This week on The Literary Life podcast, Angelina Stanford, Cindy Rollins and Thomas Banks dig into George Eliot’s Silas Marner. Today’s discussion gives us an introduction to George Eliot and covers the first three chapters of the book. Thomas shares a little historical context for the setting of Silas Marner and how that affects the interpretation of this book. Angelina points out the ways in which Eliot uses some fairy tale and otherworldly elements to explore moral ideas.
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A poem can be like two hands that lift you up and put you down in a new place. You look back with astonishment and find that because you have read a few lines on a printed page or listened for a couple of minutes to a voice speaking, you have arrived at somewhere quite different.Elizabeth Goudge
Wheresoe’er I turn my view,Samuel Johnson
All is strange, yet nothing new;
Endless labour all along,
Endless labour to be wrong…
These fellow mortals, every one, must be accepted as they are. You can neither straighten their noses, nor brighten their wits, nor rectify their dispositions; and it is these people amongst whom your life is passed, that it is needful you should tolerate, pity and love.George Eliot
by Edward Thomas
Yes. I remember Adlestrop—
The name, because one afternoon
Of heat the express-train drew up there
Unwontedly. It was late June.
The steam hissed. Someone cleared his throat.
No one left and no one came
On the bare platform. What I saw
Was Adlestrop—only the name
And willows, willow-herb, and grass,
And meadowsweet, and haycocks dry,
No whit less still and lonely fair
Than the high cloudlets in the sky.
And for that minute a blackbird sang
Close by, and round him, mistier,
Farther and farther, all the birds
Of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire.
Towers in the Mist by Elizabeth Goudge
The Dean’s Watch by Elizabeth Goudge
Adam Bede by George Eliot
The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot
Middlemarch by George Eliot
Romola by George Eliot
Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
Selected Essays, Poems and Other Writings by George Eliot
Silly Novels by Lady Novelists by George Eliot
Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
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