Wuthering Heights by Emily BronteWuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Wuthering Heights

byEmily BronteIntroduction byPauline NestorPreface byLucasta Miller

Paperback | December 31, 2002


Emily Brontë's only novel, a work of tremendous and far-reaching influence, the Penguin Classics edition of Wuthering Heights is the definitive edition of the text, edited with an introduction by Pauline Nestor. Lockwood, the new tenant of Thrushcross Grange, situated on the bleak Yorkshire moors, is forced to seek shelter one night at Wuthering Heights, the home of his landlord. There he discovers the history of the tempestuous events that took place years before; of the intense relationship between the gypsy foundling Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw; and how Catherine, forced to choose between passionate, tortured Heathcliff and gentle, well-bred Edgar Linton, surrendered to the expectations of her class. As Heathcliff's bitterness and vengeance at his betrayal is visited upon the next generation, their innocent heirs must struggle to escape the legacy of the past. In this edition, a new preface by Lucasta Miller, author of The Brontë Myth, looks at the ways in which the novel has been interpreted, from Charlotte Brontë onwards. This complements Pauline Nestor's introduction, which discusses changing critical receptions of the novel, as well as Emily Brontë's influences and background. Emily Brontë (1818-48), along with her sisters, Charlotte and Anne, was one of the most significant literary figures of the 19th century. She wrote just one strikingly innovative novel, Wuthering Heights, but was also a gifted and intense poet. If you enjoyed Wuthering Heights, you may like Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre, also available in Penguin Classics. 'Wuthering Heights is commonly thought of as "romantic", but try rereading it without being astonished by the comfortableness with which Brontë's characters subject one another to extremes of physical and psychological violence' Jeanette Winterson 'As a first novel, there is very little that can compare to it. Even Shakespeare took over a decade to reach the clifftop extremities of King Lear' Sarah Waters
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...
Title:Wuthering HeightsFormat:PaperbackPublished:December 31, 2002Publisher:Penguin Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0141439556

