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Silas Marner (1861)

by George Eliot

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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11,091149587 (3.75)604
Classic Literature. Fiction. HTML:

Silas Marner is accused of stealing funds from his small Christian congregation. Presumed guilty by his community and rejected by the woman he loves, Silas leaves and lives as a recluse near Raveloe village. He takes refuge only in working and attaining wealth, until his precious gold is stolen from him. But a child, her mother found dead in the snow, is thrust into his life, changing it completely. Ultimately, Silas Marner is a redeeming story of love and loyalty.

.… (more)
  1. 80
    Les Misérables by Victor Hugo (ncgraham)
    ncgraham: Both great classics, with orphaned girls and themes of redemption.
  2. 10
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  3. 10
    The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey (suniru)
    suniru: Both stories center around ophans and have heavy fairy tale roots.
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    The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin (TheDivineOomba)
    TheDivineOomba: The Storied Life of AJ Frikry is based off of Silas Marner.
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» See also 604 mentions

English (140)  Catalan (3)  Spanish (2)  Italian (1)  Danish (1)  Swedish (1)  German (1)  All languages (149)
Showing 1-5 of 140 (next | show all)
I read this book as a part of the Book Riot Read Harder Reading Journal Challenge. Specifically for the challenge to "reread a book you read in school". I had first read this when I was fourteen. I am to be forty-seven in nine days.

I loved this book then, and I do now. The language is beautiful and rich. As is typical of its age, this Victorian novel is didactic; however, the lessons are presented comfortably within the story in a way that doesn't feel preachy. Furthermore, the outcomes for all persons are satisfying, even perhaps fulfilling.

As a fourteen-year-old, I related most to the child in the book despite her not appearing until the last quarter of the book. I had sympathy for Silas, but the girl loomed large in my mind. As an adult, I understand far more than I would like Silas' sense of betrayal and mistrust.

But the biggest revelation of this reading challenge was one of self.

Along with this book I likewise adored Heaven by V.C. Andrews at that time, which I also reread this year, though with far less pleasure, as part of the challenge. Partway into this book, I found myself rather mystified by this, puzzled by how complex the human mind is that these books could, at that age, be equally adored by me.

However, as I was making notes in my reading journal after finishing this book, it hit me. There is a connection between these books. Both of them feature an orphan who is taken in by other people. Both are children with dead mothers and fathers that are neglectful. Fourteen was rock bottom for me. My mother's abuse reached its peak and would remain at that plateau for the next three years. I longed for her death; though I was unable to face that consciously. My father's drinking was also at its worst. He was passed out drunk when I needed him most.

Human beings are truly complicated. ( )
  Zoes_Human | Oct 9, 2023 |
Standing apart from the voluminous (occasionally tedious) works that are [b:Daniel Deronda|374414|Daniel Deronda|George Eliot|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1285748480l/374414._SY75_.jpg|313957] and [b:Middlemarch|271276|Middlemarch|George Eliot|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1368564098l/271276._SY75_.jpg|1461747], Eliot's compact and finely-crafted narrative of loss and redemption reminds me why I love words and well-told tales.

A friend gave me a copy and I happily devoured it in two sittings.

( )
  rebwaring | Aug 14, 2023 |
I really enjoyed this book. Like with all of Eliots works there is a moral tone to the work, but that does nothing to diminish the story.

Poor Silas has to go through trials but is fortunate of recognising a blessing when is unexpectidly lands in his lap. The weavers moral code is in sharp contrast to that of the squires son's, who Eliot ensures get their just deserts in the end. ( )
  Cotswoldreader | May 26, 2023 |
beautifully written ( )
  evatkaplan | Apr 24, 2023 |
This is an excellent smaller Eliot novel - less of a commitment than Middlemarch, but still a perfectly formed portrait of a community and the relationships between neighbours and family members. Silas Marner himself is a very peculiar character really, outcast from his old community, isolated in his new one, weaving and obsessing over his gold. But then he undergoes a vaguely inexplicable transformation when he accidentally adopts a young child. It's a rather lovely story, and a satisfying plot, all beautifully written. ( )
  AlisonSakai | Oct 10, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 140 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (125 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Eliot, Georgeprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Allen, Walter ErnestAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Atkinson, JulietteEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bentinck, AnnaNarratorsecondary 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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"A child, more than all other gifts
That earth can offer to declining man,
Brings hope with it, and forward-looking thoughts,"

~ Wordsworth
First words
it is in Silas Marner that we come closest to a George Eliot who is everywhere present in her letters and journal and in other people's reminiscences of her, but who had been buried by the legend of the masculine bluestocking, the editor of the Benthamite review, the admirer of Comte, the student of all the ancient and modern languages, the friend of Herbert Spencer and the consort of G. H. Lewes, the middleman of all the arts and sciences.

Introduction (Penguin Classics ed., 1967).
In Florence on 21 May 1860 George Henry Lewes had an idea.

Introduction (Penguin Books ed., 1996).
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.

Chapter I.
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)

Classic Literature. Fiction. HTML:

Silas Marner is accused of stealing funds from his small Christian congregation. Presumed guilty by his community and rejected by the woman he loves, Silas leaves and lives as a recluse near Raveloe village. He takes refuge only in working and attaining wealth, until his precious gold is stolen from him. But a child, her mother found dead in the snow, is thrust into his life, changing it completely. Ultimately, Silas Marner is a redeeming story of love and loyalty.


No library descriptions found.

Book description
1st ed., April 1861; 2nd ed. with corrections, Sept. x Dec. 1861; 3rd ed., 1863; Cheap ed., 1868; Cabinet ed. (with short stories 'The lifted veil' and 'Brother Jacob', as part of 'Collected works'), 1878.
Haiku summary
A bitter old man,
An infant who warms his heart,
More precious than gold.

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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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