Wuthering Heights (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

Wuthering Heights (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)


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Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble Classics:
  • New introductions commissioned from today's top writers and scholars
  • Biographies of the authors
  • Chronologies of contemporary historical, biographical, and cultural events
  • Footnotes and endnotes
  • Selective discussions of imitations, parodies, poems, books, plays, paintings, operas, statuary, and films inspired by the work
  • Comments by other famous authors
  • Study questions to challenge the reader's viewpoints and expectations
  • Bibliographies for further reading
  • Indices & Glossaries, when appropriate
All editions are beautifully designed and are printed to superior specifications; some include illustrations of historical interest. Barnes & Noble Classics pulls together a constellation of influences—biographical, historical, and literary—to enrich each reader's understanding of these enduring works. Emily Brontë’s only novel, Wuthering Heights remains one of literature’s most disturbing explorations into the dark side of romantic passion. Heathcliff and Cathy believe they’re destined to love each other forever, but when cruelty and snobbery separate them, their untamed emotions literally consume them.

Set amid the wild and stormy Yorkshire moors, Wuthering Heights, an unpolished and devastating epic of childhood playmates who grow into soul mates, is widely regarded as the most original tale of thwarted desire and heartbreak in the English language.

Daphne Merkin is the author of a novel, Enchantment, which won the Edward Lewis Wallant award for best new work of American-Jewish fiction, and an essay collection, Dreaming of Hitler. She has written essays and reviews for publications that include American Scholar, the New York Times, where she is a regular contributor to the Book Review, the Los Angeles Times Book Review, Elle, and Vogue.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781593081287
Publisher: Barnes & Noble
Publication date: 04/01/2005
Series: Barnes & Noble Classics Series
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 236
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.20(d)

Read an Excerpt

From Daphne Merkin’sIntroduction to Wuthering Heights

More than 150 years and many cultural upheavals later, Emily Brontë’s novel remains almost blindingly original, undimmed in its power to convey the destructive potential of thwarted passion as expressed through the unappeasable fury of a rejected lover. To paraphrase Shakespeare, age cannot wither it, nor custom stale its infinite variety. Every aspect of the novel—whether it be the writer’s expert grasp of the laws pertaining to land and personal property, her meticulous rendering of local dialect, or her use of multiple narrators—has been put under microscopic study. And yet, despite the shelf after shelf of books that have been written in the attempt to understand the frail yet flinty-willed young woman—"the sphinx of literature," as she was called by Angus M. Mackay in The Brontës: Fact and Fiction (1897)—who wrote it, as well as the tragedy-struck, remarkably talented family from which she came, Wuthering Heights still presents a dark and fierce view of the world that is seemingly without precedent.

The book’s autobiographical components aroused interest from the start, especially given the original mystery surrounding its authorship. Lucasta Miller, in The Brontë Myth, gives an often spellbinding account of the ways in which the Brontës’ "lonely moorland lives" (p. xi) lent themselves to the process of mythification even before the last sister had died. (None of them lived to see forty: Anne died within five months of Emily, at the age of twenty-nine, and Charlotte, the only one of the sisters to marry, was in the early months of pregnancy at the time of her death, at the age of thirty-nine.) But unlike Charlotte, who lived long enough to help shape the myth that would grow up around the Brontës, beginning with Elizabeth Gaskell’s landmark Life of Charlotte Brontë, which appeared in 1857 and for which she was the primary source, Emily wasn’t around to answer for herself. "All of Emily’s biographers have had to cope with the absences surrounding her," Miller notes (p. 193). The baroque conjectures concerning her character were first introduced by Gaskell’s Life, which included scenes that had Emily pummeling her disobedient bulldog into submission with her bare hands and dramatically cauterizing a bite from a strange dog with a red-hot kitchen iron. Gaskell’s two-dimensional portrait of Emily as kind of savage force of nature, "a remnant of the Titans,—great-grand-daughter of the giants who used to inhabit earth," held sway for decades, drawing admirers like the poet Algernon Charles Swinburne, whose own provocative impulses (which included a well-documented sadomasochistic bent) were stirred by the novel’s almost pagan quality, its disregard for bourgeois niceties.

