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Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

Wuthering Heights (original 1847; edition 2002)

by Emily Brontë, Pauline Nestor, Lucasta Miller (Preface)

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30,74345226 (3.91)4 / 1213
Title:Wuthering Heights
Authors:Emily Brontë
Other authors:Pauline Nestor, Lucasta Miller (Preface)
Info:Penguin Classics (2002), Edition: Revised, Paperback, 416 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:@read: own

Work details

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë (Author) (1847)

1001 (115) 1001 books (118) 19th century (907) 19th century literature (105) British (496) British literature (485) Bronte (283) classic (1,785) classic fiction (140) Classic Literature (214) classics (1,311) ebook (106) Emily Bronte (148) England (482) English (235) English literature (500) fiction (3,491) gothic (590) Heathcliff (102) literature (794) love (262) novel (664) own (169) read (408) Roman (112) romance (873) to-read (174) unread (192) Victorian (357) Yorkshire (155)
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  12. 10
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    sturlington: Persuasion is the antidote to Wuthering Heights.
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    Sassm: This is an offbeat recommendation, but I believe it's a good one. The White Earth is another well written book in which the landscape is closely entwined in a rather gothic tale of human interaction.
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    Eustrabirbeonne: Lord David Cecil's classification for the characters in "Wuthering Heights" - children of calm and children of storm - may be applied to Herbjorg Wassmo's book, and especially the eponymous heroine. What a child of storm we find in the tall, dark, savage, sensual, ruthless figure of Dina!… (more)
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(see all 32 recommendations)


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Showing 1-5 of 425 (next | show all)
This is one of those classics I was never able to get very far into. The first time I got the whole gist of the story was watching the Olivier-Oberon film some time back, which surprised me with how much I disliked every single soul in the story.

Last year I finally got determined to crack the shell of this thing and listen to the audiobook. Heck, I thought, I listened to one of my most-hated-books-ever, Tess of the Durbervilles, and ended up appreciating it; surely it would work with Wuthering Heights.

Or not.

Which is nothing against the narrator. Anne Flosnik was the only good thing about the experience: she was excellent.

But the book made me want to bang my head against a wall until it was over. I am glad I finally completed it. It's a good thing to have under my belt. But the one-word review I posted when I was done was, quite simply, "Phew". it was my expression of amazement at how awful it was - and, more, my relief at being through. Put it this way: there was a very high body count in this book – it was one grim death after another. But I didn't mind so much in WH because, as in the long-ago-seen movie, I hated every single character. They were either so weak that a mouse sneeze would knock them over, or strong in the way that a serial killing psychopath is strong. So there was me listening to the book thinking “Yes! Die! Die! Die!”

I honestly don't know if I've read and enjoyed a book where I've been unable to like anyone involved. And here it was beyond simply not liking anyone – this was a pulsating loathing. I don't know if I'd be able to like this one even if some of the characters were more amiable – there was another big factor in my loathing of this book: the utterly impenetrable dialect. Now, I can usually manage accents, especially British accents of all types. I love 'em. But my lord. A random sample that I pulled out: 'Ony books that yah leave, I shall tak' into th' hahse,' said Joseph, 'and it'll be mitch if yah find 'em agean; soa, yah may plase yerseln!' On paper, I can read that without such a problem. Aloud? It might as well have been Bantu.

Kind of thought it might be now and then.

But no. Hateful characters and impenetrable accents aside, this thing was just so unremittingly bleak, so grim and ugly … Heathcliff hanged Isabella’s dog. As a warning. And now if someone could explain to me why he’s considered (from Wikipedia): “an archetype of the tortured romantic hero”...

“Romantic hero”.

There is more to the word “romantic” than the common usage. I know that. What frightens me is the people who don’t know that, and still call Heathcliff a romantic hero. I would as soon call Ted Bundy a romantic hero. ( )
  Stewartry | Jun 29, 2014 |
It's very long. Very clever. ( )
  allygggggg | Jun 11, 2014 |
Original post at Book Rhapsody.



I do not know how to begin this lest I invoke the ire of readers who love this book despite the harrowing love story of Heathcliff and Catherine, which I think is the very reason this book is so loved. Yes, this is a love story. However one would like to put it, it would always revert to being one.

This is the only novel that Emily Bronte was able to publish. Which is a bummer because there could have been more beautiful novels from a talented female writer had she had a robust health. Her refusal to meet a doctor is a different matter, as well as the unsanitary surroundings of the place she lived in.

