This classic novel takes place in Lantern Yard, a slum street in an unnamed city in Northern England, during the early 19th century.
There, Silas Marner, a weaver and a member of a small Calvinist congregation, is falsely accused of stealing the congregation's funds while watching over their very ill deacon.
Two pieces of evidence are against Silas: his possession of a pocket knife and the bag that formerly contained the money.
Although there is also strong evidence that Silas' best friend, William Dane, has framed him (since Silas had lent his pocket knife to William shortly before the crime was committed), Silas is exiled by the community of Lantern Yard and moves to the village of Raveloe, where he lives as a recluse, caring only for work and money.
Bitter and unhappy, Silas' circumstances begin to change though when an orphaned child is left in his care...