on 6 April 2014
This review isn't of the novel Wuthering Heights itself, as I'm sure everyone either knows it or knows of it, and already has strong feelings about it. I simply wanted to comment on this particular edition.
As Wuthering Heights is my all-time favourite piece of literature, I have many copies of it, from a variety of publishers. Some of these copies are more reader-friendly than others. Some books, for example, have tiny letters, which makes reading a strain, even if you're wearing your glasses, and therefore renders the whole reading experience less enjoyable than it should be. Some use user-unfriendly fonts, which it is also hard to comfortably read. And in some copies, the print is all crammed too closely together, and makes you instantly wish you were reading something with the words and sentences, and paragraphs, more spaciously set-out - it looks better with more space, not so daunting, it enables you to breathe while reading.
And therefore I wanted to recommend this particular edition, because it is the best version I have come across, in terms of all the things I've mentioned above. It has nice large letters - not too large, but large enough not to be headache-inducing; the letters are printed using an attractive font; there is enough space between the words, sentences and paragraphs to give the page a nice, spacious look.
This might sound like nit-picking, but if you want to ultimize your reading experience, I believe these things really do make a big difference. At last - a copy of Wuthering Heights I can read without hunching over it with a magnifying glass.
Not to keen on the strap-line on the cover: Bella and Edward's favourite book [Twilight saga] but that's a minor quibble, and in fact, having thought about it, it's interesting to see a connection between one of the greatest classics of literature, and a series of books and films that obviously resound very deeply with modern-day readers/movie-goers.
So, I am giving this particular edition five stars, and if you want a copy of Wuthering Heights that you can read with comfort, I strongly recommend you choose this one.
on 29 November 2001
Right, where do i begin??? how did i ever live without reading this book?? i was told by some idiot that it was boring which put me off for a while, but i read it recently and was totally blown away!! It is honestly the most intense, passionate, maddening book i've ever read. It starts out strong and keeps on going, i actually had to force myself not to read it all in one night and to save some for the next day! Emily Bronte uses such powerful imagery in her prose that it just stuns you. The setting of the story in the Yorkshire moors was absolutely fitting, i doubt that if it had been set anywhere else it couldn't have possibly been half as powerful. The moors add to the air of mystery, gloom, beauty, passion,love, and tragedy. Heathcliff and Cathy are definately the most interesting and intense pair of lovers i have ever read of. Heathcliff especially provokes me, mostly because i cannot decide whether i love or hate him, and that is but one part of the genius of this book. Heathcliff is the hero/anti-hero of the book and just so utterly fascinating a character. The best ingredient of this masterpiece is the fact that the story takes place in such a secluded region, with equally interesting characters, away from the social niceties and civilities that are common in other books of this time. Therefore, the passion and tragedy of the love and hatred in this story is more strongly felt. I could honestly go on forever but i'll spare all you readers out there. All i will say is that you definately must read this book, i know that this is horribly cliche but it truly is one of the best books i have ever read in my life! You will not be sorry.
on 12 April 2001
Everything about this book makes it makes it truly brilliant. The wild setting of the Yorkshire Moors, the grey and dark ambience of the Heights, the contrast of this at the Grange. Wuthering Heights is full of; love; romance; passion; revenge; and violence; covering ideas about: nature; religion; superstition; death; and the social values of the 19th Century. Criticised when it first came out because the book was written so far ahead of its time, it explores feminist ideas about the inheritance of land and money, and about marriage for social status. Possibly offensive to the original Victorian audience who would have read it, it would appeal to a modern readership subsequently, something of which, due to her premature death, Brontë would never learn of.
Brontë writes about her own experience in this book, with some characters closely relating to her own life. Her sole piece of literature shows her unique outlook on existence, and denying the reader perhaps the resolved ending they would have desired; instead we get the realistic conclusion that everyone can relate to.
Every character in this novel can portray a whole group of people. Heathcliff can represent the 'working class hero come good'. Brontë skilfully manipulates the reader into sympathising with Heathcliff, despite his appalling and violent behaviour later on. Catherine is reckless, passionate and rebellious, but maintains a clear head; she is aware of the importance of keeping a high status in the world. Brontë presents this with her marriage to Edgar Linton, denying her genuine, but concealed, feelings for Heathcliff. Even with Edgar's laissez-faire attitude to Catherine's close friendship to Heathcliff, can create the strong contrast between the two men. The reader can discover the shocking lengths that Heathcliff goes to for revenge against his former anguish, in an almost psychotic way that spans beyond death. His treatment by Catherine's brother Hindley, and his betrayal by Catherine for marrying Edgar causes him to enact a series of events including marriage without love and mistreatment of others in the most terrible way. Interestingly, Brontë allows everything to be observed by the character Nelly in an almost voyeuristic way, despite the fact she is a narrator to the story; it shows the idea of narrators being fair and trusting can occasionally be false. Every character is different, and often unconventional, represented in a certain way for a certain reason. The book successfully takes us over two generations of characters, each with different ideas, personalities and attitudes.