How Bronte was able to write such a magnificent novel is still astonishing to me, given that she was never married. I always thought that experience is the best source of writing material, but there are times when sheer talent is all that there is to it.

I guess I am fawning too much?

The Rhapsody

Heathcliff is an orphan, adopted by the parents of Catherine. Aren’t Heathcliff and Catherine supposed to be brothers and sisters now? This is one of the questions that is subject to heavy debate. I am presenting this one because I would like to show how dangerously obsessive Heathcliff’s love for Catherine is.

So they grew up together, little children playing and all. Heathcliff’s childhood was not at all idyllic. Of course, they are in the moors. Aside from that, he is not unscathed with the searing mockery of other characters in the novel. And somewhere in the middle, Heathcliff leaves. Catherine marries another man, a man she doesn’t love. Of course, she loves Heathcliff, but as social networks say, it is complicated.

And Heathcliff returns as a rich man. And he wants vengeance. He serves it cold. I think Heathcliff was able to buy the surrounding estates of the place where he grew up with Catherine, who dies. But she cannot die wholly as long as Heathcliff is alive.

The love story should have ended there, right? How could a relationship be sustained if one of the partners is gone, much more dead? But it goes on. On until the end.

Heathcliff digs up Catherine’s corpse. This is the most unforgettable scene from the novel. All the anger and revenge didn’t yield the desired ending. Heathcliff didn’t have Catherine. Everything is just against the odds. I don’t know if Heathcliff is hallucinating it in the end, but Catherine’s ghost is lurking around Wuthering Heights. Not out of spite, I think, but perhaps to fulfill a desire that was not achieved in her earthly existence, the desire to be Heathcliff. Forever.

That exactly is what gives me the goosebumps. Their love story is not what the common love story is. And common is not good. Common is forgettable. This is not so. It clings to the mind of the reader. It could be the darkest love story ever told.

Final Notes

A friend also read this back in her high school. She is now in her mid-thirties. I was surprised when she told me that she read this because she confessed to me a lot of times that she never was into reading. She never liked to read. She only read this for her book report.

So it was a required reading then. Even though it was a requirement, she still enjoyed it though. It surprised me because I suppose a classic novel is hardly enjoyable for someone who dislikes books. But that is not the case for her. Although she does not remember the plot of the novel, she distinctly remembers the names Heathcliff and Catherine with a feeling of resignation.

So what is my point in saying this? Reading is not about mastering the details, knowing every plot twist, and memorizing each character. Reading is the sum of all these parts. After many years, it is, after all, the experience itself that the memory would summon once the eye falls on the spine of an unforgettable book.

Let the books grow in you. Allow them to swim in your pool of subconscious. Never mind that you don’t get everything. Analyzing each word would not make you a genius. I even think it hinders the enjoyment of reading. Besides, the message would always be arbitrary depending on the reader. So just read, read, read. ( )
  angusmiranda | Jun 10, 2014 |
This book, for me, suffered from the half & half issue. Sometimes with any work of art, I find myself loving one half and hating another. I was wholly drawn into the first half of Emily Bronte's epic tale of obsession, with its grand gothic trappings and detail. However, after Catherine's death I found my enthusiasm wavering at having to absorb, in detail, the growth of young Cathy when I had little interest in her, especially since Heathcliff's presence lessens at this point. I was angry to be robbed of Catherine and Heathcliff's tortured romance, but eventually came to realize the complexity of Heathcliff's animosity towards the world Catherine willingly entered, and the extent of his desire to completely dismantle it.

The second half is harder, for sure, but I cannot say that the final payoff is not without merit. I was especially touched by Heathcliff's final confession as his life draws to a close. Upon witnessing the affection between young Cathy and Hareton he realizes that in the presence of love, a love denied him and Cathy, his ability to hate and despise any longer is compromised. That message, that love has ultimate power over malice and hatred and can redeem all, is beautifully rendered at book's end.

