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.
George Eliot's own favourite novel centres on Silas Marner, the linen weaver of Raveloe, a village on the brink of industrialization. Once he was a respected member of a narrow congregation, but the events that took place during one of his cataleptic foots led to the loss of everything that he valued. Now he lives a withdrawn half-life and is an object of suspicion to his new neighbours; he exists only for his work and his golden guineas. But when his precious money is stolen and, shortly after, seemingly and mysteriously replaced by the child Eppie, Silas is awakened to life by the redemptive power of love.
George Eliot's affectionate but unsentimental portrait of rural life combines irony, humour and sharp social comment. Above all, she demonstrate a profound and enduring knowledge of the human mind and heart.