Wuthering Heights

Wuthering Heights

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Overview

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781417739202
Publisher: Turtleback Books; A Division of Sanval
Publication date: 03/28/2004
Pages: 320

About the Author

Emily Brontë (1818-48) along with her sisters, Charlotte and Anne, is one of the most significant literary figures of the 19th century. She wrote just one strikingly innovative novel but was also a gifted and intense poet. Pauline Nestor teaches English at Monash University, Australia. Lucasta Miller was educated at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford.

Read an Excerpt

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 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.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations     viii
About Longman Cultural Editions     ix
About This Edition     xi
Introduction     xv
Table of Dates: The Life of Emily Bronte     xxvi
The Chronology of Wuthering Heights     xxx
Wuthering Heights     1
Volume 1     3
Volume 2     141
Contexts     299
Biographical     303
Biographical Sketch     303
Emily Bronte in Elizabeth Gaskell's The Life of Charlotte Bronte (1857)     308
Writings   Emily Bronte     313
from "Diary Papers" (1834-1845)     313
"The Cat" (translation) (1842)     319
Charlotte Bronte's Selection of Poems by Ellis Bell (1850)     320
Charlotte Bronte on Ellis Bell     329
from "Biographical Notice of Ellis and Acton Bell" (1850)     330
from "Editor's Preface" (1850)     335
Historical, Social, and Legal     339
Heathcliff and the Unsettled Classes     339
Nomads of City and Country     341
Henry Mayhew, from London Labour and the London Poor (1861)     341
Self-Made Men and Luddites     343
Samuel Smiles, from Self-Help (1859)     343
Women's Rights and Roles     348
Ellis Bell and Sarah Stickney Ellis     348
Sarah Stickney Ellis, from The Women of England, Their Social Duties and Domestic Habits (1839)     349
Harriet Martineau, from "On Female Education" (1823)     352
Wills, Women, and Property     355
Barbara Leigh Smith Bodichon, from A Brief Summary, in Plain Language, of the Most Important Laws Concerning Women (1854)     355
A Tale of Two Houses: Interiors and Servants     357
Interiors     358
John Ruskin, from "The Nature of Gothic," The Stones of Venice (1851-1853)     359
Domestic Servants     361
Isabella Beeton, from The Book of Household Management (1861)     362
Regional and Popular     366
Where Are the Brontes From?     366
Ireland, Heathcliff, and the Brontes     367
William Wright, from The Brontes in Ireland (1893)     368
Yorkshire: Regionalism, Dialect, and Ballads     374
Regionalism     374
Elizabeth Gaskell, from The Life of Charlotte Bronte (1857)     375
Dialect     377
Richard Blakeborough, from Wit, Character, Folklore and Customs of the North Riding of Yorkshire (1898)     377
Ballads      380
Anonymous, "The Ghaist's Warning" (1812)     382
Pilgrims to Haworth     387
Matthew Arnold, from "Haworth Churchyard, April 1855" (1877)     387
Claude Meeker, from "Haworth; Home of the Brontes" (1895)     390
Virginia Woolf, from "Haworth, November 1904" (1904)     393
Shifting Literary Honors and the Beaten Track     395
Critical and Artful     398
Reviews of Wuthering Heights, 1848-1851     399
from Douglas Jerrold's Weekly Newspaper (January 1848)     399
from Atlas (January 1848)     400
G. W. P[eck], from "Wuthering Heights," The American Review (June 1848)     401
[E. P. Whipple], from "Novels of the Season," North American Review (October 1848)     403
[George Henry Lewes], from The Leader (December 1850)     404
[Sydney Dobell], from Eclectic Review (February 1851)     405
Early Criticism     406
Algernon Charles Swinburne, from "Emily Bronte" (1883)     406
Angus M. MacKay, from The Brontes: Fact and Fiction (1897)     407
Mary A. Ward [Mrs. Humphry Ward], from "Introduction," Wuthering Heights, Haworth Edition (1900)     409
May Sinclair, from The Three Brontes (1912)     410
Virginia Woolf, from "Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights" (1916)      412
Sites and Resources on the Brontes     413
Exhibits     413
Selected Web sites     415
Adaptations and Translations     415
Performances     415
Film/Television Adaptations     417
Some Translations     418
Some Sequels, Pendants, and Biographical Fiction     422
Further Reading     425
General Resources and Biographical Studies     425
Popular Reception and Travels to Bronte Country     430
Selected Criticism Since 1995     430

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.

Reading Group Guide

1. To what extent do you think the setting of the novel contributes to, or informs, what takes place? Do you think the moors are a character in their own right? How do you interpret Bronte's view of nature and the landscape?

2. Discuss Emily Bronte's careful attention to a rigid timeline and the role of the novel as a sober historical document. How is this significant, particularly in light of the turbulent action within? What other contrasts within the novel strike you, and why? How are these contrasts important, and how do they play out in the novel?

3. Do you think the novel is a tale of redemption, despair, or both? Discuss the novel's meaning to you. Do you think the novel's moral content dictates one choice over the other?

4. Do you think Bronte succeeds in creating three-dimensional figures in
Heathcliff and Cathy, particularly given their larger-than-life metaphysical passion? Why or why not?

5. Discuss Bronte's use of twos: Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange; two families, each with two children; two couples (Catherine and Edgar, and Heathcliff and Isabella); two narrators; the doubling-up of names. What is Bronte's intention here? Discuss.

6. How do Mr. Lockwood and Nelly Dean influence the story as narrators? Do you think they are completely reliable observers? What does Bronte want us to believe?

7. Discuss the role of women in Wuthering Heights. Is their depiction typical of Bronte's time, or not? Do you think Bronte's characterizations of women mark her as a pioneer ahead of her time or not?

8. Who or what does Heathcliff represent in the novel? Is he a force of evil or a victim of it?How important is the role of class in the novel, particularly as it relates to Heathcliff and his life?

Foreword

1. To what extent do you think the setting of the novel contributes to, or informs, what takes place? Do you think the moors are a character in their own right? How do you interpret Bronte's view of nature and the landscape?

2. Discuss Emily Bronte's careful attention to a rigid timeline and the role of the novel as a sober historical document. How is this significant, particularly in light of the turbulent action within? What other contrasts within the novel strike you, and why? How are these contrasts important, and how do they play out in the novel?

3. Do you think the novel is a tale of redemption, despair, or both? Discuss the novel's meaning to you. Do you think the novel's moral content dictates one choice over the other?

4. Do you think Bronte succeeds in creating three-dimensional figures in
Heathcliff and Cathy, particularly given their larger-than-life metaphysical passion? Why or why not?

5. Discuss Bronte's use of twos: Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange; two families, each with two children; two couples (Catherine and Edgar, and Heathcliff and Isabella); two narrators; the doubling-up of names. What is Bronte's intention here? Discuss.

6. How do Mr. Lockwood and Nelly Dean influence the story as narrators? Do you think they are completely reliable observers? What does Bronte want us to believe?

7. Discuss the role of women in Wuthering Heights. Is their depiction typical of Bronte's time, or not? Do you think Bronte's characterizations of women mark her as a pioneer ahead of her time or not?

8. Who or what does Heathcliff represent in the novel? Is he a force of evil or a victimof it? How important is the role of class in the novel, particularly as it relates to Heathcliff and his life?

Customer Reviews

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Wuthering Heights 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1245 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
I read Wuthering High by Cara Lockwood and now I am looking forward to reading this. Wuthering Heights is mixed into the other book in a way that will have you really wanting to read this one!!! CAN'T WAIT!!! :)