Wuthering Heights (With eBook)by Emily Brontë, Anne Flosnik (Narrated by)
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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.
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- Unabridged Library Edition
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- 6.50(w) x 6.80(h) x 1.00(d)
- Age Range:
- 12 - 18 Years
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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 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 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.
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.
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Meet the Author
Anne Flosnik is an accomplished, multi-award-winning British actress, with lead credits for stage, television, commercials, industrials, voice-overs, and audiobooks. She has garnered three AudioFile Earphones Awards, including for Little Bee by Chris Cleave, and four Audie Award nominations.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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This book will always and forever be one of my favorites. The characters are very unconventional in the fact that they are created as flawed and real human beings. The way that Catherine Earnshaw was such a selfish human was realistic to me. The way that Heathcliff was so cruel, but loved Catherine so much was realistic. The structure of the book was beautiful as well as the writing. I would suggest this to people who enjoy classic literature. I would not suggest this to most people who have read Stephenie Meyers' "Twilight" without them knowing that the love affair between Catherine and Heathcliff is not at all healthy and slightly disturbing. Its not like Edward and Bella.
It is the classic crazy love story. The two main charcaters, Cathy and Heathcliff, are madly in love with each other, but both feel it is an impossible love. Cathy marries money in hopes to help Heathcliff, Heathcliff runs off to better himself in hopes to deserve Cathy. It is a mixed up story full of fantastic charcters and an ever twisting plot. And it has, I believe, one of the most romantic endings ever written. I highly recommend this book!
After reading some of the scathing reviews on this book I had to put in my two cents. Wuthering Heights is by no means a dainty, happy book. But it has a deeper meaning in my opinion. I believe when Emily Bronte wrote this she was giving an example of an extreme. The pain one would incur from unrequited love and the misery of unchecked revenge. I think she speaks to the sensible side of all who read her works. To caution against foolish inclinations and to show how you should react to situations and what could happen if you reaction is unreasonable. For those of you who have read it, I am comparing Heathcliffe and Cathy with Hareton and young Cathy. For those of you who haven't, just pay attention, look deeper, see what you think. But please, don't take this work as a sad work of fiction, look beyond the surface and see how this could apply to your own life. See how even though things could be unfair, cruel, and hard that life can still be worth living because you never know what could be waiting for you in the end.
The reading was a bit hard to follow in the beginning but as I read on and got more aquainted with the characters it began to become easier to read. I read it in two days the book was that good. My first instinct with to loathe Heathcliff and Catherine for there relationship, but in the end I realized that circumstances were hard and that love did win out.
Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights is my favorite gothic romance classics of all times!
I like the format in which the narration is structured, where the story was shared between Ms. Dean and Lockwood. Bronte did a great job of balancing the narrative in a way where I was never confused on who was telling the story. At times, I sensed Nelly's biased toward certain characters, but her detail and recount was thorough and engaging. Telling it in Nelly and Lockwood's perspective allowed me to see more into the characters and their desires, motives and struggles, even after the climactic event of Catherine's death. This could not have been possible if it was told in Heathcliff or Catherine's perspective.
I noticed throughout the novel how Bronte used parallel elements to compare and contrast people, places and things in her story. For example, Wuthering Heights was painted as an unrefined and dark home, where Thrushgrove Grange was described as polished, gentle and inviting similar to the inhabitants of each residence. In addition, Cathy and young Catherine were different, yet very similar in many ways. She used this style throughout her novel; these are just two examples that help paint a well-rounded picture of the events and the overall storyline.
Most of all, the novel is such a passionate tale of a doomed love between two people who can never be together in their life time. Even though Heathcliff is portrayed as a malicious and vengeful person, my compassion for him never wavered. At times, I found myself being a proponent of his efforts, especially when enacting revenge upon Hindley. He was my favorite character throughout the novel despite his acts because I could sense Heathcliff's passion and true love for Cathy even after her death when he was more determined to pose revenge on those who kept them apart. If it were merely lust for Cathy, his efforts would have ended when she died. This is truly a love story that cannot be fulfilled in their lifetime.
Overall, I was glad to see Bronte structure a happy ending by joining young Catherine and Hareton because in a sense it was like she joined Heathcliff and Catherine and gave them their happy ending.
This is a novel I will read over and over again!
Emily Bronte has written one of the most romantic stories I have ever read in Wuthering Heights, but the beginning is difficult to read and the characters have no redeeming qualities except their love for each other. Htis book is almost obnoxious because the characters are so selfish! However, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte is amazing in comparison. I have loved that book forever which is why I read this one. Read this book for the experience and the feeling of accomplishment at the end. THe ending is what gave it 4 stars, in my opinion. Overall it was a good book, just not outstanding.
This is one of the best books I have ever had the pleasure to read. Emily Bronte's masterpiece thoroughly captivated my attention for its entire duration, never dulling for a moment. Without spoiling a plot of epic proportions, it is sufficient to say that this is perhaps the best novel involving tragedy and romance ever written. Character development is wonderfully descriptive in Wuthering Heights, while still being concise and clear in reference to which person is being referred to. The brilliance of the landscape was beautifully portrayed and added considerably to the agenda of the plot. Furthermore, the manner is which the story was told was equally satisfying. Wuthering Heights was an all-around fantastic read. Personally, I can find no faults with it whatsoever. I -highly- suggest this novel for anyone. It will always be an absolute fixture in my library.
