Introduction and Notes by John S. Whitley, University of Sussex. Wuthering Heights is a wild, passionate story of the intense and almost demonic love between Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff, a foundling adopted by Catherine’s father.
After Mr Earnshaw’s death, Heathcliff is bullied and humiliated by Catherine’s brother Hindley and wrongly believing that his love for Catherine is not reciprocated, leaves Wuthering Heights, only to return years later as a wealthy and polished man.
He proceeds to exact a terrible revenge for his former miseries. The action of the story is chaotic and unremittingly violent, but the accomplished handling of a complex structure, the evocative descriptions of the lonely moorland setting and the poetic grandeur of vision combine to make this unique novel a masterpiece of English literature.
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Book Review by View from the hills
As revelant today as in 1847, readers either love of hate this haunting book….but they never forget it!
There is something about this book that draws you in even though most of the characters are self-centered and malicious and you tend not to like them. The current of love, lust, and possession runs throughout the story which is told to the new renter of “The Grange” by the housekeeper of Wuthering Heights.
As she sits and knits she spins the tale of the tempestuous love story of Cathy and Heathcliff, slowly but surely you are pulled in to all the machinations that the Lintons and Earnshaws and the orphan Heathcliff engage in across the cold, damp, windswept moors of the Yorkshire estate. Your mind becomes filled with Heathcliff, always Heathcliff, watching planning and deeply in love with Cathy. The story follows their lives through two generations.
As a reader, I have to wonder what state of mind Emily Bronte was in when she wrote the turbulent tale. Published in 1847 the story was considered lurid and shocking, but a masterpiece. It is Bronte’s only novel and is as relevant today as it was back then. Emily Bronte had been ill for some time and died in December of 1848.
“It is as if Emily Brontë could tear up all that we know human beings by, and fill these unrecognizable transparencies with such a gust of life that they
From the Trade Paperback edition.
From the Back Cover
Emily Bronte’s only novel appeared to mixed reviews in 1847, a year before her death at the age of thirty. In the relationship of Cathy and Heathcliff, and in the wild, bleak Yorkshire Moors of its setting, Wuthering Heights creates a world of its own, conceived with a disregard for convention, an instinct for poetry and for the dark depths of human psychology that make it one of the greatest novels of passion ever written.