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Silas Marner [Paperback]

George Eliot
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)

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Book Description

2 July 2007
Gentle linen weaver Silas Marner is wrongly accused of a heinous theft, and he exiles himself from the world-until he finds redemption and spiritual rebirth through his unselfish love for an abandoned child who mysteriously appears one day at his isolated cottage. Somber, yet hopeful, Eliot's realistic depiction of an irretrievable past, tempered with the magical elements of myth and fairy tale, remains timeless in its understanding of human nature and is beloved by every generation.

Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics (2 July 2007)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 0140623574
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140623574
  • Product Dimensions: 1.4 x 11.1 x 18.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,002,243 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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 alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

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

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 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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4 of 4 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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38 of 44 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 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 6 months ago by Didier
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 6 months ago by Teresa Jewett
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect
Great for goes very thorough and my daughter loves it does all her homework and notes using it!
Great buy !
Published 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Book
This book is a timeless classic and should be read by everyone who is interested in English Literature. We read it at book club.
Published 12 months ago by MsSteeple
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully crafted story by George Eliot, a master-piece!
I read this book for the first time during school, I was told to analyse it and scruitinise every single use of figurative language and various other techniques that were employed... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Michael Nguyen
4.0 out of 5 stars A classic revisited
I must have last read this book many, many years ago in an English literature class. This is a good Kindle version, although the illustrations might as well have been left out as... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Caroline Gale
3.0 out of 5 stars Review of Silas Marner
This story is slow-moving, but the character of Silas Marner is sensitively drawn, and I warmed to him by the end. Also to the little girl who stood by him.
Published 17 months ago by J. Holmes
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
This is my all time favourite book. I bought it for my 2nd cousin for her birthday, knowing that she will enjoy it too. Read more
Published 18 months ago by annie
1.0 out of 5 stars Sorry but gave up
Usually quite like this sort of thing but just too much effort to keep with it. May be return to it at some point.
Published 19 months ago by J. Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Sila Marner.
A classic tale but one that tears you apart before restoring you to recognising that there is good in the world and it has little to do with gold/money. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Ms. Joanna Ruth Penney
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