Wuthering Heights

Wuthering Heights

3.9 1254
by Emily Brontë, Flo Gibson
     
 

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Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte's only novel, is one of the pinnacles of 19th century English literature. It's the story of Heathcliff, an orphan who falls inlove with a girl above his class, loses her, and devotes the rest of his life to wreaking revenge on her family.

Overview

Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte's only novel, is one of the pinnacles of 19th century English literature. It's the story of Heathcliff, an orphan who falls inlove with a girl above his class, loses her, and devotes the rest of his life to wreaking revenge on her family.

Editorial Reviews

Sunday Times (London)
Patricia Routledge's reading, with her subtle modulation and vocal range, irons out a possibly confusing plot, conveying the novel's dominating passion and power.
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up-British actor Martin Shaw reads this shortened version of the classic Emily Bronte novel. His easily-understood accent is appropriate and helps to set the mood. Shaw reads at a very steady pace, pausing effectively for emphasis or when his character might be thinking. Usually calm and gentle, his voice can resonate with anger or other emotion when necessary. There is some differentiation in pitch to emphasize male vs. female speech, but it is not exaggerated or overdone. The abridgement retains Bronte's words linking speech or narration sometimes from one page to another. It provides students with an easier way to become familiar with the story and get a feel for her style. Teachers could use this presentation to introduce the novel or to entice students to read it on their own.-Claudia Moore, W.T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
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
Children's Literature - Keri Collins Lewis
More twisted and thorny that the branches of a wild rose, Heathcliff's dark, passionate obsessions consume him—and everyone who crosses his path. Considered one of the greatest works of English literature ever written, this gothic novel's bleak, destructive love story set against the desolate backdrop of England's Yorkshire moors has, for over 150 years, ensnared readers with its complexities, unreliable narrators and characters nearly beyond belief in their harshness. This affordable edition in the Puffin Classics line includes many helpful features that make the story more easily understood by modern readers, including a family tree, an annotated "Who's Who" to distinguish each character's role, an author profile, and two introductions. The first introduction is by S. E. Hinton, author of The Outsiders, and the second is by Charlotte Bronte, who edited the 1850 edition. Astute teachers will capitalize on the glimpse of the time period provided by a "Biographical Notice of Ellis and Acton Bell," which, though slightly confusing, ultimately reveals that all of the Brontes works were originally published under the gender-neutral pseudonyms Acton, Ellis, and Currer Bell. In this notice, penned after the death of her author-sisters Anne & Emily, Charlotte clears what was apparently a great mystery at the time: that Anne was Acton, Emily was Ellis, and she was Currer. This could be used as a springboard into discussions of social customs of the time and how they impacted both the author's life and the novel she wrote. This edition also includes some thought questions and suggested activities based on the novel. Best of all, however, is the book's design. It fits perfectly in one's hands and has easy-to-read type. Reviewer: Keri Collins Lewis

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781556905759
Publisher:
Recorded Books, LLC
Publication date:
01/01/1981
Edition description:
Unabridged

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

1801—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 pull out his hand to unchain it, and then suddenly preceded me up the causeway, calling, as we entered the court,—

'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 fire-place; 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 villanous 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.

While enjoying a month of fine weather at the seacoast, I was thrown into the company of a most fascinating creature: a real goddess in my eyes, as long as she took no notice of me. I 'never told my love' vocally; still, if looks have language, the merest idiot might have guessed I was over head and ears: she understood me at last, and looked a return—the sweetest of all imaginable looks. And what did I do? I confess it with shame—shrunk icily into myself, like a snail; at every glance retired colder and farther; till finally the poor innocent was led to doubt her own senses, and, overwhelmed with confusion at her supposed mistake, persuaded her mamma to decamp.

By this curious turn of disposition I have gained the reputation of deliberate heartlessness; how undeserved, I alone can appreciate.

I took a seat at the end of the hearthstone opposite that towards which my landlord advanced, and filled up an interval of silence by attempting to caress the canine mother, who had left her nursery, and was sneaking wolfishly to the back of my legs, her lip curled up, and her white teeth watering for a snatch.

My caress provoked a long, guttural gnarl.

