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Wuthering Heights

Emily Brontë
Wuthering Heights
Book genre:
Tragedy, gothic
First Published:
January 1, 1847
Original language:

What's the book "Wuthering Heights" about?

"Wuthering Heights" is a novel written by Emily Brontë, published in 1847. It is a tale of passion, revenge, and the destructive power of love, set against the windswept moors of Yorkshire, England.

The story is narrated by Mr. Lockwood, a newcomer to the area, who rents Thrushcross Grange, a nearby estate, from the brooding and mysterious Heathcliff, owner of the neighboring Wuthering Heights. Lockwood becomes intrigued by the residents of Wuthering Heights and their tumultuous history.

The heart of the novel lies in the tempestuous relationship between Heathcliff, an orphan taken in by the Earnshaw family, and Catherine Earnshaw, his childhood friend and soulmate. Despite their deep love for each other, their relationship is marked by jealousy, cruelty, and revenge. Catherine marries another man, Edgar Linton, out of social ambition, which devastates Heathcliff and sets off a chain of tragic events.

Heathcliff's obsession with Catherine drives him to seek revenge on those who wronged him, including Edgar and his family. The novel explores themes of social class, morality, and the destructive effects of unchecked passion. It also delves into the complexities of human nature and the enduring power of love and redemption.

"Wuthering Heights" is celebrated for its dark, atmospheric setting, its complex characters, and its exploration of intense emotions. It has become a classic of English literature and remains one of the most beloved and enduring novels of the 19th century.

Listen to an excerpt from the book "Wuthering Heights"

1801—I have just returned from a visit to my landlord—the solitary neighbour that I shall be troubled with. This is certainly a beautiful country! In all England, I do not believe that I could have fixed on a situation so completely removed from the stir of society. A perfect misanthropist’s Heaven—and Mr. Heathcliff and I are such a suitable pair to divide the desolation between us. A capital fellow! He little imagined how my heart warmed towards him when I beheld his black eyes withdraw so suspiciously under their brows, as I rode up, and when his fingers sheltered themselves, with a jealous resolution, still further in his waistcoat, as I announced my name.

“Mr. Heathcliff?” I said.

A nod was the answer.

“Mr. Lockwood, your new tenant, sir. I do myself the honour of calling as soon as possible after my arrival, to express the hope that I have not inconvenienced you by my perseverance in soliciting the occupation of Thrushcross Grange: I heard yesterday you had had some thoughts—”

“Thrushcross Grange is my own, sir,” he interrupted, wincing. “I should not allow any one to inconvenience me, if I could hinder it—walk in!”

The “walk in” was uttered with closed teeth, and expressed the sentiment, “Go to the Deuce!” even the gate over which he leant manifested no sympathising movement to the words; and I think that circumstance determined me to accept the invitation: I felt interested in a man who seemed more exaggeratedly reserved than myself.

When he saw my horse’s breast fairly pushing the barrier, he did put out his hand to unchain it, and then sullenly preceded me up the causeway, calling, as we entered the court,—“Joseph, take Mr. Lockwood’s horse; and bring up some wine.”

“Here we have the whole establishment of domestics, I suppose,” was the reflection suggested by this compound order. “No wonder the grass grows up between the flags, and cattle are the only hedge-cutters.”

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Yes, this book is in the public domain and can be accessed without any restrictions or royalties. The copyright term has expired. In most countries, copyrights last for the life of the author plus 70 years. Therefore, books published before the date of 1924 are generally in the public domain in the US if the copyright was not renewed.

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