I read Wuthering Heights last month and I loved it. I'd seen the film so I was aware of the storyline but I always think a book outdoes a movie, words allow you to build a picture yourself and I find that's more powerful than watching someone else's interpretation of the book.
The story is set in two neighbouring houses on the Yorkshire Moors and I think this bleak, desolate setting certainly contributes to the tone and mood of the novel, which although is thought of as a love story, lacks the romance usually associated with this genre. It's actually more like a story of obsession and all-consuming passion with a handful of hatred thrown in for good measure.
Here are a few facts about Wuthering Heights.
1) The book was written by Emily Bronte, but female writers weren't respected at that time so Emily used the male pseudonym Ellis Bell.
2) Wuthering Heights received mixed reviews from critics when it was published in 1847. This review came from Paterson's Magazine (USA) in 1848:-
We rise from the perusal of Wuthering Heights as if we had come fresh from a pest-house. Read Jane Eyre is our advice, but burn Wuthering Heights….
...and this one from Graham's Lady's Magazine (USA) in 1848:-
How a human being could have attempted such a book as the present without committing suicide before he had finished a dozen chapters, is a mystery. It is a compound of vulgar depravity and unnatural horrors….
3) A ruined farmhouse near Haworth named Top Withens is said to be the inspiration for Wuthering Heights.
4) Publishers turned down the novel so Emily, along with her sister, Anne, paid £50, which was a very large sum of money in those days, to have Wuthering Heights and Agnes Grey published together.
5) Emily died a year after Wuthering Heights was published at the age of 30. She died thinking the book was a failure and never knew it would become a classic of English Literature.
Have you read Wuthering Heights? What did you think of it?
Many of the classics have passed me by but reading Wuthering Heights has inspired me to read more from the Brontes and I'd also like to read some Jane Austen too, another author whose books I've never read.