George Eliot's Silas Marner

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Silas Marner


George Eliot


Penguin Books Ltd, 80 Strand, London WC2R ORL, England

Copyright Date: No. of Pages:

1994 221 pages

I. Author

George Eliot (1819-1880), was the pen name of Mary Ann (or Marian) Evans, a great English novelist. Much of her fiction reflects the middle-class rural background of her childhood and youth. George Eliot wrote with sympathy, wisdom, and realism about English country people and small towns. She wrote seriously about moral and social problems, but her characters are living portraits.

George Eliot's masterpiece, Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life (1871-1872), is a long story of many complex characters, and their influence on and reaction to each other. Adam Bede (1859), her first novel, is a tragic love story in which her father serves as a model for the title character. The Mill on the Floss (1860) and Silas Marner (1861) are somber works set against country backgrounds.

Silas Marner is the story of an embittered miser who loses his gold, but turns to a more human life through his love for a little girl. Romola (1863) is a historical novel set in Renaissance Florence. Felix Holt, Radical (1866), George Eliot's only political novel, is considered one of her poorer works. Daniel Deronda (1876), George Eliot's last novel, displays the author's pro-Jewish sentiments. The book is largely a failure in spite of the warm portrait of its heroine, Gwendolen Harleth.

George Eliot was born in Warwickshire. She received an excellent education in private schools and from tutors. After her father's death in 1849, she traveled in Europe and then settled in London. There she wrote for important journals and became a friend of many important people. British intellectuals regarded her as one of the leading thinkers of her day. George Eliot lived with the writer...