Falsely accused, cut off from his past, Silas the weaver is reduced to a spider-like existence, endlessly weaving his web and hoarding his gold. Meanwhile, Godfrey Cass, son of the squire, contracts a secret marriage. While the village celebrates Christmas and New Year, two apparently inexplicable events occur. Silas loses his gold and finds a child on his hearth. The imaginative control George Eliot displays as her narrative gradually reveals causes and connections has rarely been surpassed. This new edition, which is based on the carefully corrected text George Eliot prepared a few months after the first edition, is accompanied by an introduction which illuminates the intellectual context of what has often been presented as a nostalgic, sentimental tale.