'You'd better let the dog alone,' growled Mr. Heathcliff in unison, checking fiercer demonstrations with a punch of his foot. 'She's not accustomed to be spoiled—not kept for a pet.'

Then, striding to a side door, he shouted again—'Joseph!'—

Joseph mumbled indistinctly in the depths of the cellar, but gave no intimation of ascending; so his master dived down to him, leaving me vis-a-vis the ruffianly bitch and a pair of grim shaggy sheep-dogs, who shared with her a jealous guardianship over all my movements.

Not anxious to come in contact with their fangs, I sat still; but, imagining they would scarcely understand tacit insults, I unfortunately indulged in winking and making faces at the trio, and some turn of my physiognomy so irritated madam, that she suddenly broke into a fury, and leapt on my knees. I flung her back, and hastened to interpose the table between us. This proceeding roused the whole hive. Half-a-dozen four-footed fiends, of various sizes and ages, issued from hidden dens to the common centre. I felt my heels and coat-laps peculiar subjects of assault; and, parrying off the larger combatants as effectually as I could with the poker, I was constrained to demand, aloud, assistance from some of the household in re-establishing peace.

Mr. Heathcliff and his man climbed the cellar steps with vexatious phlegm: I don't think they moved one second faster than usual, though the hearth was an absolute tempest of worrying and yelping.

Happily, an inhabitant of the kitchen made more dispatch: a lusty dame, with tucked-up gown, bare arms, and fire-flushed cheeks, rushed into the midst of us flourishing a frying-pan: and used that weapon, and her tongue, to such purpose, that the storm subsided magically, and she only remained, heaving like a sea after a high wind, when her master entered on the scene.

'What the devil is the matter?' he asked, eyeing me in a manner I could ill endure after this inhospitable treatment.

'What the devil, indeed!' I muttered. 'The herd of possessed swine could have had no worse spirits in them than those animals of yours, sir. You might as well leave a stranger with a brood of tigers!'

'They won't meddle with persons who touch nothing,' he remarked, putting the bottle before me, and restoring the displaced table. 'The dogs do right to be vigilant. Take a glass of wine?'

'No, thank you.'

'Not bitten, are you?'

'If I had been, I would have set my signet on the biter.'

Heathcliff's countenance relaxed into a grin.

'Come, come,' he said, 'you are flurried, Mr. Lockwood. Here, take a little wine. Guests are so exceedingly rare in this house that I and my dogs, I am willing to own, hardly know how to receive them. Your health, sir!'

I bowed and returned the pledge; beginning to perceive that it would be foolish to sit sulking for the misbehaviour of a pack of curs: besides, I felt loath to yield the fellow further amusement at my expense; since his humour took that turn.

He—probably swayed by prudential considerations of the folly of offending a good tenant—relaxed a little in the laconic style of chipping off1 his pronouns and auxiliary verbs, and introduced what he supposed would be a subject of interest to me,—a discourse on the advantages and disadvantages of my present place of retirement.

I found him very intelligent on the topics we touched; and before I went home, I was encouraged so far as to volunteer another visit to-morrow.

He evidently wished no repetition of my intrusion. I shall go, notwithstanding. It is astonishing how sociable I feel myself compared with him.

CHAPTER 2

Yesterday afternoon set in misty and cold. I had half a mind to spend it by my study fire, instead of wading through heath and mud to Wuthering Heights.

On coming up from dinner, however, (N.B.—I dine between twelve and one o'clock; the housekeeper, a matronly lady, taken as a fixture along with the house, could not, or would not, comprehend my request that I might be served at five.) On mounting the stairs with this lazy intention, and stepping into the room, I saw a servant-girl on her knees, surrounded by brushes, and coal-scuttles; and raising an infernal dust as she extinguished the flames with heaps of cinders. This spectacle drove me back immediately; I took my hat, and, after a four miles' walk, arrived at Heathcliff's garden gate just in time to escape the first feathery flakes of a snow-shower.

On that bleak hill-top the earth was hard with a black frost, and the air made me shiver through every limb. Being unable to remove the chain, I jumped over, and, running up the flagged cause-way bordered with straggling gooseberry bushes, knocked vainly for admittance, till my knuckles tingled, and the dogs howled.

