Edinburgh: William Blackwood and Sons, 1861. Item #03261
First Edition, In the Original Cloth Binding
ELIOT, George. Silas Marner: The Weaver of Raveloe. Edinburgh: William Blackwood and Sons, 1861.
First edition. Octavo (7 3/4 x 4 13/16 inches; 197 x 122 mm.). , 364 pp. plus 16 pp. publisher’s advertisements, [4,unnumbered ads for the third edition of “Autobiography of Dr Alexander Carlyle"] pp.
Original cinnamon diagonal ripple-grain cloth (Carter A, no priority established) with covers decoratively paneled in blind and spine decoratively stamped and lettered in gilt. Top edge rough-trimmed, fore and bottom edges trimmed. Original cream-colored endpapers. Booksellers ticket "Gilbert Brothers, Gracechurch St, London" on front paste-down. Neat ink presentation dated 1861 on front free-endpaper. Minimal rubbing to corners and spine extremities. Rear inner hinge just starting, some light foxing. An excellent copy. Chemised in a quarter red morocco slip-case.
The advertisements are in placing “b” (eight plus two leaves, at rear, with the advertisements for the third edition of Autobiography of Dr Alexander Carlyle following the publisher’s catalogue), and the “New Works” list is in the earlier form, with pp.  and  listing three and four titles respectively (p. : John Petherick’s Egypt, Soudan, and Central Africa, Sir Archibald Alison’s Lives of Lord Castlereagh and Sir Charles Stewart (“In the press”), and the Count de Montalbert’s The Monks of the West; p. : George Finlay’s History of the Greek Revolution (“In the press”), Rev. J. Cave-Browne’s The Punjab and Delhi in 1857, David Page's The Past and Present Life of the Globe (“In the press”), and Henry Stephens' The Book of Farm Buildings ("In the press").
Baker & Ross A6.1.a. Carter, Binding Variants, pp. 111-112. Parrish, p. 15. Sadleir 819. Wolff 2063.
Mary Ann Evans (1819-1880), known by her pen name George Eliot, was an English novelist, journalist, translator and one of the leading writers of the Victorian era. She is the author of seven novels, including Adam Bede (1859), The Mill on the Floss (1860), Silas Marner (1861), Middlemarch (1871–72), and Daniel Deronda (1876), most of them set in provincial England and known for their realism and psychological insight.
She used a male pen name, she said, to ensure her works would be taken seriously. Female authors were published under their own names during Eliot's life, but she wanted to escape the stereotype of women only writing lighthearted romances. She also wished to have her fiction judged separately from her already extensive and widely known work as an editor and critic. An additional factor in her use of a pen name may have been a desire to shield her private life from public scrutiny and to prevent scandals attending her relationship with the married George Henry Lewes, with whom she lived for over 20 years.
Silas Marner: The Weaver of Raveloe is the third novel by George Eliot, published in 1861. An outwardly simple tale of a linen weaver, it is notable for its strong realism and its sophisticated treatment of a variety of issues ranging from religion to industrialisation to community.