Children's Literature - Kristina Cassidy
One of the greatest gothic romance novels of all time, Wuthering Heights is the story of a tortured and ultimately tragic romance between Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff. The story is told in a series of flashbacks. Heathcliff is an orphan brought to Wuthering Heights by the kindly Mr. Earnshaw. Heathcliff's best friend as he grows up is Mr. Earnshaw's daughter, Catherine. Earnshaw's son, Hindley, hates Heathcliff and forces Heathcliff to work as a hired hand after his father's death. Catherine and Heathcliff fall in love, considering themselves two parts of one person, but Catherine chooses to marry a neighbor, Edgar Linton. Heathcliff is devastated at Catherine's betrayal and leaves. When he returns months later, he is wealthy and marries Edgar Linton's sister, Isabella. Heathcliff and Catherine fight bitterly over this development, but reconcile shortly before she dies in childbirth. Heathcliff spirals into madness, taking out his fury on the Earnshaws and Lintons, punishing even his and Catherine's children. This new edition of the classic novel includes a cover illustration and extra features designed to capitalize on the popularity of Stephenie Meyer's Twilight gothic romance series. The cover even proclaims Wuthering Heights "Bella and Edward's favorite book." The extras include a quiz, information about the traits of gothic romance, and trivia about Emily Bronte, as well as Facebook profiles and quizzes for Heathcliff and Catherine. Other classics given a similar treatment include Romeo and Juliet and Pride and Prejudice. Reviewer: Kristina Cassidy
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up
This audio version of Emily Bronte's classic is narrated by Ann Flosnik. Initially, her narration makes it difficult to distinguish between characters, but as the tale progresses, her vocal characterizations become more dramatic and unique for each character, drawing listeners deeper and deeper into this dark and brooding love story. The first disk of the set also contains a PDF ebook of the full text of the novel which can be downloaded. Some students will want to read along with the narrated version, while others can use the ebook as a reference tool for class assignments. A nice addition to classic literature collections and a good way to enhance the English curriculum.-Anita Lawson, Otsego High School, Otsego, MI
Internet Book Watch
This abridged presentation of a classic brings to life Bronte's gothic romance and provides a powerful reading by Martin Shaw, whose voice perfectly captures this dark story of the moors. Those reluctant to read the full classic will find this audio version compelling and hard to quit listening to.
Internet Book Watch
From the Publisher
"It is as if Emily Brontë could tear up all that we know human beings by, and fill these unrecognizable transparencies with such a gust of life that they transcend reality."
Read an Excerpt
I have just returned from a visit to my landlord--the solitary neighbour that I shall be troubled with. This is certainly a beautiful country! In all England I do not believe that I could have fixed on a situation so completely removed from the stir of society. A perfect misanthropist's heaven; and Mr. Heathcliff and I are such a suitable pair to divide the desolation between us. A capital fellow! He little imagined how my heart warmed towards him when I beheld his black eyes withdraw so suspiciously under their brows, as I rode up, and when his fingers sheltered themselves, with a jealous resolution, still further in his waistcoat, as I announced my name.
"Mr. Heathcliff?" I said.
A nod was the answer.
"Mr. Lockwood, your new tenant, sir. I do myself the honour of calling as soon as possible after my arrival, to express the hope that I have not inconvenienced you by my perseverance in soliciting the occupation of Thrushcross Grange: I heard yesterday you had had some thoughts--"
"Thrushcross Grange is my own, sir," he interrupted, wincing. "I should not allow any one to inconvenience me, if I could hinder it--walk in!"
The "walk in" was uttered with closed teeth, and expressed the sentiment, "Go to the deuce": even the gate over which he leant manifested no sympathizing movement to the words; and I think that circumstance determined me to accept the invitation: I felt interested in a man who seemed more exaggeratedly reserved than myself.
When he saw my horse's breast fairly pushing the barrier, he did put out his hand to unchain it, and then sullenly preceded me up the causeway, calling, as we entered thecourt--"Joseph, take Mr. Lockwood's horse; and bring up some wine."