Readers should be clear on one point: Heathcliff and Catherine are obsessed with each other in a way that does little favor to anyone when it is romanticized, especially since this wicked bond between the two fosters all the anger and hate that ruins lives as the novel progresses. However, it is this tension between the two, even in death, that drives this complex, often difficult, but rewarding novel. ( )
  marthaearly | Jun 6, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 425 (next | show all)
"wild, confused; disjointed and improbable"
added by GYKM | editExaminer
"In Wuthering Heights the reader is shocked, disgusted, almost sickened by details of cruelty, inhumanity, and the most diabolical hate and vengeance" ... "[it is] impossible to lay it aside afterwards and say nothing about it".
added by GYKM | editDouglas Jerrold's Weekly Newspaper
"How a human being could have attempted such a book as the present without committing suicide before he had finished a dozen chapters, is a mystery. It is a compound of vulgar depravity and unnatural horrors."
added by GYKM | editGraham's Lady Magazine
"We know nothing in the whole range of our fictitious literature which presents such shocking pictures of the worst forms of humanity."
added by GYKM | editAtlas
a "disagreeable story" ... the Bells "seem to affect painful and exceptional subjects"
added by GYKM | editAthenaeum, H. F. Chorley

» Add other authors (498 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Brontë, EmilyAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bronte, Emilymain authorall editionsconfirmed
Bickford-Smith, CoralieCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brontë, CharlotteForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Daiches, DavidEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Eichenberg, FritzIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Etty, WilliamCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Flosnik, AnneNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Forster, PeterIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hinton, S. E.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kitchen, MichaelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Merkin, DaphneIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nicoll, HelenProducersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Peters, DonadaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Routledge, PatriciaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ward, CandaceEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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1801—I have just returned from a visit to my landlord—the solitary neighbour that I shall be troubled with.
I have just returned from a visit to my landlord - the solitary neighbour that I should be troubled with.
1801 - Ik kom net terug van een bezoek aan mijn huisbaas - de enige in deze verlaten buurt die me zal storen.
...he shall never know how I love him; and that, not because he's handsome, Nelly, but because he's more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same, and Linton's is as different as a moonbeam from lightning, or frost from fire.
...my great thought in living is himself. If all else perished, and he remained, I should still continue to be; and, if all else remained, and he were annihilated, the universe would turn to a mighty stranger. I should not seem a part of it. My love for Linton is like the foliage in the woods. Time will change it, I'm well aware, as winter changes the trees - my love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath - a source of little visible delight, but necessary. Nelly, I am Heathcliff- he's always, always in my mind- not as a pleasure, any more than I am always a pleasure to myself - but, as my own being -...
...for what is not connected with her to me? and what does not recall her? I cannot look down to this floor, but her features are shaped in the flags! In every cloud, in every tree - filling the air at night, and caught by glimpses in every object, by day I am surrounded with her image! The most ordinary faces of men, and women - my own features - mock me with a resemblance. The entire world is a dreadful collection of memoranda that she did exist, and that I have lost her!
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This is the complete, unabridged work - Wuthering Heights, by Emily Brontë.  Please combine this ONLY with edition which are the complete, unabridged work.  Please do not combine this work with works about Wuthering Heights, abridged versions, adaptations, or (according to convention) the Norton Critical Editions.
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From the back of the 1940 edition:

Emily Bronte was primarily a poet (Matthew Arnold said of her "for passion, vehemence and grief she had no equal since Byron"). Yet her lasting fame is build on her first and only novel, Wuthering Heights, written but a year before her death at 29.
Wuthering Heights is a powerful story in the tradition of Dracula and Frankenstein. It's background is the rugged moorlands of the north of England,and her characters are strange mixture of savagery and gentleness. It has been well described as "the strangest love story ever told."

It has recently been released as a motion picture staring Merle Oberon, Laurence Olivier and David Niven, and universally acclaimed press and public,
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553212583, Mass Market Paperback)

"My greatest thought in living is Heathcliff. If all else perished, and he remained, I should still continue to be... Nelly, I am Heathcliff! He's always, always in my mind: not as a pleasure... but as my own being." Wuthering Heights is the only novel of Emily Bronte, who died a year after its publication, at the age of thirty. A brooding Yorkshire tale of a love that is stronger than death, it is also a fierce vision of metaphysical passion, in which heaven and hell, nature and society, are powerfully juxtaposed. Unique, mystical, with a timeless appeal, it has become a classic of English literature.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:43:51 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

In 19th century Yorkshire, the passionate attachment between a headstrong young girl and a foundling boy brought up by her father causes disaster for them and many others, even in the next generation.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 65 descriptions

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47 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

Eight editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141439556, 0141023546, 0143105434, 0141326697, 0141045205, 1846146097, 0141199083, 0734306423

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