I like the story but the old english makes it hard to follow. I had to read slow and back track constantly & I actually had to put this down for a while because the language was losing my interest. But the story itself is great and it's definitely a classic. So if you can get past the old english than go for it!
When I first began reading Wuthering Heights, it seemed like every turning of a page was work, it just simply wasn't what I was expecting. It seemed to lack passion, it was void of any sign of life, but something about it made me keep reading it compulsively. Not until the very end did I encounter the real power of the novel. The magic it holds comes neither from love, nor passion, but from its profound characters. They are ingeniously flawed in a way that enables readers to deeply relate to and even find themselves in them. Heathcliff is the most fascinating character I've ever encountered. He's dark, unsettling, and incredibly selfish and cold, yet his most enthralling quality is that we know he is capable of giving in to temptation and falling in love with Catherine. In contrast, Catherine's vulnerability is what makes her so appealing to us as readers, because we see that she leaps into a love that will eventually consume her. Wuthering Heights is hardly a pretty love story; it's a dark, disturbing tale unraveling around obsession and revenge. It tells of two star crossed loved who ignore their hearts' desires and let their heads get in the way of what fate has in store for them. The story unfolds as an extended flashback through the eyes of Nelly Deans, Catherine's family's maid. The story is about the forbidden love between Catherine and Heathcliff (an orphan Catherine's father picks up off the streets of Liverpool). Although the reader gets a sense that these two are soul mates, Catherine ends up marrying another, hence beginning a treacherous cycle of obsession and revenge that would be bequeathed to the next generation. Personally, I've never come across a more enchanting book that, due to its characters, entangles the reader inside their worlds with incredible intensity and strength. The power of the novel is hidden in its characters and their battle to reach their designated fate against all odds. Wuthering Heights is an intense tale of two flawed individuals trapped in an obsessive love that turns to dark madness. It is an excellently written novel that everyone should read at least once.
I don't think I can express how much I love this book! Heathcliff and Catherine's love story is so passionate and so much more different than any other I have read. The characters seem so real, it's hard to imagine that they only exist in writing. Every time I read this I find myself falling more and more in love with it--and I catch myself finding things that I missed before. You can't fully appreciate this novel unless you read it more than once! Bronte's writing definitely challenges readers but it is well worth it!
I loved this book! I heard about it in Twilight and couldnt put it down. At first the old fashioned talk was hard to understand but i got used to it soon. I love how unlike in Twilight, there really isnt a happy ending. Heathcliff and Catherine are made for each other but they make each other miserable too. I love how Heathcliff is so unlike Edward in Twilight. I think this book is just as romantic as Twilight but different. Its amazing and everyone should read it!!
I loved to hate Heathcliff. But got a little confused at times by the changing point of view in which it is written.
I think that this is too mature for a ten year old. It has a hard to follow plot for unexperienced readers, and the vocabulary may be difficult to understand. I would recommend this book for people ages 14 +. This is a very good read, but is not your classic love story. I hope this helps some younger readers decide whether or not to read this book.
A great touching story that everyone should read
I purchased this classic book over other less costly ebook editions because it was advertised as including "beautiful illustrations". IT DOES NOT HAVE ANY ILLUSTRATIONS! I was very disappointed, and with ebooks, once you click on "buy", you are stuck with the book! Shame on the publisher for deceptive advertising!
i read this book because it was never forced in school; so i didn't understand when "bella" would address it in the "twilight" saga. i HAD to understand what she was talking about and why she loved the book SO MUCH. i did love this book, even though it is sick and twisted.
I read the book after watching the movie. I found out that the movie has the same name and characters, but otherwise is very different from the book. The book is a very dark story, but extremely interesting and well written.
This is not the romantic story I was led to believe. Two of the most selfish people with very dark charcteristics. It was however very entertaining.
If you like really dark romanticism then this is the book for you!
This book is fantastic; it is a true classic, and I would recommend it to any who like romantic tragedies with flawed characters. That being said, I would warn any Twilight fans that Wuthering Heights is not an easy read, nor is it a typical 'happy ending' book. I would recommend that you research it more before just buying it, else you might be a bit surprised.
I read this book for a school assignment and it was one that I actually really liked! Wuthering Heights has a dynamic plot that spans over a long period of time providing a unique reading experience. Love, Hate and Abuse seem to be common themes throughout the story. It is a classic that can be enjoyed by many different ages. Although there was not a specific lesson taught or reason that the book was written it was very well done and i would recommend it to anyone to likes a good love story with drama. The author creates such passion in each of the characters, it is impossible not to become attatched! Good book!
While the writing was eloquent, the characters were selfish, whiny and altogether unlikeable. I'm glad to say i read it, as it is a classic, but i wouldn't necessarily recommend it to anyone.
I know that many people love this book, I however cannot. I have read this book several times at different points in time. There are many great qualities about the book, just not enough to take it out of the mud for me. The characterization is smart, yet not enough. There are many plot twists, however there is just too many peek-aboos that just doesn't add up and doesn't make sense. It's great to read the descriptions of the England moors, castles and different characters' depictions, unfortunately though depictions alone do not make the story. It's one of those classics that is a must read for the sake of learning that not everything that is written a long time ago is a great book. This I think was a great attempt at a great novel, unfortunately for us readers Bronte fell short of the threshold.
tough read so far not interesting enough to keep reading
Remember being "forced" to read it in high school. Now it's one of my all time favorite books!