Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Silas Marner” as Want to Read:
Silas Marner
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview
Read Book* *Different edition

Silas Marner

3.56 of 5 stars 3.56  ·  rating details  ·  42,070 ratings  ·  2,081 reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, 262 pages
Published July 1st 2005 by Simon & Schuster (first published 1861)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Silas Marner, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Greg Z Alex, odd question, as the whole book takes less than two hours to read, and we know within the first few pages the "thief" is the person found dead…moreAlex, odd question, as the whole book takes less than two hours to read, and we know within the first few pages the "thief" is the person found dead later on and marner gets his money back. So, from a quantum physics/karma respect, no one, and everyone. (less)
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper LeeHarry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling1984 by George OrwellPride and Prejudice by Jane AustenThe Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
Books That Everyone Should Read At Least Once
482nd out of 14,647 books — 71,810 voters
Pride and Prejudice by Jane AustenJane Eyre by Charlotte BrontëWuthering Heights by Emily BrontëThe Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar WildeCrime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Best Books of the 19th Century
104th out of 758 books — 4,421 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Dear Ms Park,

I finally finished reading Silas Marner. Yes, I know you assigned it during my sophomore year in high school, but I didn't finish it until this past February. I know I passed the test you gave us on the story and I even made a passing grade on the paper that I wrote about the story. But I have to confess that it was Jake D.'s Classic Illustrated Comics version of the story that allowed me to make those grades. Poor Jake. Even after reading the comic book from cover to cover he still
Michael Sorensen
When I was a teen, I heard that Silas Marner was a horrid old book about a rotten old miser and that I never wanted to read it. My Thanks to modern day Steve Martin who has updated several classics (ie Cyrano de Bergerac's 'Roxane') and 'Silas Marner' with modern movies that beautifully hold true to the books. The Movie was "A Simple Little Wish" and it was a beautiful story of a man and a child he adopts. In the credits I saw that the movie was based on 'Silas Marner'. At that point I had to re ...more
Henry Avila
An innocent young man, Silas Marner, is accused of stealing Church money, the actual crime committed, by his best friend, William, (a common occurrence ?), the culprit wants Silas's fiancee, Sarah. She soon rejects Silas, but not the treacherous William. The distraught weaver, flees Lantern Yard, when his brethren, do not believe him blameless, in the affair, to the country village of Raveloe . A bitter, broken man he becomes, his life ruined ... Apparently set in the English Midlands, during th ...more
A strong 3.5 stars

As with Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life, the only other Eliot book I’ve read thus far, _Silas Marner_ shows off just how keen an observer of human nature Eliot was both in the adept manner she has at detailing the psychological motivations of her characters’ actions and in the more explicit authorial asides in the narrative in which she details her insights into how the human mind and heart work, and the justifications that we give ourselves for our actions. No one in h
The Fairy tale reading

Once upon a time, a poor linen weaver lived in a deep, dark, dank place. He had been much maligned, and had grown bitter and friendless. For comfort, he turned to work and building a crock of gold, which he kept hidden under a floorboard, and brought out at intervals to admire and gloat over. But one fateful evening, the feckless son of the local squire was passing by, and, having ridden his brother's horse to death by reckless hunting, and feeling sadly out of sorts at h
Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways
This book was a real-life Book Circle read that, well, got mixed reviews. Some people thought the writing was brilliant and others found it dated; some people thought it was too short, others too long for the short story they felt it truly was and not the novel it's pretending to be.

I think it's a lovely book. I think Silas is about as honestly drawn and cannily observed a character as fiction offers. I think the village of Raveloe is as real as my own village of Hempstead. It's a delight to rea
Tyler Jones
2011 marks 150 years since the publication of Silas Marner. I can see why some modern readers would find the pace slow, the language difficult, the moral message too strong and the story too neatly tied up. That will happen if you insist that a mid-19th century novel be judged by early-21st century standards. I don't understand why some people refuse to read a book on it's own terms, but insist that the book conform to their terms. It's like they live in a city with great restaurants that repres ...more

This is a book which countless teenagers have been forced to read as part of the school syllabus. For some reason I didn't have to read it when I was at school. I'm glad that's the case, because I've a feeling this would not have appealed to me very much when I was a teenager.

As has been the case when I've read other novels by George Eliot, it took a while for me to become fully engaged with the narrative. But once the links between the various characters became clear, listening to the audioboo
Jun 22, 2015 Alex rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Wall street douchebags who should reexamine their priorities, maybe adopt an orphan
Silas Marner is the most accessible of George Eliot's novels, by which I mean it isn't like 700 pages long, which is a problem for it because that also means it's the one you had to read in high school. You didn't like it. Partly because your teacher made the whole class take turns reading out loud - why would you do that? - and partly because even at her snappiest Eliot is not the world's most exciting writer. She is the world's smartest writer! So that's nice for her. But she's no Dumas.