This book can be quite confusing at times by the use of similar names such Catherine's daughter also being named Catherine and Isabella Linton calling her son Linton. Also having to travel through two sets of narration in a non-chronological order. However, Brontë deals with all these factors marvellously and the powerful setting, intriguing characters and wide range of ideas challenged makes this book a political masterpiece of English Literature.
on 3 February 2003
WH is, essentially, a story about turbulent people living in a turbulent place. I don’t think Bronte meant her characters to fit certain “social types” or be analogies for something else but to be real people unfortunately in very difficult circumstances and I believe that is how WH is best read.
As dark, haunting and changeable as the other Bronte sisters’ infamous classic: Charlotte’s Jane Eyre is personal and gently loving- the two novels are both works of genius but a million miles from each other. However, both have wonderful descriptions of the Yorkshire moors and a sense of real feeling behind their story line.
One of WH strengths is its change of narrative voice- there are two main narrators and letters and other media between. This gives a sense of many people affected by one story thus heightening the strength of Heathcliff and Cathy’s passion.
The end of WH is one of the most discussed in literature and if you are reading it for the first time the question of whether it’s happy or not will occupy you for a long time.
With so much literary criticism spent on WH it is difficult to add original comments. So I would simply urge you, if you haven’t read it yet, to get a copy- it will live with you forever.
on 2 November 2016
This extraordinary book is full of passion, violence, revenge, hatred and tragedy, with the faintest gesture towards a happy ending. I lay awake thinking about it for several nights. I don’t think I would want to re-read it – it is difficult to imagine such a book coming from the pen of one of the sheltered Bronte sisters. It is an amazing piece of literature, dramatic and passionate, as I’ve already said. It highlights some of the shortcomings of the Victorian era (the lack of women’s rights, how men could seemingly be beyond the law in their treatment of relations or servants, the injustice of inheritance laws, etc). However, it is in no sense uplifting, but, rather, a picture of a bleak and violent world. Reading it left me with a feeling that I needed to exorcise its ghosts from my mind!
on 5 October 2009
I have read the book, watched various films, listened to audio books and seen the latest dramatization on television but i enjoyed this CD more than any other version of Wuthering Heights. The actors chosen for the characters were fantastic in my opinion. I feel it was a very true reflection of the book and wasn't overly romanticized as in many productions. The Yorkshire accents and realism of the characters made it really believable for me.
on 26 April 2009
Very useful book, includes a little critical opinion, used it for revision for AS english literature.
Is the updated version of the other york notes so don't buy both like i did by accident :)
This review is taken from my blog where I review adult colouring books from a mental health perspective. More images can be found here - colouringinthemidstofmadness.wordpress.com
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This book is 25cm square, the same size as most bestsellers, paperback with a thick but flexible card cover which has a wallpaper style design printed on the inside of the dust flaps. The spine is glue and string bound and is fairly durable but does start to break if you’re particularly persistent with trying to flatten it. The images are printed double-sided and therefore a number of them do enter the spine a little which makes them tricky to colour. The paper is bright white, thick and lightly textured, I experienced no bleeding or shadowing with any of my water-based pens and I was able to get plenty of layers with my coloured pencils; alcohol markers will bleed through. The majority of the images are double-page spreads and a quote from the original book is printed onto each. The images themselves are arranged into chronological order to loosely tell the story and consist of a number of scenes, quotes, patterns and images depicting something mentioned in the displayed quote. There are images of Catherine and Heathcliff meeting, Heathcliff brooding in multiple images, Catherine dying, Heathcliff dying, inside and outside Wuthering Heights, plenty of objects from within the house and wallpaper-style images. At the end of the book is a double-page spread of The Symbolism of ‘Vanitas’ objects, these objects of life, death and sin are illustrated throughout the book and their symbolism is carefully matched to each part of the story which is a wonderful touch!