The efforts to penetrate Emily’s veils grew even more overheated in the wake of Freud, just as the textual analyses would become more and more exotic in the trail of the new French theories of narrative propounded by Derrida and Foucault. One 1936 biographer, who featured herself as having paid "especial and respectful" attention to primary sources, misread the title of one of Emily’s manuscript poems as "Louis Parensell" instead of "Love’s Farewell" in her zeal to bring new light on a hypothesized lost lover, and then went on to unearth another dark secret, proposing that Emily had been "a member of that beset band of women who can find their pleasure only in women" (Moore, The Life and Eager Death of Emily Brontë. There were discussions as to how genuinely close Emily had been to her sisters Charlotte and Anne, or whether she in fact resented the older one and patronized the younger. Was she a domestic slouch, oblivious to all except her febrile imaginings and the wind howling over the moors? Or was she in fact something of a fifties housewife type, sweeping the floors, ironing the linens, and baking bread while her chronically depressed father took his meals in his room and her brother, Branwell, drank himself to death in the Black Bull tavern? Was her consuming interest in food and what was being prepared for meals by Tabby, the housekeeper, as evidenced by the few diary entries that have come down to us, a sign of a robust immersion in daily life or a clue to something more disturbing? (In A Chainless Soul, Frank makes a plausible case for diagnosing Emily as suffering an anorexic’s death by starvation.)

Some of the more unrestrained speculations tended to focus on the elusive genesis of Wuthering Heights. Emily’s ill-fated brother, Branwell, who had been earmarked within the family for artistic glory (money was scraped together to send him to London to pursue his artistic interests) but died ignominiously at the age of thirty-one, a hostage to gin and opium, was at the center of the theories that swirled around the decades-long disputed authorship of Emily’s novel. The controversy began with an article, published in 1867 and written by an acquaintance of Branwell’s, himself an amateur poet, which claimed that the author had once read a manuscript of Branwell’s that contained a scene and characters similar to those of Wuthering Heights (Miller, p. 229). This controversy—or "great Brontë conspiracy theory," as Miller describes it (p. 228)—was fueled largely by disbelief that a reserved young daughter of a rural clergyman could have written so volcanic a book, but also on the basis of Branwell’s having shown early literary promise as a coauthor of the Brontë children’s joint writing efforts, an all-consuming escapist pastime that Charlotte would later refer to as their "web of sunny air" (Frank, p. 57). It was quickly taken up by other of Branwell’s friends, and although it was eventually demolished in Irene Cooper Willis’s The Authorship of Wuthering Heights (1936), the idea has continued to intrigue scholars and biographers up until the present day.

But by far the most intense (and screwy) psychological scrutiny was reserved for the close relationship between Branwell and Emily. After Charlotte had given up on him as a bad egg, Emily continued to stand by her older brother, calming him down and getting him to bed during his drunken outbursts. This aspect of the Brontë family life led to speculations about a possible incestuous aspect to Branwell and Emily’s relationship, especially in regard to its being the model for the relationship between Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff. (One theory suggested that Heathcliff was in fact the bastard son of Mr. Earnshaw and thus Catherine’s half brother.) Of course, this theory clashed with yet another view that saw Branwell as doomed by his closet homosexuality, which may or may not have emerged during the period he spent as a live-in tutor to a young boy, Edward Robinson; his employment ended in disgrace after Branwell was dismissed with the threat of scandalous exposure if he tried to get in touch with any of the family. Branwell later retailed this scandal as an adulterous affair he was having with his pupil’s mother.

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Wuthering Heights (Collins Classics) 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1342 reviews.
CatieCat75 More than 1 year ago
This book will always and forever be one of my favorites. The characters are very unconventional in the fact that they are created as flawed and real human beings. The way that Catherine Earnshaw was such a selfish human was realistic to me. The way that Heathcliff was so cruel, but loved Catherine so much was realistic. The structure of the book was beautiful as well as the writing. I would suggest this to people who enjoy classic literature. I would not suggest this to most people who have read Stephenie Meyers' "Twilight" without them knowing that the love affair between Catherine and Heathcliff is not at all healthy and slightly disturbing. Its not like Edward and Bella.
RHRH319 More than 1 year ago
It is the classic crazy love story. The two main charcaters, Cathy and Heathcliff, are madly in love with each other, but both feel it is an impossible love. Cathy marries money in hopes to help Heathcliff, Heathcliff runs off to better himself in hopes to deserve Cathy. It is a mixed up story full of fantastic charcters and an ever twisting plot. And it has, I believe, one of the most romantic endings ever written. I highly recommend this book!
Sissy_Girl More than 1 year ago
After reading some of the scathing reviews on this book I had to put in my two cents. Wuthering Heights is by no means a dainty, happy book. But it has a deeper meaning in my opinion. I believe when Emily Bronte wrote this she was giving an example of an extreme. The pain one would incur from unrequited love and the misery of unchecked revenge. I think she speaks to the sensible side of all who read her works. To caution against foolish inclinations and to show how you should react to situations and what could happen if you reaction is unreasonable. For those of you who have read it, I am comparing Heathcliffe and Cathy with Hareton and young Cathy. For those of you who haven't, just pay attention, look deeper, see what you think. But please, don't take this work as a sad work of fiction, look beyond the surface and see how this could apply to your own life. See how even though things could be unfair, cruel, and hard that life can still be worth living because you never know what could be waiting for you in the end.
PattyTX More than 1 year ago
The reading was a bit hard to follow in the beginning but as I read on and got more aquainted with the characters it began to become easier to read. I read it in two days the book was that good. My first instinct with to loathe Heathcliff and Catherine for there relationship, but in the end I realized that circumstances were hard and that love did win out.
AvidBookworm More than 1 year ago
Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights is my favorite gothic romance classics of all times!