And th
"God gave her to me because you turned your back upon her, and He looks upon her as mine: you've no right to her!
When a man turns a blessing from his door, it falls to them as take it in."
One of the main reasons I like reading Victorian novels is for the eloquence. The above quote there is spoken by the eponymous Silas Marner, a character with little in the way of education or wealth, so there is a plainness in his eloquence. In his position I would have said "F*k off mister, finders keepers!
Jul 08, 2008 Werner rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans of 19th century fiction
Recommended to Werner by: It was required reading in high school
Required reading assignments in school often aren't the most enjoyable reads, and the element of compulsion may prejudice the reader against them, but this novel proved to be a happy exception to that pattern! (Obviously, given the time frame, I read it in a different edition than the one above.) The above description of "faith and society" as Eliot's subject matter here is apt. After being cast out by his narrow religious sect when he is framed for a theft, Silas becomes an embittered and reclu ...more
This is an odd wee book. I quite enjoyed it, but it is rather more showing its age than Middlemarch did. And it is similar in some ways to Middlemarch, or seems to be in the middle if not at the start and the end. It has the feel of snapshots of small town life. But the main story seems really odd for someone who translated Feuerbach's Essence of Christianity. This is a tale of redemption, but also one of a special providence, and as such it is a very Christian work, I think.

The idea that a man
I listened to this audiobook while on vacation. It is a bit slow in the first third, but I stuck it out and became completely engrossed in this second of George Eliot's novels that I've read. I think she really believed in karma. In this novel, as in "Middlemarch", characters clearly reap the consequences of the choices they make, particularly in relation to their behavior towards other people.

If you can get through the first third, it is well worth the read.
Mary Ronan Drew
Back in the fall of 1963 I was practice teaching at New Bedford High School. I didn't get to choose any of the books I taught and I was distressed that I had to teach Silas Marner. I had read it myself in high school not so long before and didn't like it at all and couldn't see the point of it all. Too sentimental, too stilted in language, too unrealistic.

But of course I sat down with the book and a notepad and started to do some close reading, as they taught us to do in those days. And a master
Silas Marner is primarily a character study of its title protagonist, a weaver who lives completely alone in Raveloe village. Only his hoarded gold keeps him company and provides any joy in life. However, Marner's life and personality change when the gold is stolen and is replaced by something else.

This is the very definition of a stodgy old classic. On the one hand, Silas Marner is well-written and demonstrates decent knowledge of human society, behavior, and motivation. Unfortunately, very li
Reading the reviews on Goodreads of Silas Marner there is a clear pattern of pleasant surprise on rereading Silas Marner as an adult as compared to the horrors of having the book foisted upon them as a teenager. There are several apologies to the battalion of English teachers who gamely tried to beat the book into less than receptive minds. My English teacher was a lovely woman who was able to bring the most inaccessible of texts of life to my sparrow like attention span but as my parents main b ...more
Christopher H.
If you are looking for a fast and thoroughly delightful and entertaining summer read, I would like to recommend George Eliot's slim novel, Silas Marner--The Weaver of Raveloe. I kept this next to my bedside, and read a few chapters each night; but it could just as easily be read in a few hours by a dedicated reader.

Eliot finished the novel in about six months and it was first published in April 1861. She wrote the novel during the time period that she was researching and writing her much larger
Eliot does it again! I found, as with Eliot's short story 'Brother Jacob', and the doorstopper that is 'Daniel Deronda', that 'Silas Marner' became steadily more enjoyable as the story progresses. Silas is a weaver in the village of Raveloe, having been banished from his original home after being falsely accused of theft. He lives alone in a small cottage, with only his weaving (and his stash of gold) to get him through the day. A loner in many respects, his life consists of little more than cou ...more
From BBC Radio 4:
With the arrival of an orphan girl, the old recluse vows to change. Stars Michael Williams, Edward Woodward and Jenny Agutter

Page 10:
If there is an angle who records the sorrows of men as well as their sins, he knows how many and deep are the sorrows that spring from false ideas for which no man is culpable.

Page 11:
Minds that have been unhinged from their old faith and love, have perhaps sought this Lethean influence of exile, in which the past becomes dreamy because its symbol
Julie Davis
I remember hating this in high school English, but as I have learned lately, many books ruined by high school teachers deserve a second chance. This book was recommended by my daughter Rose as one that would be good for discussion on A Good Story is Hard to Find.

