Wuthering Heights is a novel by Emily Brontë published in 1847 under her pseudonym „Ellis Bell“.
Although Wuthering Heights is now a classic of English literature, contemporaneous reviews were deeply polarised; it was controversial because of its unusually stark depiction of mental and physical cruelty, and it challenged strict Victorian ideals regarding religious hypocrisy, morality, social classes and gender inequality.
The novel also explores the effects of envy, nostalgia, pessimism and resentment.
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.“
Wuthering Heights contains elements of gothic fiction, and the moorland setting is a significant aspect of the drama.
The novel has inspired many adaptations, including film, radio and television dramatisations; a musical; a ballet; operas, and a song by Kate Bush.
I cannot express it; but surely you and everybody have a notion that there is or should be an existence of yours beyond you.
What were the use of my creation, if I were entirely contained here?
My great miseries in this world have been Heathcliff’s miseries, and I watched and felt each from the beginning: my great thought in living is himself.
If all else perished, and he remained, I should still continue to be; and if all else remained, and he were annihilated, the universe would turn to a mighty stranger: I should not seem a part of it.
My love for Linton is like the foliage in the woods: time will change it, I’m well aware, as winter changes the trees.
My love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath: a source of little visible delight, but necessary.
Nelly, I am Heathcliff!
He’s always, always in my mind: not as a pleasure, any more than I am always a pleasure to myself, but as my own being.