'Wretched inmates!' I ejaculated, mentally, 'you deserve perpetual isolation from your species for your churlish inhospitality. At least, I would not keep my doors barred in the day-time. I don't care—I will get in!'

So resolved, I grasped the latch and shook it vehemently. Vinegar-faced Joseph projected his head from a round window of the barn.

'Whet are ye for?' he shouted. 'T' maister's dahn i' t' fowld. Goa rahnd by th' end ut' laith, if yah went tuh spake tull him.'2

'Is there nobody inside to open the door?' I hallooed, responsively.

'They's nobbut t' missis; and shoo'll nut oppen 't an ye mak yer flaysome dins till neeght.'3

'Why? cannot you tell her who I am, eh, Joseph?'

'Nor-ne me! Aw'll hae noa hend wi't,' muttered the head, vanishing.4

The snow had began to drive thickly. I seized the handle to essay another trial; when a young man without coat, and shouldering a pitchfork, appeared in the yard behind. He hailed me to follow him, and, after marching through a wash-house, and a paved area containing a coal-shed, pump, and pigeon-cote, we at length arrived in the huge, warm, cheerful apartment, where I was formerly received.

It glowed delightfully in the radiance of an immense fire, compounded of coal, peat, and wood; and near the table, laid for a plentiful evening meal, I was pleased to observe the 'missis,' an individual whose existence I had never previously suspected.

I bowed and waited, thinking she would bid me take a seat. She looked at me, leaning back in her chair, and remained motionless and mute.

'Rough weather!' I remarked. 'I'm afraid, Mrs. Heathcliff, the door5 must bear the consequence of your servants' leisure attendance: I had hard work to make them hear me!'

She never opened her mouth. I stared—she stared also. At any rate, she kept her eyes on me in a cool, regardless manner, exceedingly embarrassing and disagreeable.

'Sit down,' said the young man, gruffly. 'He'll be in soon.'

I obeyed; and hemmed, and called the villain Juno, who deigned, at this second interview, to move the extreme tip of her tail, in token of owning my acquaintance.

'A beautiful animal!' I commenced again. 'Do you intend parting with the little ones, madam?'

'They are not mine,' said the amiable hostess, more repellingly than Heathcliff himself could have replied.

What People are saying about this

Charlotte Bronte
Wuthering Heights was hewn in a wild workshop, with simple tools, out of homely materials... And there it stands colossal, dark, and frowning, half statue, half rock; in the former sense, terrible and goblin-like; in the latter, almost beautiful, for its colouring is of mellow grey, and moorland moss clothes it; and heath, with its blooming bells and balmy fragrance, grows faithfully close to the giant's foot.

