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 2 January 2012
Five stars is just not enough to convey the brilliance of this story. Of all the writings of the Bronte sisters, this has got to be the best. I beleive that everybody should read this book at least once...I`m looking forward to buying a copy for my own daughter once she is old enough, which will be a while, but i`ll be making sure this is the first classic she reads! Wuthering Heights is an intricately woven tale of an eternal, unconditional, obsessive love between Catherine Earnshaw and her adopted brother Heathcliff. Cathy is brought to life as a spoiled, wild, passionate and somtimes spiteful girl, while Heathcliff is the mysterious, brooding and more than a little sinister love interest. Despite the characters being two very flawed individuals, somehow they manage to be beautiful and loveable all the same, perhaps because of their realness. the story is ultimately a darker, more poignant version of the romeo and Juliet tale of a love that was never meant to be, and the pride and obsessive love they share will ultimately destroy both themselves and everybody they love....Each time I read it, or watch one of the many film versions, which can never do it justice,I smile, I cry, I feel everything that they feel, and so will you! This has got to be the most beautiful piece of writing I have ever come across, each word perfectly excecuted to draw the reader in and transport him/her to the wild moors of england. Its so well written that sometimes you can almost feel the wind in your hair and the grass under your feet. Escapism, pure and simple. Buy it!
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.
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 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 :)
on 22 November 2011
It is so hard to know where to start with this book. It is renowned as one of the world's greatest love stories with the infamous Heathcliff and Cathy as its main protagonists but there is so much more to it than that. It is not only a story of unrequited love but also it is a dark tale of revenge.
The setting of the novel on the Yorkshire moors sets the tone of the story. It is dark, remote and the weather is harsh and unforgiving. The two households of Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange seem to have little to do with the outside world. There is none of the usual social whirl of dinner and dancing that other 19th century literature has. The cast of this novel are deserted and at one another's mercy. The book is also deliberately confusing creating a sense of unease in the reader. The narrator is a visitor to Thrushcross Grange listening to the stories of long-term housekeeper Nelly Dean. The names of the characters are hard to keep track of - we have Catherine and Cathy, Hindley, Hareton & Heathcliff, the Linton family and Linton Heathcliff. The driving force of the novel is Heathcliff, utterly destroyed by the death of Catherine and intent on revenge. He manipulates Hindley and robs Hareton of his birthright. But its not just Heathcliff who is the anti-hero. Cathy is spoilt and nasty, the young Linton is weak, disloyal and coniving. Love does triumph in the end with an unlikely pairing, but the reader is still haunted by all that has gone before.
This was the third time I have read Wuthering Heights. The first time was as a teenager when I found the language difficult and didn't really get to grips with the story. The second time was 7 years ago - I remember reading it in the garden when my son was a baby - and I was blown away by the intensity of Heathcliff's love and his ruthlessness and evil intentions. This time round I still love the book. It didn't blow me away like last time but it stands out from the other books written around the same time. They say you either love it or loathe it and I think therefore I must love it.
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!