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Silas Marner (Classic Fiction) [Abridged, Audiobook, Classical] [Audio CD]

George Eliot , Schubert , Mendelssohn , Freda Dowie
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)

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Book Description

18 Oct 2000 Classic Fiction
Follow the humble and mysterious figure of the linen weaver, Silas Marner, on his journey from solitude and exile to the warmth and joy of family life.

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Naxos AudioBooks; Abridged edition (18 Oct 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9626340754
  • ISBN-13: 978-9626340752
  • Product Dimensions: 12.5 x 1.1 x 14.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,167,863 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Mary Ann (Marian) Evans was born in 1819 in Warwickshire. She attended schools in Nuneaton and Coventry, coming under the influence of evangelical teachers and clergymen. In 1836 her mother died and Marian became her father's housekeeper, educating herself in her spare time. In 1841 she moved to Coventry, and met Charles and Caroline Bray, local progressive intellectuals. Through them she was commissioned to translate Strauss's Life of Jesus and met the radical publisher John Chapman, who, when he purchased the Westminster Review in 1851, made her his managing editor.

Having lost her Christian faith and thereby alienated her family, she moved to London and met Herbert Spencer (whom she nearly married, only he found her too 'morbidly intellectual') and the versatile man-of-letters George Henry Lewes. Lewes was separated from his wife, but with no possibility of divorce. In 1854 he and Marian decided to live together, and did so until Lewes's death in 1878. It was he who encouraged her to turn from philosophy and journalism to fiction, and during those years, under the name of George Eliot, she wrote Scenes of Clerical Life, Adam Bede, The Mill on the Floss, Silas Marner, Romola, Felix Holt, Middlemarch and Daniel Deronda, as well as numerous essays, articles and reviews.

George Eliot died in 1880, only a few months after marrying J. W. Cross, an old friend and admirer, who became her first biographer. She was buried beside Lewes at Highgate. George Eliot combined a formidable intelligence with imaginative sympathy and acute powers of observation, and became one of the greatest and most influential of English novelists. Her choice of material widened the horizons of the novel and her psychological insights radically influenced the novelist's approach to characterization. Middlemarch, considered by most to be her masterpiece, was said by Virginia Woolf to be 'one of the few English novels written for grown-up people'.

Product Description


"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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

A heartwarming and poignant tale of a lonely man brought back to life and faith --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rustic realism 30 Oct 2009
How does an ordinary reader begin to review George Eliot? But this is a small masterpiece and as it is short and easy to read, a good introduction to her more daunting works.
The tale of Silas Marner, the miser who loses his gold and gains a golden-haired child is heart-warming with none of the sentimentality that Dickens would have brought to the tale. Eliot can write about the rural working class and they live and breathe as real people; listen to the way the men talk in the village pub, the way kind Mrs Winthrop rambles around a subject. There is wry humour here and acute observation. Apparently, it was George Eliot's favourite of her own novels, though the way of life she describes had already been vanquished by the industrial revolution. Marner is a man bent and half-blinded by the machinery he works with; his bleak urban nonconformism has blighted his life. The neighbourly villagers are part of an old rhythm of English country village, not idealised but rooted in tradition and nature. (You can see Eliot's influence of Thomas Hardy.)
I had always thought of Eliot as a dry bluestocking but this short novel has urged me to try others. Highly recommended.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Power of Love 20 Feb 2010
Once again, George Eliot (AKA Mary Anne Evans) brings us a gripping tale of country folk at the turn of the 19th century. The historical detail is fascinating in itself, but this is a truly touching story of one man's redemption through the love of a good woman. Silas Marner finds new meaning in his life when he undertakes the upbringing of a little orphan girl. The denoument is nicely prepared as we the reader are aware of certain information which is unknown to the two main protagonists!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A little masterpiece 14 May 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Whilst I love George Eliot's work as a rule, I had put off reading Silas Marner. The premise of the book (the social exile brought back to a full life and acceptance by his community through his adoption of an orphan child who appears on his doorstep) sounded a bit twee to me, a bit too sentimental for my liking.

I am happy to hold my hands up and admit that I was utterly wrong. Silas Marner is a little masterpiece. Compared to Middlemarch, it is a short and simple tale, yet it retains all the of elements which are most recognisable and admirable about Eliot's work - her simply breathtaking ability to write prose, fully developed and humanised characters, wonderfully vivid portraits of the simple rural life and community sadly now lost, and compelling exploration of morality and religion without the reader feeling they are being preached at. I enjoyed Middlemarch immensely as I could recognise it as a massive achievement literature, but it has not captured a place in my heart in the way that The Mill on the Floss and now Silas Marner have.

