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Summary

Reputed to be Eliot's favorite novel, Silas Marner is set in the early years of the 19th century. Marner, a weaver, is a member of a small congregation in Lantern Yard. Falsely accused of a crime he didn't commit, he leaves his home and lives a solitary life near the village of Raveloe. He dedicates his life to weaving and hoarding gold for the next 15 years, but circumstances beyond his control shape his destiny. When his gold is stolen, he is rescued from despair by the arrival on his lonely hearth of a beautiful little girl, whom he adopts, and through whom he and the other people of the village learn that loving relationships are more fulfilling than material wealth.

Under the Greenwood Tree, Hardy's second novel, was published in 1872 and became the first of his great series of Wessex novels. The book, subtitled A Rural Painting of the Dutch School, tells the endearing tale of a group of church musicians who accompany the hymns at the local Mellstock parish choir, and we follow the fortunes of one of its members, Dick Dewy, who falls in love with the new schoolmistress, Fancy Day.

Public Domain (P)2016 Victorian Classic Audiobooks

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  • Robyn
  • 20-06-17

Delightful

Two great novelists, wonderful story-lines, authentic characters and true-to-life settings - what more can a reader want? With Tadgh Hynes doing justice to the works with his sensitive interpretation and wonderful voice, these two books have it all.

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  • DFK
  • 16-01-18

Get the version with just Silas Marner

Silas Marner is a book I had to read in high school. I didn’t really appreciate it then. It is a good book but not at all Eliot’s best. I suspect they assigned that because it is shorter and perhaps they think it has a moral lesson of some kind. But I’m sure they would not have considered the idea that it is a severe religious practice that put Marner on his path nor would they have considered any heretical ideas in response to the lots. It is a book worth listening to. Tadhg Hynes is as wonderful to listen to as I remember from the last time I listened to one of his narrations on Librivox. On the other hand - and this is coming from a Thomas Hardy fan - Under the Greenwood Tree is a waste of time. Shallow with the simplest of silly plots. Sure, Hardy’s language is nice, but you don’t need to listen to drivel to get that.

1 person found this helpful