WHAT ARE YOU READING?
If you haven’t read the novel, you’ve seen one of the film or television adaptations, or you’ve heard it on the radio, or you know the song. If you’ve managed to avoid all of those (and the opera, the ballet and the musical), you are at least aware of this novel. Wuthering Heights the house on the dark and menacing moors – the home of the dark and menacing Heathcliff. Heathcliff and Cathy. Heathcliff, the foundling of ‘dubious’ ancestry; the headstrong Cathy, rebelling against the conventions and constraints of her gender and class. headstrong girl of the moors. They were raised as brother and sister. She was his childhood companions; the love of his life. Wuthering Heights is the story of their doomed love. Passion and longing transformed into a timeless tragedy.
If you haven’t read Wuthering Heights, you probably have heard that it contains elements of the gothic and the romantic. Let me assure you that it is like no gothic or romantic novel you are likely to have read. The story unfolds in a society that is rigid and hypocritically moralistic, where your class, your sex, your religion and your origins determine what you can expect from life – and how you can expect to be treated. Behind this complex and intricate story of Cathy and Heathcliff is the furious intelligence and talent of Emily Brontë, a woman who, I’m guessing, was assaulting the conventions and constraints her society put on women with every beat of her heart and stroke of her pen.
The poet, painter and illustrator Dante Gabriel Rossetti called Wuthering Heights, “a fiend of a novel” and said that “…the action is laid in hell – only it seems people and places have English names there.”
Wuthering Heights – a novel like no other.