Event—Adult Education

A Serial Reading of George Eliot’s "Silas Marner"


Come for the deceptively simple fairy-tale premise, stay for the astonishingly modern exploration of morality, desire, historical change, and redemption.

Illustration from the book Silas Marner, written by George Eliot, illustrated by Hugh Thomson, 1907. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Class Description

We invite you to read and discuss George Eliot’s third novel in short progressive parts, with sessions designed to bring a wide array of narrative, cultural, and biographical elements into focus. In weaving together the fable of a miser seeking meaning in life with a story of betrayal and deception, Silas Marner concisely reflects Eliot’s signature erudition, sensitivity, and narrative mastery. Our sessions will feature critical analysis, historical and biographical references, relevant art works, scenes from film adaptations, and lively discussion.

Steven J. Venturino, PhD, the author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Literary Theory and Criticism, has led classes at the Newberry since 2015 and is a former Adjunct Professor of English at Loyola University Chicago.

Materials List

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  • George Eliot, Silas Marner. Penguin, 2003. ISBN: 978-0141439754

First Reading

  • For the first session, please read only chapters 1-2. Please do not read the book’s introduction or preface.

Cost and Registration

4 Sessions, $225 ($202 for Newberry members, seniors, and students). Learn about becoming a member.

We now offer our classes at three different price options: Regular ($225), Community Supported ($215), and Sponsor ($235). Following the models of other institutions, we want to ensure that our classes are accessible to a wider audience while continuing to support our instructors. You may choose the price that best fits your situation when registering through Learning Stream.

To register multiple people for this class, please go through the course calendar in Learning Stream, our registration platform. When you select the course and register, you’ll be prompted to add another registrant.


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