Some might feel that the plot is a bit thin and sentimental but for me this not the case. If you think more deeply about the book an enormous amount takes place not as just events driving the plot forward, but under the surface of the story. The characters undergo extensive development over the long years portrayed, yet Eliot handles this change and development so subtly and deftly that the reader hardly notices it happen. This has the effect of making the changes the characters undergo utterly believable - it is after all what happens to us all every day.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars simply delightful 17 Jan 2011
I knew this book already and simply wanted to have my own copy. This book is easy to read and - if you are an old romantic like myself - it will transport you back to the England that was in a very touching story about an old miser who is forced to realize that he has a heart. I wouldn't add anything else, in order not to 'spoil' the story - just read it, it's a wonderful classic.
The only other thing I would add is that the service from Amazon was nothing short of excellent, as always!
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37 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A small literary masterpiece. 15 Jan 2002
Format:Audio Cassette
Newspaper readers were invited recently to submit their choices for the greatest works published in the English language. When the choices were totalled, two works by Shakespeare featured in the top ten. Also featured, I was pleased to see, was a novel by George Eliot. Internet users, familiar with her works, will probably guess which of her novels was chosen. For those unfamiliar with her works, the best one to start with is "Silas Marner", a much shorter one. It is short, it is easy, it even works well in schools (as I can testify), and yet it is undoubtedly a masterpiece.

George Eliot sets her 1861 novel in the early decades of the nineteenth century in rural England. Silas Marner is a weaver. In the pattern that life weaves, he usually features as a victim. Because he is unjustly "framed", he loses his reputation and his betrothed in the town where he grew up. After years working as a weaver and living like a hermit in a rural district then, he is robbed by an unknown thief who uncovers and makes off with the cache of gold guineas Silas keeps under his floor. Happiness and joy come to Silas, however, and at the end of the novel he is told, "Nobody could be happier than we are".

George Eliot tells her tale with a mixture of womanly sympathy, sharp observation, tact, and humour. Her depiction of a long-gone past, and her clear pointing of right and wrong impulses, give the story qualities that are sometimes found in morality plays or in fairy tales. Don't skip over the scenes in the local inn, the Rainbow, where the simple-minded rustics discuss relevant issues, including the existence of ghosts.

For those who appreciate hearing good literature read aloud, I recommend the unabridged audio format of "Silas Marner" where the reader is Andrew Sachs.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, if you can get into it
The winding story, multidimensional characters and overall message of this, and other Eliot works, are moving and thought provoking if you can manage to break into them. Read more
Published 12 days ago by Nadia
4.0 out of 5 stars Finally read it after a 60 years lapse.
It was a hard read but after when I thought about it, and it did remain in my mind, there is lot people of today could learn from the book.
Published 2 months ago by Petal
5.0 out of 5 stars Silas Marner
The service was excellent and immediate. I haven't re-read the book as yet as I have a lot of reading for my literary class
Published 2 months ago by Mrs. C. F. Benbow
2.0 out of 5 stars not my kind of book
Didn't enjoy the book it was difficult to read the sentences were very long and over constructed not my kind of book
Published 3 months ago by helen grosvenor
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical
Years ago (how many I try to forget), as a student of English Literature, I had to read Eliot's Middlemarch (Penguin Classics) by Eliot, George ( 2003 ), and that proved to be a... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Didier
3.0 out of 5 stars weaves a nice tale
good story, a little long-winded in places and I found myself at times wondering what certain parts of the narrative had to do with the overall plot. Read more
Published 4 months ago by C. S. Bancroft
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent
Wonder why I'd never read this before as I loved Middlemarch. This was much shorter but wonderful story as you would expect from Elliott.
Published 4 months ago by Henn
3.0 out of 5 stars Silas Marner
Despite it being a lovely story I felt it quite boring in places. Much preferred Mill on the Floss. 3
Published 4 months ago by Teresa Jewett
5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite classic
I have read this book many times and it never fails to move me. So many modern stories are based on this tale of love and kindness but this remains amongst the most simple and... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Julia Woodyatt
4.0 out of 5 stars Well written book
I read this book at school many decades ago so decided to re-visit the story. I now know why I struggled to understand many phrases and expressions - I was 13! Read more
Published 6 months ago by Mrs. T. E. Hunt
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