- Paperback: 464 pages
- Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 4th edition (December 6, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0393978893
- ISBN-13: 978-0393978896
- Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 7,812 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #42,301 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Wuthering Heights (Norton Critical Editions) 4th Edition
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About the Author
Emily Brontë (1818-1848) spent most of her life in a stone parsonage in the small village of Haworth on the wild and bleak Yorkshire moors. Despite the isolation of Haworth, the Brontë family shared a rich literary life.
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Top customer reviews
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You heard me right. I LIKE them. I read them for ENTERTAINMENT, not because they were assigned reading in classes (although I've made "friends" with a great title or two via that route as well).
The Bronte sisters' novels enjoy love and hate from readers. I don't think there's a soul who just feels lukewarm about their works. I've read a couple and liked and kept most of them.
"Wuthering Heights" stands out to me as one of the WORST novels I've ever read in my ENTIRE LIFE. Given the number of novels I've read in my entire life that's saying a lot.
WH is very well-written. Emily Bronte CAN write. Style/technique isn't the issue. What is the issue is her abysmal failure to engage the reader because of her deplorable characters.
Heathcliff and Catherine are frequently cited as one of the "power couples" of literature along with Rhett & Scarlett, Romeo & Juliet, Antony & Cleopatra, etc. They may be kindred spirits but there is none of their behaviors ever signifies they know a thing about love.
Catherine Earnshaw isn't even an interesting character. She is a charming, selfish and silly young woman who fulfills the Victorian stereotype of choosing "a good match" over wild love on the moors with Heathcliff. This may have been the sanest thing she did. Maybe she recognized H's bizarre fixation on her as unwholesome and knew she'd never live up to it in reality.
A lot of women get swooney over Heathcliff as a sort of alpha-male anti-hero. I'm female and I CAN'T STAND this guy! He isn't alpha, he's WEAK as skimmed milk.
How psychologically disturbed is he, let me count the ways. Inferiority complex, obsessive attachment to uninterested female (Cathy turned him down whatever her "real feelings" might have been) that borders upon incest (they're not blood kin but they are raised together); inability to "forget the one that got away" and MOVE ON; child abuse/neglect with clearly murderous intentions; wife/spousal abuse; kidnapping and coerced marriage and even theft of personal assets...
Give me a break this is no alpha male, this is a psychopathic CRIMINAL!
If you sigh and say, "Oh but he did this all because he LOVED Catherine!" I will slap you. Truly I will.
A REAL alpha male would be broken-hearted by the rejection of his "true love"...then he would have moved forward and continued with his life and discovered "true love" (as in love that was returned to him without bizarre psychological games).
Heathcliff is a loser in every sense of the word. If Heathcliff were alive today he'd be in jail or hospitalized as "criminally insane".
Even so, WUTHERING HEIGHTS continues to divide readers. It is not a pretty love story; rather, it is swirling tale of largely unlikeable people caught up in obsessive love that turns to dark madness. It is cruel, violent, dark and brooding, and many people find it extremely unpleasant. And yet--it possesses a grandeur of language and design, a sense of tremendous pity and great loss that sets it apart from virtually every other novel written.
The novel is told in the form of an extended flashback. After a visit to his strange landlord, a newcomer to the area desires to know the history of the family--which he receives from Nelly Deans, a servant who introduces us to the Earnshaw family who once resided in the house known as Wuthering Heights. It was once a cheerful place, but Old Earnshaw adopted a "Gipsy" child who he named Heathcliff. And Catherine, daughter of the house, found in him the perfect companion: wild, rude, and as proud and cruel as she. But although Catherine loves him, even recognizes him as her soulmate, she cannot lower herself to marry so far below her social station. She instead marries another, and in so doing sets in motion an obsession that will destroy them all.
WUTHERING HEIGHTS is a bit difficult to "get into;" the opening chapters are so dark in their portrait of the end result of this obsessive love that they are somewhat off-putting. But they feed into the flow of the work in a remarkable way, setting the stage for one of the most remarkable structures in all of literature, a story that circles upon itself in a series of repetitions as it plays out across two generations. Catherine and Heathcliff are equally remarkable, both vicious and cruel, and yet never able to shed their impossible love no matter how brutally one may wound the other.
As the novel coils further into alcoholism, seduction, and one of the most elaborately imagined plans of revenge it gathers into a ghostly tone: Heathcliff, driven to madness by a woman who is not there but who seems reflected in every part of his world--dragging her corpse from the grave, hearing her calling to him from the moors, escalating his brutality not for the sake of brutality but so that her memory will never fade, so that she may never leave his mind until death itself. Yes, this is madness, insanity, and there is no peace this side of the grave or even beyond.
It is a stunning novel, frightening, inexorable, unsettling, filled with unbridled passion that makes one cringe. Even if you do not like it, you should read it at least once--and those who do like it will return to it again and again.
GFT, Amazon Reviewer
There's something for everyone in this book: Windswept castles, difficult and neurotic family members, dark secrets about tragic former lovers, good triumphing over evil, all that good juicy stuff that makes a great romantic story. What elevates Jane Eyre is Bronte's remarkable style & skill and her sharp and complex characterizations.
Trust me on this: If you don't remember it from your teens, you should give it a try now. Here is one novel that more than lives up to it's 'classic' status.