Two members of the landed class in Raveloe's vicinity, and friends of the Cass boys.
One of the Squire's younger sons, of whom the Squire is very fond.
Squire Cass's second-born son, commonly known as Dunsey Cass. He is physically weak and unattractive but lucky, unscrupulous, and shrewd. He steals Marner's hoard of gold and flees the environs of Raveloe.
Squire Cass's eldest son, a handsome and muscular but morally weak youth, who is secretly married to Molly Farren and is the father of a child with her. Meanwhile, he is enamored of Nancy Lammeter.
"The greatest man in Raveloe," that is, the only landowner in the village with a title and tenants. He is a blustery, hot-tempered hypocrite who indulges his sons' wild lifestyles while pretending that his own life of leisure is superior.
The founder and previous owner (before Mr. Lammeter) of the Warrens, he was a tailor who has aspired to joining the gentry. He built a massive, ostentatious stable on the Warrens. After his son died at sixteen--and he himself soon after--the stable reportedly became haunted with his mad, grieving ghost. It remains so at the time of the narrative.
A property manager in the employ of Squire Cass.
The rector of Raveloe. He is a small, jolly man, as likely to dance as pray.
Silas Marner's treacherous best friend when they were young men in the community of Lantern Yard. A zealous, confident contrast to the meek, self-doubting Marner. In order to steal Marner's promised wife, Sarah, Dane frames Marner in the theft of a pouch of church money.
The farrier of Raveloe. A cynical, rather outwardly bitter man, he is given to doubt his fellow villagers' enthusiastic flights into superstitious speculation, though he too is susceptible to it from time to time.
The previous rector of Raveloe.
Eppie, or Hephzibah
A child with golden-curled hair and the biological daughter of Godfrey Cass and Molly Farren, she toddles into Silas Marner's cottage when her mother is dying. Infinitely curious and good-natured, Eppie is Marner's redeemer. She grows up to be a lovely, auburn-haired girl, never leaving her new father--Marner himself--and eventually marrying Aaron Winthrop.
Godfrey Cass's wife, whom he married without his father's knowledge and who lives apart from him in Batherley with their child. She is a laudanum addict.
Mr. Bob Fowler
One of Squire Cass's tenants and the subject of a dilemma for Godfrey, who embezzles his rent money.
The Miss Gunns
Two undifferentiated sisters who are guests of honor at the Red House New Year's dance. They are very fashionable--also quite ugly and boring.
The constable of Raveloe.
The apothecary and acting doctor of Raveloe. Also Squire Cass's brother-in-law. An altogether agreeable man as Raveloe's villagers come, though he is an extremely competitive whist player.
The corpulent, dignified wife of Dr. Kimble, she is well respected in Raveloe.
A fine, sober, handsome landed gentleman of Raveloe, he owns one of the best and most mysterious pieces of property in the area, the Warrens.
Miss Nancy Lammeter
An immaculate, beautiful young woman of a good Raveloe family. Godfrey is in love with her and wishes to marry her, though his existing marriage to Molly Farren stands in the way. Though determined to resist the wild-living Godfrey, Nancy is very fond of him.
Miss Priscilla Lammeter
Nancy's outspoken, homely sister, given to unflinching and blunt bouts of opinionizing. She is an excellent cook, a sharp wit, and the most feminist character in the novel.
A tailor and the parish clerk. An old and venerable figure, one usually finds him sitting thoughtfully at the Rainbow or speaking about old times that only he can now remember. He is slow to begin speaking, but he will continue indefinitely with slight encouragement. His opinions are strong, offered frankly, and generally well considered. When he occasionally is clever, he privately is quite pleased.
The justice of Raveloe.
A linen-weaver who, as a young man, is falsely accused of theft and thus cast out as a scapegoat from the close-knit church community of Lantern Yard. He settles on the outskirts of the village of Raveloe, his faith in both God and humanity shattered by his experience in Lantern Yard. He quietly plies his trade, an odd and lonely stranger in the eyes of the villagers. Marner is the quintessential miser in English literature, collecting and hoarding the gold he earns at his loom. In the course of the novel his gold is stolen. Some time later, he finds a baby girl, Eppie, asleep at his hearth. His love for this golden-haired foundling child-who, in the novel's most famous symbol, replaces Marner's beloved gold pieces in his affection-facilitates his return to faith and humanity.
A local woman of Raveloe whom Silas Marner cured of dropsy with a preparation of foxglove. He cured her even though the Raveloe doctor could not.
Nancy Lammeter's cousin. She rejects him as a suitor on the grounds of their family relationship.
One of the most venerable of Raveloe's landed parishioners.
Mr. Osgood's wife, a dignified, decorous country lady with a special affinity for Nancy Lammeter, her niece.
The minister of Lantern Yard.
A mysterious, itinerant peddler "with a swarthy foreignness of complexion" who, upon scarce evidence, is used as a scapegoat in the theft of Marner's hoard.
The mole-catcher of Raveloe.
Silas Marner's betrothed while he is a member of Lantern Yard. She ends up spurning him when he is banished from the community and marrying his supposed best friend, William Dane.
The landlord and proprietor of the Rainbow. As befits his position as a man who must please many to make his living, Mr. Snell tends to cut down the middle of an argument. His is a "neutral disposition," keen to make peace--and to sell drinks when he can.
The deputy-clerk of Raveloe as well as Mr. Macey's apprentice tailor. He is picked on somewhat, and he has a reputation as an awful chorister.
Godfrey Cass's horse, which he agrees to sell in order to replace money he "borrowed" from his father's tenant, Bob Fowler.
The son of Ben and Dolly Winthrop. He is a meek, frail boy who can sing like an angel. He grows up to be Eppie's hard-working, devoted sweetheart.
Mr. Ben Winthrop
A "large, jocose-looking" denizen of Raveloe. He is wheelwright during the week, chorus leader on Sundays.
Mrs. Dolly Winthrop
A "woman of scrupulous conscience." She is a very warm, generous, spiritual soul, given to visiting folks during serious or sad times in order to cheer them up. She tries to be a comfort to Marner during his hard times and eventually becomes an irreplacable help to him in the raising of Eppie. She also becomes Marner's conversation partner in his search into his own past.
Silas Marner Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for Silas Marner is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.
When he sees that Marner is not at home, Dunstan thinks, Why borrow Marner's money when he could just take it? Dunstan finds the loose brick beside Marner's loom and removes the two leather bags filled with Marner's guineas. After replacing the...
Silas was seen as a "wandering tradesman". Because such men are generally distrusted by rustic society, they have tended to become "aliens": eccentric, disagreeable, lonesome and mysterious. One such weaver-indeed, the pinnacle of such weavers-is...