Silas Marner lives a friendless and isolated existence near the country village of Raveloe, hoarding his gold. One night his fortune is stolen and Silas loses everything he holds dear. But then the golden-haired child Eppie appears in his home, and Silas begins to reform bonds of faith and human connectedness that he once renounced forever.
Mary Anne Evans was born near Nuneaton on 22 November 1819. She adopted the pseudonym George Eliot when she began her writing career. In her youth she was heavily influenced by her evangelical teachers but she later broke with orthodox religion. After she moved to Coventry with her father in 1841, she undertook the task of translating D.F. Strauss's controversial book Life of Jesus Critically Examined (1846) for Charles Bray. After her father's death she moved to London and helped to edit the radical journal the Westminster Review from 1851 to 1854. In 1851 she also met the journalist George Henry Lewes and, despite Lewes's marriage, they became partners for the rest of his life. In 1854 Lewes and Eliot openly set up home together, a scandalous arrangement by the social standards of the day. In 1857 Eliot published Scenes from Clerical Life in Blackwood's Magazine and in 1859 her novel Adam Bede was published to great acclaim and established her as a bestselling author. Her most famous novel, Middlemarch, was published serially in 1871. Lewes died in 1878 and, in 1880, Eliot married John Walter Cross, an American who was twenty years her junior. George Eliot died on 22 December 1880 and is buried in Highgate Cemetery next to Lewes.