Everyman's Library, Hardcover, 9780679420309, 248pp.
Publication Date: March 9, 1993
When Silas Marner is wrongly accused of crime and expelled from his community, he vows to turn his back upon the world. He moves to the village of Raveloe, where he remains an outsider and an object of suspicion until an extraordinary sequence of events, including the theft of his gold and the appearance of a tiny, golden-haired child in his cottage, transforms his life. Part beautifully realized rural portraiture and part fairy tale, the story of Marner’s redemption and restoration to humanity has long been George Eliot’s most beloved and widely read work.
The isolated, misanthropic, miserly weaver Silas Marner is one of George Eliot’s greatest creations, and his presence casts a strange, otherworldly glow over the moral dramas, both large and small, that take place in the pastoral landscape that surrounds him.
Introduction by Rosemary Ashton
(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)
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.
“More strikingly than in any other novel, George Eliot combines pastoral, symbolic, legendary elements with a rooted local setting and an evocation of ordinary lives and credible moral choices. It is a fine Shakespearian-Wordsworthian story of loss and restoration . . . Silas Marner is a compound of English life rendered with ‘rich density of detail,’ as Henry James described it, and the imaginative patterning of romance and myth.”
—from the Introduction by Rosemary Ashton
"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."