Silas Marner

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Penguin Books Limited, 2003 - Fiction - 238 pages
2 Reviews
George Eliot's tale of a solitary miser gradually redeemed by the joy of fatherhood, Silas Marner is edited with an introduction and notes by David Carroll in Penguin Classics. Wrongly accused of theft and exiled from a religious community many years before, the embittered weaver Silas Marner lives alone in Raveloe, living only for work and his precious hoard of money. But when his money is stolen and an orphaned child finds her way into his house, Silas is given the chance to transform his life. His fate, and that of Eppie, the little girl he adopts, is entwined with Godfrey Cass, son of the village Squire, who, like Silas, is trapped by his past. Silas Marner, George Eliot's favourite of her novels, combines humour, rich symbolism and pointed social criticism to create an unsentimental but affectionate portrait of rural life. This text uses the Cabinet edition, revised by George Eliot in 1878. David Carroll's introduction is complemented by the original Penguin Classics edition introduction by Q.D. Leavis. Mary Ann Evans (1819-80) began her literary career as a translator, and later editor, of the Westminster Review. In 1857, she published Scenes of Clerical Life, the first of eight novels she would publish under the name of 'George Eliot', including The Mill on the Floss, Middlemarch, and Daniel Deronda. If you enjoyed Silas Marner, you might like Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, also available in Penguin Classics. 'I think Silas Marner holds a higher place than any of the author's works. It is more nearly a masterpiece; it has more of that simple, rounded, consummate aspect ... which marks a classical work' Henry James

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I read this book at school about 46 years ago and I seem to remember that it was quite interesting and would probably go to my local library and borrow it again!!

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About the author (2003)

George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans Cross) was born on November 22, 1819 at Arbury Farm, Warwickshire, England. She received an ordinary education and, upon leaving school at the age of sixteen, embarked on a program of independent study to further her intellectual growth. In 1841 she moved with her father to Coventry, where the influences of “skeptics and rationalists” swayed her from an intense religious devoutness to an eventual break with the church. The death of her father in 1849 left her with a small legacy and the freedom to pursue her literary inclinations. In 1851 she became the assistant editor of the Westminster Review, a position she held for three years. In 1854 came the fated meeting with George Henry Lewes, the gifted editor of The Leader, who was to become her adviser and companion for the next twenty-four years. Her first book, Scenes of a Clerical Life (1858), was followed by Adam Bede (1859), The Mill on the Floss (1860), Silas Marner (1861), and Middlemarch (1872). The death of Lewes, in 1878, left her stricken and lonely. On May 6, 1880, she married John Cross, a friend of long standing, and after a brief illness she died on December 22 of that year, in London.

David Carroll is a medical writer, particularly on alternative health topics.


David Carroll is a medical writer, particularly on alternative health topics.

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