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Episode 84: “Silas Marner” by George Eliot, Ch. 4-9

On today’s episode of The Literary Life podcast, Angelina Stanford, Cindy Rollins and Thomas Banks continue their discussion of George Eliot’s Silas Marner, covering chapters 4-9. They talk about the problems facing the Cass family and their tense relationships, examine George Eliot’s treatment of Silas Marner’s victim-hood, reflect on the changing times of the Victorian period, and Thomas breaks out his “Cheers” accent.

Don’t forget to check out Angelina and Thomas’ upcoming classes at and Cindy’s Discipleship for Moms on Patreon.

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Commonplace Quotes:

Perhaps the first thing that he can learn from the artist is that the only way of “mastering” one’s material is to abandon the whole conception of mastery and to co-operate with it in love: whosoever will be a lord of life, let him be its servant.

Dorothy Sayers

You said that we owe literature almost everything we are and what we have been. If books disappear, history will disappear, and human beings will also disappear. I am sure you are right. Books are not only the arbitrary sum of our dreams, and our memory. They also give us the model of transcendence. Some people think of reading only as a kind of escape: an escape from the “real” everyday world to an imaginary world, the world of books. Books are much more. They are way of being more fully human.

Susan Sontag

Just because a man is going to be hanged tomorrow it does not necessarily follow that he has anything interesting to say about it.

Desmond MacCarthy


by William Blake

Sleep, sleep, beauty bright,
Dreaming in the joys of night;
Sleep, sleep; in thy sleep
Little sorrows sit and weep.

Sweet babe, in thy face
Soft desires I can trace,
Secret joys and secret smiles,
Little pretty infant wiles.

As thy softest limbs I feel
Smiles as of the morning steal
O’er thy cheek, and o’er thy breast
Where thy little heart doth rest.

O the cunning wiles that creep
In thy little heart asleep!
When thy little heart doth wake,
Then the dreadful night shall break.

Book List:

The Mind of the Maker by Dorothy L. Sayers

Criticism by Desmond MacCarthy

Lyrical Ballads by Wordsworth and Coleridge

Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

Ruth by Elizabeth Gaskell

Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry

The Aeneid by Virgil

Emma by Jane Austen

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Find Cindy at, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

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  • Veronica

    Oh my goodness! I don’t know if any of you have read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, but Juliet Ashton’s pen name when she wrote for a humor column in the newspaper was Izzy Bickerstaff. Funny what books make sly references to each other.

    • Cate Nunan

      Oh yes, now I remember that it was indeed. I did think at the time that it was a ridiculous name – fancy that! Another reminder that books are indeed talking to each other. Thanks for pointing that out. What a memory,

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