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“My greatest thought in living is Heathcliff. If all else perished, and he remained, I should still continue to be… Nelly, I ‘am’ Heathcliff! He’s always, always in my mind: not as a pleasure… but as my own being.” Wuthering Heights is the only novel of Emily Bronte, who died a year after its publication, at the age of thirty. A brooding Yorkshire tale of a love that is stronger than death, it is also a fierce vision of metaphysical passion, in which heaven and hell, nature and society, are powerfully juxtaposed. Unique, mystical, with a timeless appeal, it has become a classic of English literature. “My greatest thought in living is Heathcliff. If all else perished, and he remained, I should still continue to be… Nelly, I am Heathcliff! He’s always, always in my mind: not as a pleasure… but as my own being.”
Emily Brontë died after publishing her first and only book, but it didn’t mean that she was forgotten. First published in 1847, Wuthering Heights was linked to Ellis Bell, Emily’s pseudonym. After her dead, Charlotte, her sister—and an author too—edited her story again, crediting it to who rightful deserved.
The title can be explained by the Yorkshire manor on the moors on which the story centres. Wuthering is a Yorkshire word that means terrible weather, and if we start to analyse carefully the characters in this book, we could see what Emily wanted to say with terrible weather. The relationship between Heathcliff and Catherine was downright obsessive, and cast a spell in the reader that can’t be broken. They hateful love is what hook us to this story, who, even after all this years, is still one of the most known classics of the history.
I first read this book when I was in 5th grade, for an essay in my Portuguese class. I was already a bookworm at the time and I loved the story, while my classmates bitched out about it being to difficult to understand. Wuthering Heights is a difficult book, but is especially a book for a few. Not everyone can understand how much this book means, and in a world where people have problems understanding what they are reading, it can’t be expected that everyone will interprete this book to the lenghts where it go.
More than a romance, I would call Wuthering Heights an unromance. A tale about how love can destroy everything without being destroyed. The book is beautiful in a weird way, using a phrase that I said to describe a cover just this week to Maeva. It’s beautiful because it is uncommon and show a new light about a subject that authors have been trying to explain for centuries by now: love.
If there is a single thing that this book taught me is that even when love is ugly it is still love. Love can’t be always a fairytale. Sometimes it is just a tale.
Author: Emily Brontë
Original title: Wuthering Heights
Country: United Kingdom
Publisher: Thomas Cautley Newby (UK), Penguim Classics (US)
Publication date: 1847
Pages: 260 (US)
Purchase it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Borders