I recently read a book titled, "Wuthering Heights" and it is a romance type of novel set in the 1800's, but it also is a dark story along the lines of Romeo and Juliet, hence the ending not being a total happily- ever- after book.
When the story first takes place, Mr. Lockwood has arrived at the house of his new landlord. Mr. Lockwood has just recently moved into his new home, "Thrushcross Grange", which lies north of England. He realizes he must present himself to his new landlord and become known as the new tenant. Here he does meet Mr. Heathcliff, the landlord, and decides he is definitely a different kind of man. Mr. Heathcliff and his family and servants live in the old farmhouse, "Wuthering Heights". Even though Mr. Heathcliff is a gentleman, he is also rude at times and his manners are not always welcoming. Mr. Lockwood also meets a young girl who seems to be the mistress of the house, Cathy is her name and she is very pretty, but stays to herself, not really interested in his being there and is even rude. He also meets a young man who is a servant, but seems to act like family. Mr. Lockwood gets snowed in while on his visit there and has to spend the night. He is nearly attacked by dogs, but saved before they got him. No one seems to care that he would rather go home and they will not chance taking him that night, but come morning Heathcliff helps him home.
Ellen Dean is the housekeeper at "Thrushcross Grange" and Lockwood asks her to please tell him the story of the people he met and about their pasts. Ellen has seen and heard it all so she begins her story. She is actually the narrator of this tale.
It seems that 30 years before, the Earnshaw family lived in "Wuthering Heights" - the mom, dad, young son Hindley and young daughter Catherine. One day Mr. Earnshaw was in Liverpool and finds a homeless little boy and he decides to bring him home and adopt him. He also names him Heathcliff. Hindley soon begins to hate Heathcliff because his daddy likes him more than himself, his only son, but Catherine and Heathcliff become almost like twins. They get into a lot of mischief together. Mainly Catherine wants everything her way and Heathcliff is there to do her bid and call.
Hindley goes off to college and when he returns home his father has died, so Hindley becomes master of the home and his new wife, Frances is the head mistress. As soon as Hindley returns he forces Heathcliff to become a servant and he is no longer their family. One day after Hindley returns, Catherine and Heathcliff are running wild and decide to snoop around the "Grange" to see if they can see the children who live there, Isabella and Edgar Linton. Catherine and Heathcliff are caught spying and they try to escape, but the dogs bite Catherine and she can't walk. The Linton's take Catherine into their home to care for her and send Heathcliff back home.
Five weeks later Catherine comes home and she is not the same Catherine. While at the Linton's she was taught manners and to act like a lady. She laughs at Heathcliff when she sees how unkept and dirty he is. Hindley locks Heathcliff in the attic where Catherine visits him and Heathcliff tells her he will get revenge on Hindley. That summer Frances gives birth to a son, Hareton, but she dies before he is a year old. This turns Hindley into a drunk and a meaner man than ever before.
Two years later Catherine is spending more and more time with Edgar which is making Heathcliff madder and madder. One day while Hindley is gone, Edgar comes to visit Catherine and after an argument with Ellen, Catherine tells her that she and Edgar are lovers. Later on, Catherine tells Ellen that she and Edgar are planning to marry, but that she is only doing it to help Heathcliff, whom she really loves, rise back up again. She says she could never marry Heathcliff like he is, uneducated and without any worth. Heathcliff overhears the part of Catherine saying she could never marry him and it breaks his heart so he runs away. Three years later Catherine and Edgar marry. Six months later, Heathcliff arrives back at home and he has made himself a handsome, wealthy man. Catherine is so proud to see him, but not so much Edgar. But, Isabella is very happy to see Heathcliff and Heathcliff doesn't care for Isabella, but decides this is the way to get back at Edgar. Catherine overhears a fight between Edgar and Heathcliff and she sees Isabella and Heathcliff embrace so she locks herself in her room and becomes very ill.
While Catherine is sick, Heathcliff and Isabella elope so Edgar disowns his sister. Heathcliff and Isabella return to live at "Wuthering Heights". Heathcliff sends Ellen to check on Catherine when he finds out she is sick. While Ellen is there Catherine gives birth to a daughter, Cathy, and then she dies. The day after Catherine's funeral, Isabella leaves Heathcliff and moves to south England and she gives birth to a son, Heathcliff's son and his name is Linton. 6 months later Hindley dies. This leaves Heathcliff master of "Wuthering Heights" and the guardian for Hareton.
Cathy meets her cousin Hareton one day and he tells her about "Heights" Edgar returns one day with his nephew Linton, but Heathcliff says his son is to live with him at the "Heights", not the "Grange" with Edgar. Cathy is attracted to Linton, but he is a sickly boy. Heathcliff plans on Cathy and Linton to marry so he would then become owner of "Wuthering Heights" and the "Grange" Three years later Heathcliff holds Ellen and Cathy captive as her father lay dieing at the "Grange" After 5 days of being captive Ellen is released and Linton helps Cathy escape just before her father dies.
Cathy marries Linton and tells Ellen she must move into the "Heights" with Heathcliff and Hareton. Linton becomes sick and dies and Hareton tries to be kind and helping to Cathy, but she retreats into herself. Heathcliff is still bitter over never having Catherine as his wife and he becomes mean and uncaring. This is the time when Lockwood arrives at the "Heights", but after hearing Ellen's story of the past he decides to tell Heathcliff he is moving and heading back South.
As you can see, this book is very moving. Some of the language is hard to understand because of the time period, but it is truly a love gone wrong story which trickles down into disaster after disaster.
I believe I agree with Lockwood and I would get the heck outta there too before he gets caught up in this disaster of a tale.
I did love this book and it was a joy to read. I would recommend it to any one who loves a good classic book. I am giving this to my oldest grandaughter so she can begin a collection of great books for her library.
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