Meet the Author

S. E. Hinton is the author of the bestselling The Outsiders. She lives in Oklahoma.

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Wuthering Heights 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1254 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I decided to read this book after I saw it mentioned several times throughout the 'Twilight Series' by Stephenie Meyer. In the book 'Eclipse', Bella compared herself to the character of Catherine and being that I had never read 'Wuthering Heights' I thought I would give it a go. I'll have to admit that it was hard to read at times because the language back then was so different yet beautiful as well. I could definitely see similarities between the love triangle that exists between Catherine, Heathcliff, and Edgar compared to that of Bella, Edward, and Jacob in 'Twilight'. I think it was a good story and I'm glad that I did read it because now I can go back through the 'Twilight' books and know what Bella means when she mentions the different characters from the story. Good stuff...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
To read this novel is to succumb to a world that is strange and beautiful and cruel and mesmerizing. It reads like a dream written in poetry. It is not an easy read, but it is well worth the effort it takes to understand its complex structure, psychologically nuanced characters, and rich language. It's reputation as a love story is misleading. It is a story of love in all of its complex manifestations but not the romantic love of pulp fiction. The love Bronte refers to is love that is ambivalent, sadistic, obsessive, and, literally, maddening. Wuthering Heights is a true work of art that deserves to be read and re-read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm generally not interested in the 'classic' genre and I was expecting a really slow start to Wuthering Heights, because that is what I discovered with reading Jane Eyre (I do understand that they are written by two different authors but I had expected their literary styles to be similar because the sisters were so close to each other). When I read the book for school over the summer, I was delighted to find the story fast paced, interesting, and simple yet still powerful. The intense, complex, (and somewhat boring) conversations that took place in Jane Eyre are absent from Wuthering Heights. The deeper meaning in the story is instead found more within the characters' actions, and relationships with one another. I found the characters loveable and memorable, though some of them were a little twisted.
Guest More than 1 year ago
All of my life, I had heard of the dark novel, Wuthering Heights. I had read reviews describing its complicated twists, evil characters, and intense plots. After years of putting it off, I bought it, not giving myself the chance to look back at the Classics section on my way out. I decided it was time. Cautiously opening the first page, I prepared myself. I prepared myself for a long, complicated, sometimes scary read. What I got was a hurricane of emotions that I believe every human being is capable of. Not only was it an absorbing, fascinating read, but it was a revelation. I realized for the first time in my life that every human has a dark side that he keeps hidden in the chambers of his heart. Yet what if we, the human race, were to let our emotions rule us? What if our passions were portrayed for all the world to see? I imagine that is what Emily Bronte had in mind when she first envisioned this novel, her soul masterpiece. She exposed the human race as it really is: Warm, Passionate, Tempestuous, Melancholy, and sometimes a bit Playful.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I actually got into this book by Stephanie Meyer's 'Twilight' series because they mentioned it a lot in those books. Im extrememly glad I did take the time to read this book though because it was fanominal. It's your classic love story, with a twist of evil you didn't think possible from one person [that person being Heathcliff]. The old english talk can get confusing, so it's definately one for the older readers. All and all, it's one of my all-time favorite books.
Nini_ More than 1 year ago
I am really passionate about Wuthering Heights. After reading it in 10th grade, it's been my favorite romance novel. It's so intensely intense. I actually don't have this version of the book, I have the Norton edition, but I really like this cover. To sum up Wuthering Heights in a sentence, it's a novel that tells the story of two people, Catherine and Heathcliff, who are fiercely, and almost violently, in love with each other but can't truly, physically be together until they are in the grave. It's simply phenomenal!
memee1207 More than 1 year ago
This is a great book, however, this version is sprinkled with typos. For example, every time there is an apostrophe followed by two "L"s, it comes out as an eleven. I.e., "We'll" becomes "We'11," etc. It's not exactly a deal breaker, given that it's a free copy. It does get a little taxing to try to figure out each typographical error.
Fawn48340 More than 1 year ago
i'v heard much about this book from many people,decided to finally read it. had a hard time keeping names straight and who's who. and who was the strory teller. once i finally caught on to how the book was written i enjoyed it the whole time. i didnt want to put it down. i cant believe how much drama was put into one book. i think i will read it again soon. it wont be a disapointment to anyone reading it.
Glorr More than 1 year ago
I had a love/hate thing with this book. It's really weird but I want to read it again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Pads in
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hopefull- hissed and curled her tail around her kit <p> waterkit and grasskit mewl in protest
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Put 4 more shes at prism res.2
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She sighed clearly upset but obeyed Thistlefang. "I'll kill you next time, Sandpour." She promised, exiting the clearing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sidesteps and dodges thistlefang. I may not be as young as the others but i am not an idi.ot
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
(May I join?)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Srry im not very active. Life in rl is hard.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She wakes up in a tree. Before she had the chance to get up the branch cracked off and fell. She landed on her back with a small , low thud. Se sighed and got up , shaking the dirt that had collected in her fur. <br> ~ TigerNight ~
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Gtg to school bbl
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Move swiftly to My Place At the Baazar. We will continue there.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hi guys.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
*Looks up at austin confuzed*
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Erm... thank you? *he scratches his head, then begins eating the Jello* Enjoy thy parading, buddeh.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Why," He sighed, walking in with his hands in his pockets, "Did we move? There was like, fifteen double results." ~Evan <p> Logan walked in beside his cousin, his hood up. He slowly nodded his head in agreement, rolling his eyes. ~Logan
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
'Cause people are crazy. O.e
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
( akright( RETUN TO OLIVER TWIST