I like the format in which the narration is structured, where the story was shared between Ms. Dean and Lockwood. Bronte did a great job of balancing the narrative in a way where I was never confused on who was telling the story. At times, I sensed Nelly's biased toward certain characters, but her detail and recount was thorough and engaging. Telling it in Nelly and Lockwood's perspective allowed me to see more into the characters and their desires, motives and struggles, even after the climactic event of Catherine's death. This could not have been possible if it was told in Heathcliff or Catherine's perspective.

I noticed throughout the novel how Bronte used parallel elements to compare and contrast people, places and things in her story. For example, Wuthering Heights was painted as an unrefined and dark home, where Thrushgrove Grange was described as polished, gentle and inviting similar to the inhabitants of each residence. In addition, Cathy and young Catherine were different, yet very similar in many ways. She used this style throughout her novel; these are just two examples that help paint a well-rounded picture of the events and the overall storyline.

Most of all, the novel is such a passionate tale of a doomed love between two people who can never be together in their life time. Even though Heathcliff is portrayed as a malicious and vengeful person, my compassion for him never wavered. At times, I found myself being a proponent of his efforts, especially when enacting revenge upon Hindley. He was my favorite character throughout the novel despite his acts because I could sense Heathcliff's passion and true love for Cathy even after her death when he was more determined to pose revenge on those who kept them apart. If it were merely lust for Cathy, his efforts would have ended when she died. This is truly a love story that cannot be fulfilled in their lifetime.

Overall, I was glad to see Bronte structure a happy ending by joining young Catherine and Hareton because in a sense it was like she joined Heathcliff and Catherine and gave them their happy ending.

