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Wuthering Heights is Emily Brontë 's only novel. Written between October 1845 and June 1846, [1] Wuthering Heights was published in 1847 under the pseudonym "Ellis Bell"; Brontë died the following year, aged 30. Wuthering Heights and Anne Brontë 's Agnes Grey were accepted by publisher Thomas Newby before the success of their sister Charlotte's novel, Jane Eyre . After Emily's death, Charlotte edited the manuscript of Wuthering Heights , and arranged for the edited version to be published as a posthumous second edition in 1850. [2]

Although Wuthering Heights is now widely regarded as a classic of English literature , contemporary reviews for the novel were deeply polarised; it was considered controversial because its depiction of mental and physical cruelty was unusually stark, and it challenged strict Victorian ideals of the day regarding religious hypocrisy , morality , social classes and gender inequality . [3] [4] [5] The English poet and painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti , although an admirer of the book, referred to it as "A fiend of a book – an incredible monster  [...] The action is laid in hell, – only it seems places and people have English names there." [6]

The novel has inspired adaptations, including film, radio and television dramatisations, a musical by Bernard J. Taylor , a ballet, operas (by Bernard Herrmann , Carlisle Floyd , and Frédéric Chaslin ), part of the "Wind and Wuthering" 1976 album by Genesis , and a 1978 song by Kate Bush .

In 1801, Lockwood , a wealthy young man from the South of England who is seeking peace and recuperation, rents Thrushcross Grange in Yorkshire. He visits his landlord , Heathcliff , who lives in a remote moorland farmhouse, Wuthering Heights . There Lockwood finds an odd assemblage: Heathcliff who seems to be a gentleman, but his manners are uncouth; the reserved mistress of the house who is in her mid-teens; and a young man who seems to be a member of the family, yet dresses and speaks as if he is a servant.

Snowed in, Lockwood is grudgingly allowed to stay and is shown to a bedchamber where he notices books and graffiti left by a former inhabitant named Catherine . He falls asleep and has a nightmare in which he sees the ghostly Catherine trying to enter through the window. He cries out in fear, rousing Heathcliff, who rushes into the room. Lockwood is convinced that what he saw was real. Heathcliff, believing Lockwood to be right, examines the window and opens it, hoping to allow Catherine's spirit to enter. When nothing happens, Heathcliff shows Lockwood to his own bedroom and returns to keep watch at the window.

At sunrise, Heathcliff escorts Lockwood back to Thrushcross Grange. After his visit to the Heights, Lockwood becomes ill, and is confined to his bed for some length of time. The Grange housekeeper, Ellen (Nelly) Dean , who is looking after him, tells him the story of the family at the Heights during his convalescence.


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