Apostle Paul. The New Testament’s Silas and Paul are put in prison and God releases them. God also releases Silas Marner from the darkness of the cultish Lantern Yard and from his self-imposed prison and. Both the New Testament and the village of Raveloe rejoice greatly at Silas’ release.

Is the name ‘Marner’ a reference to Coleridge’s Ancient Mariner published 90 years earlier?

Silas Marner is my introduction to George Eliot. I found the novel charming and satisfying. There is a central goodness in the novel which will be evident to readers whether or not they are Christian believers. But it is ultimately a Christian novel, an exploration of the journey we all in our own ways make in Christ. ( )
1 vote TedWitham | Mar 22, 2021 |
Always a good read. ( )
  mcsp | Jan 25, 2021 |
What a beautiful book -- yes, the plot is rather simple, but the descriptions of the people are really quite amazing and show how human nature is a constant. The discussions in the pub could happen today and the religious bigotry sounds very familiar. ( )
  WiebkeK | Jan 21, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 130 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (126 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Eliot, Georgeprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Allen, Walter ErnestAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Atkinson, JulietteEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bevan, F.E.Editorsecondary 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
Sachs, AndrewNarratorsecondary 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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Wikipedia in English (1)

In this heartwarming classic, a gentle linen weaver named Silas Marner is wrongly accused of theft actually committed by his best friend. Silas exiles himself to a rustic village, where he finds spiritual rebirth through his unselfish love of an abandoned child. Includes a new Afterword. Revised reissue.

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Book description
Haiku summary
A bitter old man,
An infant who warms his heart,
More precious than gold.
(hillaryrose7)

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141439750, 0141389451

Tantor Media

An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

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Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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