- Hardcover: 576 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Classic (November 28, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0241256534
- ISBN-13: 978-0241256534
- Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.4 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 7,668 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,913,027 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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About the Author
Charlotte Brontë was born in Yorkshire in 1816. As a child, she was sent to boarding school, where two of her sisters died; she was subsequently educated at home with her younger siblings, Emily, Branwell and Anne. As an adult, Charlotte worked as a governess and taught in a school in Brussels. Jane Eyrewas first published in 1847 under the pen-name Currer Bell, and was followed by Shirley (1848), Villette (1853) and The Professor (posthumously published in 1857). In 1854 Charlotte married her father's curate, Arthur Bell Nicholls. Shedied in March of the following year.
Top customer reviews
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I must say, although I struggled at the beginning of this novel, I soon found that I was able to comprehend it, even though the use of language was quite foreign to me.
In this piece of literature we meet the Earnshaw’s who own Wuthering Heights. Mr Earnshaw has a wonderful wife, and two children, Catherine and Hindley.
But on an outing, Mr Earnshaw comes home with an orphan, a young child who doesn’t belong to anybody.
It’s instant love for Catherine. The child with no mane (who is named Heathcliff) become close friends.
On the other hand, Hindley hates him as his father’s affection is taken from Hindley and focused on Heathcliff.
So begins the tale of the Earnshaws and Heathcliff.
Also let’s not forget the Linton’s who live at Thrushcross Grange. Both of these families are incorporated in this novel that I have perceived to be about a love forbidden and a man scorned wanting to seek revenge on those who hurt him. It’s a novel about loss, pain and the sheer agony of not being able to have the love of your life.
For me Wuthering Heights was a beautiful story that captured my heart.
I am glad that I took the plunge to read this icon of literature.
A thoroughly enjoyable read.
However, if I were Mr. Lockwood, I’m sure I wouldn’t find anything to laugh at. Lockwood is a tenant of Mr. Heathcliff, the master of Wuthering Heights and technical owner of the smaller house next door, Thrushcross Grange. Heathcliff is a formidable man that doesn’t seem to be afraid of anything – except for the ghost that haunts Lockwood’s dreams the first night he stays at the house. Upon questioning the housekeeper, Ellen Dean, Lockwood becomes engrossed by the family saga that reinvented the notion of family sagas: the fierce entanglement of the Earnshaws and the Lintons, with Heathcliff and his beloved Cathy at the center of it all.
I won’t mention much else because saying anything at all about this book is as good as saying too much (and also because I had the plot spoiled for me prior to reading and don’t wish it on anyone else), but I will put in one thought of my own: “Wuthering Heights” is not supposed to be romantic. It’s almost a “Romeo and Juliet” scenario; people get so wrapped up in the strength of the leads’ relationship that they don’t realize that it’s meant as ridicule, not endorsement. Romeo and Juliet were nutty teenagers with raging hormones, and Heathcliff and Cathy are narcissists who use each other to feed their egos. (But only up to a certain point . . .) There are likeable characters, sure, but they’re nowhere near as memorable or fascinating as the twisted lovers at the heart of the story. Which isn’t a bad thing – it gives you someone to root for while letting you focus on what a romance SHOULDN’T consist of.
My only real problem was the frame story – or, rather, the presence of a frame story at all. Lockwood really isn’t good for anything except plying Ellen Dean with constant questions, and he gets so little page time and is so uninvolved in the doings of the other characters that I wonder why Emily Bronte made him the narrator at all. If you ask me, he should have been just a minor character tucked away in some other part of the story, if that. But that doesn’t take away the fact that this book is that rare combination: both good and a classic. It’s not exactly a feel-good book, yes, and I still prefer “Jane Eyre” ever so slightly, but I have a lot of respect for a book that can both keep you up at night and make you think. And “Wuthering Heights” definitely is that book.
This is a strong and powerful book that deservedly has withstood the passage of time. It has been the subject of several movies, but, alas, none of the movies capture the intensity and richness of the novel. Unfortunately, they tend to distort the book rather than represent it. This is a book that demands to be read. There is a reason this text is considered part of the Western literary canon, and it is so often assigned reading. What must not be overlooked, however, is the thoroughly entertaining nature of this book. It is not another dreary assignment to be drudged through. The tempestuous romance that drives this novel must be emphasized.
Although the text itself presents a rich tapestry on its surface, it reveals an even greater depth when the covers are pulled back for a deeper analysis of the novel. One point to be noted at the outset are the multiple layers of narration in the book, none of which can be deemed reliable. Even the ostensible master narrator who speaks to the reader is shown to be unreliable as he repeatedly makes mistakes that are pointed out to the reader. What other mistakes does he make that remain unrealized?
With multiple narrators come multiple frames. There is the master narrator, and the bulk of the story is told to him by a servant. This servant's narrative, too, is subject to omission and is tainted by what she wishes to disclose to her auditor. The book's author herself hides behind a pseudonym when the book was published originally. What is hidden and what is revealed? At its deepest level, the novel raises the question of what unambiguously can be known about *any* work of fiction.
Another device that pervades the text is the use of doubling and mirroring of the characters. Characters form pairs that stand in opposition to each other, as well as pairs that resemble each other. The book provides an exceptionally rich ground for an outpouring of analyses and interpretations. Ultimately, however, this novel resists any definitive interpretation. I do not consider this a flaw in a text, but, rather, a factor that makes it more intriguing and interesting.
The edition I read was the Fourth Edition of the Norton Critical Edition. (I recommend choosing the Norton Critical Edition whenever it is an option). This volume includes a selection of contemporaneous reactions to the text, as well as a selection of critical essays. The critical essays are varying in quality. J. Hillis Miller's essay is particularly outstanding, and Lin Haire-Sargeant's essay describing how the novel was translated into its numerous cinematic versions also was helpful. Still, I recommend reading all of the critical apparatus because readers may find other essays more useful. This edition also included a sampling of Emily Bronte's poetry, and she is as able a poet as she was a novelist.