Book Review: Wuthering Heights

Amazon Synopsis: “WUTHERING HEIGHTS is Emily Brontë’s only novel. Written between October 1845 and June 1846, Wuthering Heights was published in 1847 under the pseudonym “Ellis Bell”; Brontë died the following year, aged 30. Wuthering Heights and Anne Brontë’s Agnes Grey were accepted by publisher Thomas Newby before the success of their sister Charlotte’s novel, Jane Eyre. After Emily’s death, Charlotte edited the manuscript of Wuthering Heights, and arranged for the edited version to be published as a posthumous second edition in 1850. Although Wuthering Heights is now widely regarded as a classic of English literature, contemporary reviews for the novel were deeply polarised; it was considered controversial because its depiction of mental and physical cruelty was unusually stark, and it challenged strict Victorian ideals of the day, including religious hypocrisy, morality, social classes and gender inequality. The English poet and painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti referred to it as “A fiend of a book – an incredible monster […] The action is laid in hell, – only it seems places and people have English names there.” In the second half of the 19th century, Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre was considered the best of the Brontë sisters’ works, but following later re-evaluation, critics began to argue that Wuthering Heights was superior. The book has inspired adaptations, including film, radio and television dramatisations, a musical by Bernard J. Taylor, a ballet, operas (by Bernard Herrmann, Carlisle Floyd, and Frédéric Chaslin), a role-playing game, and a 1978 song by Kate Bush.”

Length and medium: 14 hours, audiobook

Destiny’s Thoughts

Every once in awhile, I like to go to the classics. Wuthering Heights is one I’ve always been interested in. When my senior year English teacher pushed Jane Austen on us, I figured I would enjoy Bronte sisters better.

Well, I didn’t like Jane Austen in high school and, as for Emily Bronte, I’m on the fence. I have some mixed feelings on this book. One side absolutely hates it. I hated the characters and excuse me for spoilers but honestly, this book has been out for hundreds of years. If any of this feels like a spoiler, you probably were never going to read it.

The characters annoyed the crap out of me. I always hear Catherine and Heathcliff as one of those great loves but, oh my goodness, I despised these people, mainly Catherine. She is just an awfully nasty person for no reason and then treats Heathcliff like crap even though he really hasn’t done anything to deserve it. Then after Heathcliff goes and finds his genie, gets three wishes, and turns into a prince, he comes back to his Jasmine only to…marry Jasmine’s sister-in-law? Just ew to Catherine and Heathcliff for involving two poor unfortunate souls into their love life. (You can probably tell I’ve recently done an old Disney marathon).

But I really love how the story is told from the viewpoint of the nosey caretaker. I really like books that have a story within a story. So that was a major redeeming quality for me.

In all, it was well written and I loved the point of view. Some of the characters were so awful but, at the same time, that just shows how well written this book is. It’s been a long time since I have so actively disliked someone so strongly.

If you’re interested in getting this book and discovering the characters for yourself, click here.

If you’ve read Wuthering Heights, what did you think about it?

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