In terms of mental health, this book is ideal if you’re a fan of the original story, and actually even if you’re not, it’s still beautiful to colour, the extent of my knowledge of Wuthering Heights before reviewing this colouring book was the eponymous Kate Bush song but I have still really enjoyed colouring and reviewing it. The images are drawn in a consistent line thickness which remains thin, with spindly thin details throughout. There is a high level of intricacy and detail in many of the images though there are larger spaces in the images containing people, but mostly you’ll need fairly good vision and fine motor control in order to get the most out of this book. There isn’t a lot of leeway in the images to prevent you going over the lines or missing the details so do bear this in mind and check the suitability of the images below. The images are very pretty and quite fancy and floral throughout, they feel a little chaotic and indicate a lot of movement but from the synopses I’ve read of the story, this seems quite fitting. The quotes are chosen very well to tell the story from beginning to end. The scenes depict the most crucial moments and are interspersed with beautiful images of objects, jewellery, furniture and patterns that all fit well with the other imagery and the story itself. Some of the images are busier than others so there is a bit of variance in the amount of time it’ll take to complete each page but mostly they’ll take a good few hours to complete and are therefore most suited to good days where your concentration is high and you can focus well. These images are very distracting and will need you to pay a fair amount of attention so that you stay within the lines so it’s great for absorbing you into the task at hand and would be really good for practising mindfulness as you focus on the here and now. However, it’s equally good at transporting you off to a far off time and place where life was simpler and offers great escapism, especially if you’re a fan of the original book! Despite the content of the story being quite dark and depressing, the imagery doesn’t particularly portray this and the images don’t feel negative or like they’ll drag you down. As someone who doesn’t know the original story properly, I can’t attest to whether those of you who do may feel more affected by the images so please do check the selection below to be sure.
I would highly recommend this book to fans of Wuthering Heights, the imagery is beautiful, the quotes are really well chosen and it’s a really wonderful way of combining a classic story with stunning illustrations that you can colour into your own bespoke book. You could even give a fully coloured copy to someone as a thoughtful and personalised gift, though with the amount of time it’d take to complete, it might be very difficult to part with your work!
on 6 August 2001
Having first read the novel at a young age, it struck me as a tragic love story. A novel with a strikingly resonant feel of modern teenage angst, yet with the grandeur, only a Bronte classic can achieve. However, my interest of the novel took on exciting new depths when I studied it in my University years. A multi-generic plot emerged, and unusually, a book appraised widely within the class! It took me another couple of years to explore the different theories of the tale, which led me to persue the task more fully through my final year dissertation. I focused upon a reading of masculinity and patriarchy in the text, as much of the criticism focuses upon a feminist perspective. However, the feminist angle can not be ignored and a particularly influential account can be found in Gilbert and Gubar's 'The Madwoman in the Attic'. (Essay: Emily Bronte and The Bible of Hell).
I can certainly recommend this classic to all ages and, for those of you forced to study this book at school, it is a relief to find so much interesting and varied criticism on the text. Most of all, enjoy it, and when you've finished, you'll find it difficult not to pick it up and enjoy it all over again!
Like many people this isn’t the first time I have read this, and of course won’t be my last, as this is a story that seemingly captivates so many people throughout the world. One of the most original, indeed possibly the most original story in the English language, Emily Bronte’s only novel is a pure masterpiece and a pleasure to read.
Opening in 1801 the story then goes back through the last quarter of the 18th Century, and then up to the present, finishing as it does in 1802. Set on the moors and taking in two households, Wuthering Heights, and Thrushcross Grange this story broods menace and isolation. Although the nearest village is Gimmerton this does not really appear in this tale, although some of the characters do make trips to it and further afield. Despite the expanses of the moors and two largish houses as settings for this tale, in many ways the whole story is quite claustrophobic. As Mr Lockwood takes up tenancy in Thrushcross Grange he sets out to visit his landlord, Mr Heathcliff, whom he finds rather surly and disagreeable. From Mrs Dean the housekeeper of the Grange he finds out the recent history of these two houses, and their respective owners and families.
It all begins though with the appearance of the foundling who is called Heathcliff. Taking in love, jealousy, hatred, emotional blackmail, dysfunction and vengeance this is a story that will hold you breathless, no matter how many times you read it. From what could be an interesting story full of incident and jollity, Emily Bronte instead creates something that is gothic, dark, menacing and brooding. As we see the original characters become bitter and twisted we see how their actions also have repercussions for the newborn generation, leading to a seemingly unstoppable cycle that leads straight to Hell. Can this cycle be broken, or is it doomed to perpetuate itself?
Although on first publication no one could dispute the masterful writing and passion in this book it did create quite a bit of controversy, as Emily Bronte delved deep into the roots of our psyche to create some wonderfully dark characters and situations and shining a light on what can go on behind closed doors. Something like this we take in our stride and recognise in our day and age, but it was something that was kept hidden away and bottled up in the 19th Century.