Wuthering Heights

By Emily Bronte,

Book cover of Wuthering Heights

Book description

One of the great novels of the nineteenth century, Emily Bronte's haunting tale of passion and greed remains unsurpassed in its depiction of destructive love. Her tragically short life is brilliantly imagined in the major new movie, Emily, starring Emma Mackey in the title role.

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Why read it?

13 authors picked Wuthering Heights as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Rarely have I opted to read a book twice, but the love story between Catherine and Heathcliff is so well written and so emotionally charged it drew me in and made me forget I was alone and single. Of course, I had to re-read it.

The first time I read this book was in school, but later, when I dreamed of having a true love, or learning about true love, this book seemed to be the case study of the type of love I was searching for. I knew in my heart, that someday, something similar could possibly be mine.

So much gnashing of teeth and flinging of oneself on the moors under lowering skies. A narrative as gnarly as the roots of an ancient tree. Everyone in the book is miserable, and then just about everyone dies. 

So why am I crazy about Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights?

It is a generational tale of revenge, a ghost story, and a mystery (where did Heathcliff go for three years?) rolled into one. But mostly, it is a love-gone-wild romance novel. Catherine and Heathcliff’s connection is beyond reason, beyond the grave, beyond themselves. They are each other. Against my own reason,…

I have about five different editions of this amazing book. Heathcliff, Cathy, Thrushcross Grange…it’s all so bleak, gothic, and full of exclamation marks that you have to love its drama and tragedy set within the Yorkshire Moors.

At the heart of it, I love that Heathcliff (although exhibiting questionable behavior by today’s standards) is a foundling-done-good. I love a story where the discarded underdog ends up in a massive house on the moors with loads of money. Nevertheless, it is a tricky read, switching between narratives, but who hasn’t burst into song ‘a la Kate Bush’ upon hearing that title?

From Polly's list on capturing the experience of adoption.

I’ve loved this book since I was thirteen. Even as an adolescent, I was swept up by the romance and the tragedy.

When I read this book, I’m instantly on the Yorkshire moors, sooty clouds hovering above, watching Heathcliff, his dark hair ruffling and his tattered sleeves flapping in the brittle wind. If unrequited love is a romance trope, then this book is the unqualified architect of the genre.

I periodically dust off my copy, yellowed pages and all, for a re-read. I’m such an immersive and visual reader; I can see the torture in Heathcliff’s eyes, the despair in…

From Laura's list on O.G. romances.

I read this book several times as a teenager. I loved it for the wild Cathy and the brooding Heathcliff, and, needless to say, I identified strongly with them. Ever since, it’s been part of my mental landscape.

Imagine my surprise, then, to find when I read it again all these years later that I saw it all in a different light. I saw that the behaviour of Cathy and Heathcliff, while I could still identify with it, had, in fact, been destructive, that they had visited a terrible legacy on the next generation, their children.

And suddenly the book…

I remember first reading this when I was in my teens. The darkness and the cruelty of such a gothic romance was both thrilling to read and utterly devastating.

While this novel seems less popular than Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre - and in many ways Jane Eyre is the more accomplished novel - I have always been more drawn to the tragic wild allure of Emily's much rawer passion. 

From Essie's list on inspirational and eerie Gothic.

Maybe you’ve read this book, maybe you haven’t, but to me it still remains one of the greatest love stories of all time, mostly because it’s a very screwed-up love story! That’s what I love about Cathy and Heathcliff: they’re both pretty awful people!

She’s a spoilt brat and he’s been ruined by his tough upbringing and their relationship is a mess. But the love that they have for one another is elemental – an absolute force of nature – that not only destroys their own lives but those of all around them, like a catastrophic storm.

As messed up…

From Harper's list on beautifully sad love stories.

I read this when I was young and it made such an impression on me. I could see the wind-swept moors, feel the intensity of the love between Cathy and Heathcliff, and his subsequent descent into madness and revenge. The characters go through so many incarnations that it almost feels like you are reading several novels instead of one. I really became completely immersed in how the story would unfold, loving Heathcliff one minute and hating him the next. He was my first introduction to the anti-hero, and I still remember my confusion as to how I was supposed to…

It was in my school English Literature class that I first read and fell in love with this Gothic novel. My classmates and I were fascinated by the all-consuming passion of Heathcliff and Cathy’s relationship. Little did we imagine that Mr. Lockwood’s nightmare of her spectre sobbing at the window, begging, “Let me in – let me in!” would be at the heart of a chart hit for Kate Bush well over a century after the book was published. Then, it was all about who ended up marrying whom, and to what depths of cruelty Heathcliff could sink. Now I’m…

From Carolyn's list on dreams and dreaming.

It might not be a ghost story in the traditional sense, but I would argue that Wuthering Heights is most definitely about a haunting. I was young when I first read of Mr. Lockwood’s horrifying encounter with the spectre of Catherine Earnshaw and it gave me nightmares, but the book is really about ghosts of a different kind. 

The epic love story of Cathy and Heathcliff shows how the events of the past define our futures, and how we are haunted by our deceptions and mistakes. And as with all the other books on this list, it leaves us asking…

From Katherine's list on historical ghost stories.

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