This is a novel I will read over and over again!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Emily Bronte has written one of the most romantic stories I have ever read in Wuthering Heights, but the beginning is difficult to read and the characters have no redeeming qualities except their love for each other. Htis book is almost obnoxious because the characters are so selfish! However, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte is amazing in comparison. I have loved that book forever which is why I read this one. Read this book for the experience and the feeling of accomplishment at the end. THe ending is what gave it 4 stars, in my opinion. Overall it was a good book, just not outstanding.
AndrewWalker More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best books I have ever had the pleasure to read. Emily Bronte's masterpiece thoroughly captivated my attention for its entire duration, never dulling for a moment. Without spoiling a plot of epic proportions, it is sufficient to say that this is perhaps the best novel involving tragedy and romance ever written. Character development is wonderfully descriptive in Wuthering Heights, while still being concise and clear in reference to which person is being referred to. The brilliance of the landscape was beautifully portrayed and added considerably to the agenda of the plot. Furthermore, the manner is which the story was told was equally satisfying. Wuthering Heights was an all-around fantastic read. Personally, I can find no faults with it whatsoever. I -highly- suggest this novel for anyone. It will always be an absolute fixture in my library.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I like the story but the old english makes it hard to follow. I had to read slow and back track constantly & I actually had to put this down for a while because the language was losing my interest. But the story itself is great and it's definitely a classic. So if you can get past the old english than go for it!
Dany_Jaime More than 1 year ago
When I first began reading Wuthering Heights, it seemed like every turning of a page was work, it just simply wasn't what I was expecting. It seemed to lack passion, it was void of any sign of life, but something about it made me keep reading it compulsively. Not until the very end did I encounter the real power of the novel. The magic it holds comes neither from love, nor passion, but from its profound characters. They are ingeniously flawed in a way that enables readers to deeply relate to and even find themselves in them. Heathcliff is the most fascinating character I've ever encountered. He's dark, unsettling, and incredibly selfish and cold, yet his most enthralling quality is that we know he is capable of giving in to temptation and falling in love with Catherine. In contrast, Catherine's vulnerability is what makes her so appealing to us as readers, because we see that she leaps into a love that will eventually consume her. Wuthering Heights is hardly a pretty love story; it's a dark, disturbing tale unraveling around obsession and revenge. It tells of two star crossed loved who ignore their hearts' desires and let their heads get in the way of what fate has in store for them. The story unfolds as an extended flashback through the eyes of Nelly Deans, Catherine's family's maid. The story is about the forbidden love between Catherine and Heathcliff (an orphan Catherine's father picks up off the streets of Liverpool). Although the reader gets a sense that these two are soul mates, Catherine ends up marrying another, hence beginning a treacherous cycle of obsession and revenge that would be bequeathed to the next generation. Personally, I've never come across a more enchanting book that, due to its characters, entangles the reader inside their worlds with incredible intensity and strength. The power of the novel is hidden in its characters and their battle to reach their designated fate against all odds. Wuthering Heights is an intense tale of two flawed individuals trapped in an obsessive love that turns to dark madness. It is an excellently written novel that everyone should read at least once.
I_am_Heathcliff More than 1 year ago
I don't think I can express how much I love this book! Heathcliff and Catherine's love story is so passionate and so much more different than any other I have read. The characters seem so real, it's hard to imagine that they only exist in writing. Every time I read this I find myself falling more and more in love with it--and I catch myself finding things that I missed before. You can't fully appreciate this novel unless you read it more than once! Bronte's writing definitely challenges readers but it is well worth it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! I heard about it in Twilight and couldnt put it down. At first the old fashioned talk was hard to understand but i got used to it soon. I love how unlike in Twilight, there really isnt a happy ending. Heathcliff and Catherine are made for each other but they make each other miserable too. I love how Heathcliff is so unlike Edward in Twilight. I think this book is just as romantic as Twilight but different. Its amazing and everyone should read it!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved to hate Heathcliff. But got a little confused at times by the changing point of view in which it is written.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think that this is too mature for a ten year old. It has a hard to follow plot for unexperienced readers, and the vocabulary may be difficult to understand. I would recommend this book for people ages 14 +. This is a very good read, but is not your classic love story. I hope this helps some younger readers decide whether or not to read this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great touching story that everyone should read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I purchased this classic book over other less costly ebook editions because it was advertised as including "beautiful illustrations". IT DOES NOT HAVE ANY ILLUSTRATIONS! I was very disappointed, and with ebooks, once you click on "buy", you are stuck with the book! Shame on the publisher for deceptive advertising!
adrienne_marie More than 1 year ago
i read this book because it was never forced in school; so i didn't understand when "bella" would address it in the "twilight" saga. i HAD to understand what she was talking about and why she loved the book SO MUCH. i did love this book, even though it is sick and twisted.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Extremely complex. Almost too complex. I like complex characters, but the storyline is so dense, it is hard to get to know all the characters and keep them straight. Soo much happens in this book. Take it slow and don't try to rush like I had to. I imagine I'd appreciate it more if I had more time to absorb it all. Beautifully written classic of course.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read the book after watching the movie. I found out that the movie has the same name and characters, but otherwise is very different from the book. The book is a very dark story, but extremely interesting and well written.
AngVF More than 1 year ago
This is not the romantic story I was led to believe. Two of the most selfish people with very dark charcteristics. It was however very entertaining.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you like really dark romanticism then this is the book for you!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is fantastic; it is a true classic, and I would recommend it to any who like romantic tragedies with flawed characters. That being said, I would warn any Twilight fans that Wuthering Heights is not an easy read, nor is it a typical 'happy ending' book. I would recommend that you research it more before just buying it, else you might be a bit surprised.
Megan180 More than 1 year ago
I read this book for a school assignment and it was one that I actually really liked! Wuthering Heights has a dynamic plot that spans over a long period of time providing a unique reading experience. Love, Hate and Abuse seem to be common themes throughout the story. It is a classic that can be enjoyed by many different ages. Although there was not a specific lesson taught or reason that the book was written it was very well done and i would recommend it to anyone to likes a good love story with drama. The author creates such passion in each of the characters, it is impossible not to become attatched! Good book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
While the writing was eloquent, the characters were selfish, whiny and altogether unlikeable. I'm glad to say i read it, as it is a classic, but i wouldn't necessarily recommend it to anyone.
Nazire More than 1 year ago
I know that many people love this book, I however cannot. I have read this book several times at different points in time. There are many great qualities about the book, just not enough to take it out of the mud for me. The characterization is smart, yet not enough. There are many plot twists, however there is just too many peek-aboos that just doesn't add up and doesn't make sense. It's great to read the descriptions of the England moors, castles and different characters' depictions, unfortunately though depictions alone do not make the story. It's one of those classics that is a must read for the sake of learning that not everything that is written a long time ago is a great book. This I think was a great attempt at a great novel, unfortunately for us readers Bronte fell short of the threshold.
1958MR More than 1 year ago
tough read so far not interesting enough to keep reading