Considered lurid and shocking by mid-19th-century standards, Wuthering Heights was initially thought to be such a publishing risk that its author, Emily Brontë, was asked to pay some of the publication costs.
Wuthering Heights is a wild, passionate story of the intense and almost demonic love between Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff, a foundling adopted by Catherine’s father. After Mr Earnshaw’s death, Heathcliff is bullied and humiliated by Catherine’s brother Hindley and wrongly believing that his love for Catherine is not reciprocated, leaves Wuthering Heights, only to return years later as a wealthy and polished man. He proceeds to exact a terrible revenge for his former miseries. The action of the story is chaotic and unremittingly violent, but the accomplished handling of a complex structure, the evocative descriptions of the lonely moorland setting and the poetic grandeur of vision combine to make this unique novel a masterpiece of English literature.
This was a book chosen for my WI Reading Group. I have never read it before, but have seen many different TV and film adaptations of it over the years.
I gave this a 3 stars or 6/10 based on the fact that the version I read was a shortened version at only 178 pages and I feel that it had been abridged too much and my overall enjoyment of the story was marred. I felt that too much of the original story had been lost.
I have already downloaded a longer version and will read it at some point in the future.
The love between Heathcliff and Catherine is at times almost feels incestuous and that is how Catherine is made to feel, that she should not have feelings for someone who in many ways was a brother to her as they grew up. Heathcliff is lost without her love and leaves to make something of himself, in the hope that it will make her feel differently about him. Sadly, on his return he realises that his hopes have been well and truly dashed and so begins a chain of events that will have far reaching consequences.
The story is very bleak at times and one can only imagine what sort of a life Emily had to come up with such a story as this.