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Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

Wuthering Heights (original 1847; edition 2007)

by Emily Brontë

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32,58048623 (3.91)4 / 1392
Title:Wuthering Heights
Authors:Emily Brontë (Author)
Info:Penguin Classics (2007), Paperback, 288 pages
Collections:Your library, Literature, Read
Tags:United Kingdom, Yorkshire, Emily Bronte, 19th century, literature, novel, Heathcliff

Work details

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë (1847)

  1. 401
    Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë (roby72)
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    Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier (Bonzer)
  3. 131
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  4. 121
    Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy (lesleymc)
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    The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield (brightbel, coffee.is.yum)
  6. 101
    My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier (Bonzer)
  7. 102
    The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot (roby72)
  8. 30
    Persuasion by Jane Austen (sturlington)
    sturlington: Persuasion is the antidote to Wuthering Heights.
  9. 63
    Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare (shesinplainview)
  10. 31
    Camille: The Lady of the Camellias by Alexandre Dumas (peleiades22)
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    Manon Lescaut by Abbé Prévost (roby72)
  12. 87
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  14. 10
    Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen (kara.shamy)
  15. 22
    The White Earth by Andrew McGahan (Sassm)
    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.
  16. 34
    Going Wrong by Ruth Rendell (WildMaggie)
    WildMaggie: Rendell tells a modern tale of obsessive love similar to Bronte's classic.
  17. 23
    Moonfleet by J. Meade Falkner (elizabeth.a.coates)
    elizabeth.a.coates: Both have very vivid settings that are well-described
  18. 23
    The Shadow of the Lynx by Victoria Holt (nu-bibliophile)
  19. 12
    Dina's Book by Herbjørg Wassmo (Eustrabirbeonne)
    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)
  20. 13
    Drood by Dan Simmons (caittilynn)

(see all 31 recommendations)

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English (457)  Spanish (11)  Italian (7)  Portuguese (2)  French (2)  Swedish (2)  Dutch (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Finnish (1)  Piratical (1)  All languages (486)
Showing 1-5 of 457 (next | show all)
The introduction to my copy of this book said something like: "it's amazing that a 17-yr-old virgin could have this much insight into the depths of the human heart." To me, the book shows exactly the lack of insight into relationships that most sheltered, 17-yr old virgins have. ( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
During the winter of 1801, a gentleman named Mr. Lockwood rents a manor house called Thrushcross Grange in Yorkshire. He has a natural curiosity, and in time visits his neighbor and wealthy landlord, Heathcliff, a grim, forbidding man who lives at Wuthering Heights, a few miles from the Grange. Lockwood also makes the acquaintance of Heathcliff's housekeeper Ellen Dean, called Nelly, and asks her to tell him about her employer and the history of those who reside at Wuthering Heights. He documents her narrative in his journal, and his written recollections make up the main portion of the novel. Much of Nellie's tale consists of memories from years before, her observations of life with the Earnshaw family, her recollections of the Lintons, and her own conclusions, which are subjective. Lockwood, gets his information second hand, from Nellie's perspective. He continually interprets, and misinterprets the relationships and actions of the characters who play such major roles here. So, it is up to the reader to make sense of it all - which is what the author intended.

As a young girl Nelly worked as a servant at Wuthering Heights for Mr. Earnshaw, the owner, his wife, and their two children, Hindley, and Catherine. Earnshaw returned from a business trip to Liverpool with a gypsy-like urchin, a dark-haired, handsome orphan boy. He had taken quite a fancy to the lad, a quiet, stoic child, and names him Heathcliff, after a son who died. Earnshaw decides to raise him with his own children. Catherine befriends Heathcliff almost instantly. They share a love of nature, and an emotional intensity unknown to most people. They are able to communicate with each other easily, even as young children, and both possess tremendously creative imaginations. The two roam the moorland wilderness, where they're most at home, like wild creatures of nature, and become inseparable friends. Hindley detests Heathcliff from the first. He is jealous and goads the boy constantly. Eventually, after the death of his wife, Mr. Earnshaw begins to show preference for Heathcliff over his own son, which exacerbates the hostility. Finally, Hindley is sent away to school and Heathcliff is kept at home, at Earnshaw's side.