"Here we have the whole establishment of domestics, I suppose," was the reflection suggested by this compound order. "No wonder the grass grows up between the flags, and cattle are the only hedge-cutters."
Joseph was an elderly, nay, an old man: very old, perhaps, though hale and sinewy. "The Lord help us!" he soliloquised in an undertone of peevish displeasure, while relieving me of my horse: looking, meantime, in my face so sourly that I charitably conjectured he must have need of divine aid to digest his dinner, and his pious ejaculation had no reference to my unexpected advent.
Wuthering Heights is the name of Mr. Heathcliff's dwelling. "Wuthering" being a significant provincial adjective, descriptive of the atmospheric tumult to which its station is exposed in stormy weather. Pure, bracing ventilation they must have up there at all times, indeed: one may guess the power of the north wind blowing over the edge, by the excessive slant of a few stunted firs at the end of the house; and by a range of gaunt thorns all stretching their limbs one way, as if craving alms of the sun. Happily the architect had foresight to build it strong: the narrow windows are deeply set in the wall, and the corners defended with large jutting stones.
Before passing the threshold, I paused to admire a quantity of grotesque carving lavished over the front, and especially about the principal door; above which, among a wilderness of crumbling griffins and shameless little boys, I detected the date "1500," and the name "Hareton Earnshaw." I would have made a few comments, and requested a short history of the place from the surly owner; but his attitude at the door appeared to demand my speedy entrance, or complete departure, and I had no desire to aggravate his impatience previous to inspecting the penetralium.
One step brought us into the family sitting-room, without any introductory lobby or passage. They call it here "the house" pre-eminently. It includes kitchen and parlour, generally; but I believe at Wuthering Heights the kitchen is forced to retreat altogether into another quarter: at least I distinguished a chatter of tongues, and a clatter of culinary utensils, deep within; and I observed no signs of roasting, boiling, or baking, about the huge fireplace; nor any glitter of copper saucepans and tin cullenders on the walls. One end, indeed, reflected splendidly both light and heat from ranks of immense pewter dishes, interspersed with silver jugs and tankards, towering row after row, on a vast oak dresser, to the very roof. The latter had never been underdrawn: its entire anatomy lay bare to an inquiring eye, except where a frame of wood laden with oatcakes and clusters of legs of beef, mutton, and ham concealed it. Above the chimney were sundry villainous old guns and a couple of horse-pistols: and, by way of ornament, three gaudily painted canisters disposed along its ledge. The floor was of smooth, white stone; the chairs, high-backed, primitive structures, painted green: one or two heavy black ones lurking in the shade. In an arch under the dresser reposed a huge liver-coloured bitch pointer, surrounded by a swarm of squealing puppies; and other dogs haunted other recesses.
The apartment and furniture would have been nothing extraordinary as belonging to a homely, northern farmer, with a stubborn countenance and stalwart limbs set out to advantage in knee-breeches and gaiters. Such an individual seated in his armchair, his mug of ale frothing on the round table before him, is to be seen in any circuit of five or six miles among these hills, if you go at the right time after dinner. But Mr. Heathcliff forms a singular contrast to his abode and style of living. He is a dark-skinned gipsy in aspect, in dress and manners a gentleman: that is, as much a gentleman as many a country squire: rather slovenly, perhaps, yet not looking amiss with his negligence, because he has an erect and handsome figure; and rather morose. Possibly, some people might suspect him of a degree of underbred pride; I have a sympathetic chord within that tells me it is nothing of the sort: I know, by instinct, his reserve springs from an aversion to showy displays of feeling--to manifestations of mutual kindliness. He'll love and hate equally under cover, and esteem it a species of impertinence to be loved or hated again. No, I'm running on too fast: I bestow my own attributes over liberally on him. Mr. Heathcliff may have entirely dissimilar reasons for keeping his hand out of the way when he meets a would-be acquaintance, to those which actuate me. Let me hope my constitution is almost peculiar: my dear mother used to say I should never have a comfortable home; and only last summer I proved myself perfectly unworthy of one.