ISBN - 13:9780141439556

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Rated 2 out of 5 by from Okay, but not my favourite Many people enjoy this novel, but it's just too Gothic and dark for me. It loses the feeling I have come to associate with most of the Bronte sisters' novels. Some may like it though.
Date published: 2017-08-30
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not Enjoyable I usually love reading the classics but this is one book that I did not like. I had difficulties getting through the book not because of the language but because the story wasn't interesting enough to draw me in and there were no characters that I liked. The only person I did feel some sympathy for was Hareton. I didn't understand why Catherine Linton suddenly had a change of heart and started to befriend Hareton after she scorned him for so long. I think the ending was unrealistic - there was so much suffering throughout the novel and then there is this nice, neat, little happy ending - it didn't fit.
Date published: 2017-07-21
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Average Not a huge fan of the story line. I never found myself immersed in the novel and ended up not finishing it.
Date published: 2017-07-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from one of my all time favourites i live this book so much, it holds a special place in my heart. There is just something about it that draws me to it everytime I want to look through my book shelves.
Date published: 2017-07-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Enjoyable I found this book very enjoyable, even though the language was difficult at times. I feel like a second read through would help clarify certain parts. #plumreviews
Date published: 2017-06-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it!! This book personified the obsessive love we dream of having in our relationships. The love Heathcliff has for Catherine is real and raw, you feel his hurt when she dies and his anger towards Edgar. His revenge on Edgar makes you dislike him as a character but also makes you understand his reasoning. The spiritual themes throughout this book bring together a sad conclusion to this epic love story. You won't be disappointed in reading this book. Emily Bronte does an amazing job incorporating the elements of nature and love into one novel.
Date published: 2017-06-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Second Reading Helped I first read this book in high school because I was forced to for English and didn't really appreciate it. After rereading it i now see what a classic it is. The Gothic atmosphere of the entire story is easily pictured through vivid descriptions. Heathcliff is a deeply troubled person. Catherine loves him. Romance and mystery in a Gothic setting. What more can the reader ask.
Date published: 2017-05-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing I'm so glad I finally read this! Wuthering Heights was so beautiful and dark, honestly a masterpiece. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-04-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful It transports you to the moors of 1800s England. You feel love and hate for the characters.
Date published: 2017-03-15
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Boring, Violent Characters I understand that this is one of the most amazing Classic when it comes to romance. But the thing is that this is so problematic. I couldn't care for the characters, except that one chapter were Heathcliff comes to the family and everyone hates him. Heathcliff is a violent, manipulative and uncaring character that only seeks out revenge on everyone and Catherine is this unlovable, despicable girl who plays the victim and makes bad choices, only caring for the money. I see the potential it could've had, but still, very boring. I DNFed it and I have no regrets. (But this edition of the book was great, really like the floppyness of it)
Date published: 2017-02-05
Rated 1 out of 5 by from meh couldn't really care enough to get through this, didn't finish
Date published: 2017-02-05
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Anger I feel silly putting SPOILERS for a 160 year old book but: SPOILERS! So I have A LOT to say about this book. I have never in my life been so disappointed in a classic. 1. This is not a tragic romance, or for that matter a romance at all. The two main ‘love interests’ barely interact throughout the very short time that they are both alive, and in those interactions they are either children or married to other people. They are never a couple and they only have one scene right before Catherine dies that shows them properly in love. 2. These are the most frustrating characters I have ever read. Half of them are horrible human beings bent on ruining good people’s lives, and the other half are so spineless and pathetic that I can’t even feel sorry for them when bad things happen. If even one character had grown even the semblance of a backbone and stood up for themselves, or tried to stop Heathcliff at all, I would have been happier with this book. At least at the beginning of the book there were some characters with backbone. Catherine was not a great person but she never let anyone push her around; and Isabella was naïve but the moment she had a chance to get herself away from Heathcliff and maybe give her child a better life she took it. After the two of them died this book was nothing but wet noodles and bad people. The entire plot of this book could have been diverted if someone had just stood up and put Heathcliff in his place. 3. The writing was okay, but the plot was so character driven that I couldn't enjoy it. 4. I like the beginning, the end, and I liked were they left Hareton's story off, because he was the only character that I really felt bad for. I really wish I had enjoyed this book, because I was really excited to read it, but I will never read this book again.
Date published: 2017-02-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very good! A very immersing story. I highly enjoyed it.
Date published: 2017-02-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from My favourite One of my favourite books of all time!
Date published: 2016-11-18
Rated 3 out of 5 by from I don't even know. I hated it. It was painfully difficult to read, but somehow it was still good? The only real problem I had was that I hated the main characters and could not seem to get past that to see what else it had to offer. The writing is good though and I can understand why it is so well-liked. I feel like I need to read it again despite my wanting to stay away.
Date published: 2015-05-03
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Difficult to like I bought this book because I figured it was a classic and I ought to read it at some point, but this was no Jane Austen novel. It was well written and I can understand why one might praise it, however the characters (although well developed) were horrible people for the most part. I could not see past my dislike of the characters to be able to grasp the "terrific love story" it is supposed to be. It was incredibly difficult for me to get through this book, but I said I would recommend it to a friend because although it was not an enjoyable read for me I can see how it would be for certain people. It was at least an interesting read and though I would not do it again I am glad that I did it once.
Date published: 2014-06-12
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Painfully difficult to read This novel was a mandatory reading assigned in my high school English class. Fourteen years later, I still recall how boring this novel was. It was a difficult read and the story itself was unable to capture anyone's attention. I fail to see the reason why this book has received any praise or attention. 
Date published: 2014-03-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loved it!! Many people who read it, find it to be a slow moving book, but I was hooked from the first chapter. I loved the ending especially.
Date published: 2014-01-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Haunting Love Story Emily Bronte skillfully creates a tale of thwarted love and undying passion. In the dark, gloomy setting of the moors, two characters fall deeply in love with one another, which serves as the catalyst for the events in the rest of the novel. The first half of the book shows the powerful romance between Catherine and Healthcliff, while the second half involves Catherine's daughter and a boy named Hareton Earnshaw. Although the characters are well-developed, none of them are likeable and are full of faults. What is endearing about them however, is their capacity to love. A reader can even feel sympathy for the cold-hearted and brutal Heathcliff, whose affection for Catherine began from childhood and ended at death. It is an amazing read and a tragic classic that will touch any reader.
