Bantam Books, Mass Market Paperbound, 9780553212297, 192pp.
Publication Date: September 1, 1981
Embittered by a false accusation, disappointed in friendship and love, the weaver Silas Marner retreats into a long twilight life alone with his loom. . . and his gold. Silas hoards a treasure that kills his spirit until fate steals it from him and replaces it with a golden-haired founding child. Where she came from, who her parents were, and who really stole the gold are the secrets that permeate this moving tale of guilt and innocence. A moral allegory of the redemptive power of love, it is also a finely drawn picture of early nineteenth-century England in the days when spinning wheels hummed busily in the farmhouses, and of a simple way of life that was soon to disappear.
With Lewes s encouragement, Mary Ann Evans wrote her first fictional work, The Sad Fortunes of the Reverend Amos Barton, for "Blackwood s Magazine" in 1857; it was followed by two more stories published under the pseudonym George Elliot George because it was Lewes s name and Eliot because, she said, it was good mouth-filling, easily pronounced word. At the age of thirty-nine she used her memories of Warwickshire to write her first long novel, "Adam Bede" (1859), a book that established her as the foremost woman novelist in her day. Then came "The Mill on the Floss "(1860), Silas Marner (1861), and "Romola" (1863). Her masterpiece and one of the greatest English novels, Middlemarch, was published in 1871-72. Her last work was "Daniel Deronda" (1876). After Lewes s death George Eliot married John Walter Cross. He was forty; she was sixty-one. Before her death on December 22, 1880, she had been recognized by her contemporaries as the greatest living writer of English fiction."
"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