What Amazon says
One of English literature’s classic masterpieces—a gripping novel of love, propriety, and tragedy. Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read
Emily Brontë’s only novel endures as a work of tremendous and far-reaching influence. The Penguin Classics edition is the definitive version 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. What unfolds is the tale of the intense love between the gypsy foundling Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw. 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.
I listened to the BBC audio book of Wuthering Heights, an abridged version of the book, and then re-read this famous classic. I have read Wuthering Heights before and with each reading I seem to become a little more immersed in this tragic tale of wrong choices and revenge.
Heathcliff is an orphan boy who is found on the streets of Liverpool by Mr Earnshaw and brought back to his family home of Wuthering Heights. His slightly wild and wayward daughter, Cathy, immediately takes to Heathcliff and they become close friends. His son, Hindley, is jealous of his father’s affection for Heathcliff and this develops into a real hatred for him over time. Hindley is sent away to university and three years later, when Mr Earnshaw dies, he returns as master of Wuthering Heights with his wife, Francis. Hindley takes this opportunity to abuse Heathcliff and force him into the role of servant.
A few months later, Heathcliff and Cathy are spying on the children of a local family named Linton. They are landed gentry and Cathy finds them fascinating. She is injured and is taken into the Linton’s home to recover. She develops a friendship with Edgar and Isabella Linton during her time in the house. This is the beginning of Cathy’s internal conflict between her attraction for the elegant and sophisticated lifestyle of Edgar Linton and her passionate love and desire for the poor and badly educated Heathcliff. Cathy is forced to choose between them and her choice sets in motion the pain and consequent desperation for revenge on the Linton family and Hindley and his family by Heathcliff, who loves Cathy to distraction.
This is a fascinating tale which requires careful concentration while reading so as not to miss the subtle intrigue and emotion that makes Wuthering Heights such a famous and marvelous book. I would recommend it to people who enjoy tragedy and romance with a dark twist.
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