Wuthering Heights is a novel by Emily Brontë, written between October 1845 and June 1846, and published in 1847 under thepseudonym "Ellis Bell." It was her first and only published novel: she died aged 30 the following year. The decision to publish came after the success of her 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. Wuthering Heights is the eponymous farmhouse on the Yorkshire moors where the story unfolds. Its core theme is the enduring love between the heroine, Catherine Earnshaw, and her father's adopted son, Heathcliff and how it eventually destroys their lives and the lives of those around them. Although Wuthering Heights became a classic of English literature, it received mixed reviews when first published, and was considered controversial because its depiction of mental and physical cruelty was so unusually stark. In the second half of the 19th century, Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre was considered the best of the Brontë sisters' works, but later critics argued that Wuthering Heights was superior. Wuthering Heights 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 the 1978 chart-toppingsong by Kate Bush.
In 1801, Mr Lockwood, a wealthy man from the south of England, rented Thrushcross Grange in the north for peace and recuperation. He visited his landlord, Mr Heathcliff, who lives in a remote moorland farmhouse, "Wuthering Heights" where he finds an odd assemblage: Mr Heathcliff seems to be a gentleman, but his manners are uncouth; the reserved mistress of the house is in her mid-teens; and a young man who seems to be a family member yet dresses and speaks like a servant. Snowed in, Lockwood is grudgingly allowed to stay and is shown to a chamber where he notices books and graffiti left by a former inhabitant, Catherine. He falls asleep and has a nightmare in which he sees the ghostly Catherine trying to enter through the window. He cries out in fear rousing Mr Heathcliff who rushes to the room. Lockwood was convinced that what he saw was real. Mr Heathcliff, believing Lockwood to be right, examines the window and opens it hoping to allow Catherine's spirit to enter. When nothing happens, Mr Heathcliff shows Lockwood to his own bedroom and returned to keep watch at the window. At sun rise, Mr Heathcliff escorts Lockwood back to Thrushcross Grange. Lockwood asks the housekeeper, Nelly Dean, about the family at Wuthering Heights.
Thirty years earlier, Wuthering Heights was occupied by Mr Earnshaw, his teenage son Hindley, and daughter Catherine. On a trip to Liverpool, Earnshaw encountered a homeless boy, "dark-skinned gypsy in aspect". He adopted the boy and named him Heathcliff. Hindley felt Heathcliff supplanted him in his father's affections and became bitterly jealous. Catherine and Heathcliff became friends and spent hours playing on the moors. They grew attached and hated every moment they were apart. As a result of the sibling rivalry, Hindley was sent to college. Three years later Earnshaw died and Hindley became the master of Wuthering Heights. He returned to live there with his new wife, Frances. He allowed Heathcliff to stay, but only as a servant. A few months after Hindley's return, Heathcliff and Catherine walked to Thrushcross Grange to spy on the Lintons who lived there. On being discovered, they tried to run away, but were caught. Catherine was injured by the Lintons' dog and taken into the house to have her injuries tended, and Heathcliff was sent home. Catherine stayed with the Lintons and was influenced by their fine appearance and genteel manners. When she returned to...
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