Date published: 2011-08-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Library Staple This was my third or fourth go round with this remarkable classic, which, for me, rates right up there with Hardy's Jude the Obscure. There is a richness of character development here, a taught arc of plot. Bronte creates such complex characters that you both love and detest, and in the end she forges a tragedy that has earned its right in classic literature. Like Hardy, she runs an undercurrent of environment, almost as a background character, that shapes and influences both protagonists and plot. And while the plot's denouement is predictable, that predictability acts as tension, reinforcing the futility of escaping both the nature of one's environment, and the nature of one's basic character. For me it is a staple of our library, and should be for any true lover of literature.
Date published: 2010-10-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great book I started reading Wuthering Heights and could not put it down. It’s a tale of passion and revenge and I found it very unsettling. Most all of the characters have a capacity to resort to violence; even the weakest of them seem pushed to commit or desire to commit violence or self-destruction. It’s very well written and as much as it arouses discomfort, it also has sweet moments. It’s impossible to begin and not finish it but what’s more, it’s impossible to lay it down and forget about it. I’m not sure whose plight is worse: Catherine’s or Heathcliff’s? I will have to come back to it again to figure it out.
Date published: 2009-12-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Darkly Romantic Novel, Wuthering Heights is a disturbingly dark book about love, obsession and revenge. It is a romantic novel full of twists and turns that nearly requires the reader to keep a running dictionary of characters, especially since names have a tendency to pop up in different places and on different people throughout the novel. I read this novel for a class assignment in Victorian Literature but it is helpful to know that the book employs many themes of the Romantic literary genre as well. Victorian ideas of social class are brought up as well as the fantasies of adolescence. Some of the Romantic ideas found in the novels include the idea of the tragic landscape. The landscape of the novel is foreboding and isolated, borrowed most likely from the gothic novel. The characters are extreme in their varying passions and the concept of the dream is used in a type of ghostly communication. One of the story's narrators has a dream of being visited by the ghost of Catherine, which causes a startling and dramatic reaction in Heathcliff. The belief that the reader cannot fully hate Heathcliff because of how he was mistreated as a child is also a Romantic ideal. The story contains a great deal of darkness and some cruelty, which may turn readers away. Love is often extreme to the point of violence in the novel while the romances themselves are nearly incestuous in tone. Cousins marry and adopted siblings hold lifelong affections and obsessions for each other. The novel also illustrates an element of cruelty that can be slightly disturbing at times. Heathcliff, the novel's antagonist, goes as far as to string up the beloved dog of the young woman he courts after Catherine rejects him. The main focus of the story is the rather twisted love story element that develops between Catherine and Heathcliff. Heathcliff is adopted into Catherine's family at a young age and the pair become close, though Catherine rejects him because he is poor and instead marries a rich neighbor. Though throughout the novel, other romances develop between the two highly inbred families, they are side stories in comparison to the main romance. The love of Catherine and Heathcliff eventually develops into an obsession that lasts, and in fact becomes even stronger with the eventual death of Catherine. Her spirit seems to haunt Heathcliff and further fire his obsession. Even before Catherine's death this obsessive love broadens to include an equally obsessive drive to ruin the lives of all the people who mistreated him and stood between him and Catherine, including her husband and older brother. These obsessions eventually lead to the last of the major themes of the novel, revenge. A good part of the book is spent upon Heathcliff's attempts to destroy the lives of anyone and everyone who mistreated him or got in the way of his relationship with Catherine. His need for revenge does not lessen as the book moves on and Heathcliff continues to take his revenge even upon the next generation, including Catherine's daughter and his own son. Whether or not Heathcliff succeeds in his attempts I leave to the reader. Personally, I enjoyed this book a great deal, if for no other reason than the simple fact that it was quite different from the usual school assigned reading. I was pleasantly surprised by how well woven and engaging the book was. The calculating lengths that Heathcliff goes to in order fulfill his quest for revenge are nearly reason enough to read the book. The old style language of the book, which I expected to be a hindrance, was hardly noticeable. In short, if you can handle (or enjoy) the book's darker aspects, then I highly recommend this classic to you. (And I'm not just saying that because I have to! ;))Enjoy!
Date published: 2009-09-05
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Classic This old classic is not for everyone as it can be hard to get into or some people might find it a bit of a dry read. This book made me wonder if I lived in that era and in any of the characters situations, how would I have dealt with it all. I found I wanted to keep reading to understand the characters better and why they did the things they did. Overall though, I'm glad I read it.
Date published: 2009-04-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Powerful Classic It can be difficult to read as the dialect is so old. But, the story takes a hold of you, the characters are so real. The love and loss with Cathy and Heathcliff is powerful and tragic.
Date published: 2009-03-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very Interesting (Recommend) Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte is an amazing classic that is very exciting and easy to understand. It is very well written and I am sure every one will enjoy it. This novel is full of so much emotion and was a great experience to read. It is about a boy that is found by Mr. Earnshaw and brought home one day. He is considered a savage, named Heathcliff, who falls madly in love with Catherine Earnshaw, the daughter of his benefactor. Misery results from their great longing for each other. They live in the moors, far away from the rest of society. What will happen with their relationship? What are the consequences of their love?
Date published: 2008-06-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Worthy Classic There seems to be an underlining meaning to the events in this book. A message is there for you to crack, a warning on the instability of society and human behavior. It is packed with contrast and parallel symbols. Not only that, but there is an unreliable narrator that really shows the reader’s true colours by their reactions to what is being said.
Date published: 2007-11-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent An amazing book that takes the reader on a romantic roller coster. Teaches a great lesson of the effects of our treatment of others... Recommended to everyone.
Date published: 2006-09-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Wuthering Heights If you enjoy good, thought-provoking literature that simultaneously confuses and enlightens you, you will definitely enjoy this classic Victorian novel. Rich, intriguing characters generate conflicting feelings of love and hatred. They are both grotesque and romantic, vicious and tragic, torturers and victims. The story's twists and turns will leave you bewildered - and fascinated.
Date published: 1999-03-19

Read from the Book

Chapter 11801.'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 sullenly preceded me up the causeway, calling, as we entered the court,'‘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' preeminently. 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 gypsy 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.

Editorial Reviews

"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
transcend reality."
--Virginia Woolf