Truth be told, I brought it on a trip out of town because it was the smallest paperback I owned and it would fit in my purse. I have only had a chance to read a few pages but am fascinated by the description of England at that time and b
Shocker of all shockers: I liked this one. Quite a lot, in fact. Why is that shocking? When I read this little volume--and no, it's not the same copy--in tenth grade I absolutely hated it. Hate is really too kind a word for what I felt. Needless to say, it held the title of most-hated-book until my college days when Jude the Obscure took its place. (It still holds the honor, in case you're curious.) Which just goes to show you that almost without a doubt classics--at least some classics--fail to ...more
So, way back in the good ol' days (1994, I just couldn't resist the line) I watched a Steve Martin movie called A Simple Twist of Fate. I loved that movie so much that when I started reading Silas Marner, I quickly noticed that it's pretty much the same story. Enough about the movie. So this book is set in the early to mid 19th century and it has heaps of lovely things going for it. At the heart is a story of a man who is badly wounded by society so he moves away, confines himself to many many h ...more
A very straightforward novel but compared to my mixed reactions to The Mill on the Floss, this was a far more enjoyable read. I am much more willing to try Middlemarch next!
Mike (the Paladin)
A read/trip worth taking...okay but really it's good. No way can I go further without spoilers, just "think" a book on redemption after pain and betrayal.

By the way, if your only knowledge of the book is a movie, do yourself a favor and read the book.
I bought this to test out George Eliot before reading something longer like Middlemarch. Reading Silas Marner makes me want to read more by Eliot, so reading her masterpiece would be the next logical step.
I didn't know what to expect from this book. I bought it years ago and passed over it, but I finished A Tale of Two Cities recently and wanted more Victorian literature without reading something very long. I'm so glad I finally got to Silas. I love Eliot's writing style, her keen and philosoph
Emma Flanagan
I picked this book up with some trepidation. The only person I’d ever heard talk about it was my mother who had studied it in school, and therefore hated it with kind of hatred that can only be born by studying a text for a state exam, reading and rereading it too many times to count, examining every sentence in terms of theme, tone and technique till the words have lost all meaning. There really is nothing quite like studying a book for state exam to make you truly hate a book. For this reason ...more
After my foray into YA Sci-Fi, it was SO refreshing to read a classic. I loved Silas Marner. I loved the long, carefully constructed sentences and the humanistic themes. I sympathized with the characters and found the story poignant and touching. In short, it was all I look for in a novel.
The edition I read (Everyman's Library) had an informative and insightful introduction by Rosemary Ashton, which gave some interesting background about George Eliot's life and her relationship with religion. I'
I liked this shorter novel by Eliot more than I did her longer 'masterpiece' Middlemarch, but again I had some issues with Eliot's writing style. Listening to the audiobook helped, but you can't skim in an audiobook, so I became clearly aware of the sections which I found dull. These were almost entirely sections in which Eliot is using the book as a platform to air her ideas -- which in retrospect was true in Middlemarch as well -- when she sticks to the story, I liked it very much.
Frederick Gault
I was forced to read this steaming heap of tripe in High School. I never forgave them - under the Geneva Convention this was clearly torture. Fortunately I was able to put this horrifying experience behind me and was able to read again. I would rather gouge my eyes out with a dull soup spoon that ever read George Eliot again. If I had a time machine I'd go back and strangle George Eliot in her crib as a baby so this festering fetid puddle of worm drool would not have been written.
Mar 25, 2008 John rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: classics
Oh my goodness.... why on earth have I never read this book before?

What an absolute delight; wonderfully devloped and rounded characters, believable storyline and a great dose of goodness and badness thrown in for good measure.

Fanatstic, tremendous, beautiful and more superlatives than I can possibly conjour.

Silas Marner... what a gem.

Are all George Elliot books this good?
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
The Ocelot Clubhouse: Silas Marner 4 9 Nov 14, 2015 02:09AM  
The Ocelot Clubhouse: Silas Marner - WITH SPOILERS! 1 4 Nov 14, 2015 01:54AM  
23 Short Classics: July Read - Silas Marner by George Eliot 10 15 Aug 08, 2014 05:14AM  
23 Short Classics: June Book - Silas Marner 2 6 May 28, 2014 04:58AM  
Teachings from Silas Marner 14 174 Apr 08, 2014 01:51PM  
  • Dr. Thorne
  • Marius the Epicurean
  • Dombey and Son
  • Lorna Doone
  • Wessex Tales
  • Castle Rackrent
  • Born in Exile
  • The Dead Secret
  • Tales of Angria
In 1819, novelist George Eliot (nee Mary Ann Evans), was born at a farmstead in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, England, where her father was estate manager. Mary Ann, the youngest child and a favorite of her father's, received a good education for a young woman of her day. Influenced by a favorite governess, she became a religious evangelical as an adolescent. Her first published work was a religious poe ...more
More about George Eliot...

Share This Book

“Hurt, he'll never be hurt--he's made to hurt other people.” 56 likes
“Nothing is so good as it seems beforehand.” 25 likes
More quotes…