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It is not a long story, but it is a most carefully finished novel--"a perfect gem, a pure work of art," Mr. Oscar Browning describes it. Mr. Blackwood, the publisher, found it rather sombre, and George Eliot replied to him, "I hope you will not find it at all a sad story as a whole, since it sets--or is intended to set--in a strong light the remedial influences of pure, natural, human relations.
I have felt all through as if the story would have lent itself best to metrical rather than to prose fiction, especially in all that relates to the psychology of Silas; except that, under that treatment, there could not be an equal play of humour." No novel of George Eliot's has received more praise from men of letters than "Silas Marner."