Hindley comes into his inheritance some years later, at age twenty, when his father dies. Cathy is eleven years-old, and Heathcliff about twelve, when the heir returns to Wuthering Heights, and seeks vicious revenge for having his rights usurped by a wretched boy from the slums with no means of his own. Obviously Heathcliff cannot defend himself and is totally dependent on Hindley. He is forced to work as a laborer in the fields, and is treated harshly, as less worthy than an animal. He and Cathy maintain their closeness. They still wander the wild North country and she shares her studies with him. One night they pay a clandestine visit to Thrushcross Grange, home of the Linton family. Cultured, spoiled and very well behaved, young Edgar and Isabella live there. When a dog savagely bites Cathy, it is discovered that she and Heathcliff have been hiding in the brush spying. The girl is seriously injured and is forced to stay at the Grange for several weeks to recover. During her time with the Linton family, Mrs. Linton becomes intent on turning wild, mischievous Cathy into a young lady. She encourages her to become a young woman with manners and actions appropriate to her social standing in society, rather than the wild, headstrong creature she is while roaming the moors with Heathcliff. By the time Catherine returns home, in elegant new clothes, she has become infatuated with Edgar Linton. Needless to say, her relationship with Heathcliff deteriorates significantly, as he feels he is losing the only person he ever loved.

Edgar pursues Catherine relentlessly, and eventually, the young woman's desire for social advancement, and an inexplicable fey, self destructive quality about her, prompt her to accept his proposal. However, she really does not love her fiance. She may care for him, but her feelings are much less than what her passionate nature requires. On the other hand genteel women of this period were supposed to have neither "passionate" nor intense feelings. "'Here and here!' replied Catherine, striking one hand on her forehead and the other on her breast: 'in which ever place the soul lives. In my soul and in my heart, I'm convinced I'm wrong!'" Thus Catherine acknowledges to Nelly that her marriage to Edgar cannot be one of love. Although she knows that Heathcliff is her true love, however, she cannot marry him because he has been so debased by Hindley. "It would degrade me to marry Heathcliff now; so 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 lightening, or frost from fire". Her powerful connection to Heathcliff is always present, no matter how annoyed she becomes with him. Heathcliff leaves Wuthering Heights a bitter man. He knows that if he had come from a better social class, or had wealth, Cathy would have married him. When he finally returns, years later, a self-possessed, successful, wealthy man, he is obsessed with revenge, and is more adept at exacting it than Hindley ever was.

Nelly continues her increasingly complex tale, (which I won't spoil for you), of three generations: of births, marriages, deaths, traumas, complications, a second more hopeful love story and redemption. The most recurring theme is the great love and friendship, the everlasting connection, between Cathy and her Heathcliff, whose difficult nature is almost impossible to understand and to accept - unless, of course, one thinks about his unknown origins and early childhood as a homeless waif in Liverpool. One can only imagine the horrors he experienced wandering the streets of the rough port town, with neither protection nor kindness. What cruelty and meanness of spirit did he learn there? His terrible, inhuman treatment at Hindley's hands certainly played a part in Heathcliff's lust for revenge and lack of mercy, as did Catherine's decision to marry Linton, which must have been devastating for him. Heathcliff remains a dark, brooding, cruel man throughout his adult years and never reforms. He is an anti-hero, at least in my eyes, as he also possesses good qualities, along with a terrible sadness, an emptiness and longing which he shows to Cathy alone.

Emily Bronte's extraordinary prose is filled with powerful imagery. Miss Brontë spent most of her short life at home, in Thornton, Yorkshire, where she was happiest. She loved the surrounding moors - the wide, wild expanses, unsuitable for cultivation, and full of danger. There are bogs and wetlands on the moors, which can go virtually unseen, and where one can drown. It is also a place of great beauty. The author spent much time walking there with her dogs and was terribly unhappy when she was away. The similarities between the author's natural environment and that of the area around Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange are obvious. Ms Bronte drew inspiration from the regional Yorkshire architecture also, as well as her own personal experiences and her amazing imagination, a gift Charlotte, Emily, Anne and Branwell Bronte shared - with each other and with us. I have read a few Bronte biographies and always felt that the character of Catherine Earnshaw, certainly her intensity and love of nature, was based on Emily Bronte.
( )
  AlexisLovesBooks | Feb 9, 2016 |
I am not a fan. Not that the writing isn't excellent; but the story is so bitterly sad. ( )
  lesmel | Jan 28, 2016 |
A review.....still intriguing....still crazy after all these years.
Don't forget the 1992 film adaptation (Ralph Fiennes and Juliette Binoche)
A perfect adjunct to this classical read.
It gives an extraordinary vitality to Heathcliff and Cathy ( )
  pennsylady | Jan 27, 2016 |
Still my favorite book. ( )
  memlhd | Jan 23, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 457 (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 (166 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Brontë, Emilyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jack, IanEditormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Stoneman, PatsyIntroductionsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Becker, May LambertonIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Booker, NellIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Daiches, DavidEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Eichenberg, FritzIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Exell, FredCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Flosnik, AnneNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Forster, PeterIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Henderson, PhilipEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hinton, S. E.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kitchen, MichaelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lane, MargaretIntroductionsecondary 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.
...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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Disambiguation notice
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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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:31 -0400)

(see all 6 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)

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

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Penguin Australia

8 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

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

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