Silas Marner by George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans Cross)

Here’s another classic Victorian novel, this one by George Eliot (which is a pseudonym) and published in 1861. It tells of the life of Silas Marner, a benevolent and good hearted weaver. Since I don’t want to spoil anything I’ll leave it at that.

She belonged to the same milieu as Dickens so there are similarities yet Cross possesses a unique and identifiable style of her own as well. While Dickens wrote giant baroque novels, Cross is more of a prose stylist and Silas Marner comes in at only 182 pages.

Cross, like Dickens, has a grasp and insight of human psychology which gives a depth to her characters and makes the novel worth reading for that alone. The story is fascinating, enthralling. I don’t know which I liked better, David Copperfield, or this. One of the one hand, when I read a huge novel that was meant for serialization like Copperfield, I miss the characters more afterwards, having spent more time and pages getting to know them. On the other, Silas Marner is more faced paced and highly polished.

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