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Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Wuthering Heights: A Norton Critical Edition / Edition 5

Wuthering Heights: A Norton Critical Edition / Edition 5

by Emily Brontë, Alexandra Lewis


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Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte's only novel, is one of the pinnacles of 19th century English literature. It's the story of Heathcliff, an orphan who falls inlove with a girl above his class, loses her, and devotes the rest of his life to wreaking revenge on her family.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393284997
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 02/18/2019
Series: Norton Critical Editions Series
Edition description: Fifth Edition
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 147,628
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Emily Brontë (1818-1848) spent most of her life in a stone parsonage in the small village of Haworth on the wild and bleak Yorkshire moors. Despite the isolation of Haworth, the Brontë family shared a rich literary life.

Richard J. Dunn is Professor of English at the University of Washington. His books include the Norton Critical Edition of Wuthering Heights, Approaches to Teaching Dickens’s David Copperfield, David Copperfield: An Annotated Bibliography, The English Novel, Twentieth-Century Criticism, Defoe to Hardy, and Oliver Twist: Whole Heart and Soul.

Read an Excerpt


I have just returned from a visit to my landlord--the solitary neighbour that I shall be troubled with. This is certainly a beautiful country! In all England I do not believe that I could have fixed on a situation so completely removed from the stir of society. A perfect misanthropist's heaven; and Mr. Heathcliff and I are such a suitable pair to divide the desolation between us. A capital fellow! He little imagined how my heart warmed towards him when I beheld his black eyes withdraw so suspiciously under their brows, as I rode up, and when his fingers sheltered themselves, with a jealous resolution, still further in his waistcoat, as I announced my name.

"Mr. Heathcliff?" I said.

A nod was the answer.

"Mr. Lockwood, your new tenant, sir. I do myself the honour of calling as soon as possible after my arrival, to express the hope that I have not inconvenienced you by my perseverance in soliciting the occupation of Thrushcross Grange: I heard yesterday you had had some thoughts--"

"Thrushcross Grange is my own, sir," he interrupted, wincing. "I should not allow any one to inconvenience me, if I could hinder it--walk in!"

The "walk in" was uttered with closed teeth, and expressed the sentiment, "Go to the deuce": even the gate over which he leant manifested no sympathizing movement to the words; and I think that circumstance determined me to accept the invitation: I felt interested in a man who seemed more exaggeratedly reserved than myself.

When he saw my horse's breast fairly pushing the barrier, he did put out his hand to unchain it, and then sullenly preceded me up the causeway, calling, as we entered thecourt--"Joseph, take Mr. Lockwood's horse; and bring up some wine."

"Here we have the whole establishment of domestics, I suppose," was the reflection suggested by this compound order. "No wonder the grass grows up between the flags, and cattle are the only hedge-cutters."

Joseph was an elderly, nay, an old man: very old, perhaps, though hale and sinewy. "The Lord help us!" he soliloquised in an undertone of peevish displeasure, while relieving me of my horse: looking, meantime, in my face so sourly that I charitably conjectured he must have need of divine aid to digest his dinner, and his pious ejaculation had no reference to my unexpected advent.

Wuthering Heights is the name of Mr. Heathcliff's dwelling. "Wuthering" being a significant provincial adjective, descriptive of the atmospheric tumult to which its station is exposed in stormy weather. Pure, bracing ventilation they must have up there at all times, indeed: one may guess the power of the north wind blowing over the edge, by the excessive slant of a few stunted firs at the end of the house; and by a range of gaunt thorns all stretching their limbs one way, as if craving alms of the sun. Happily the architect had foresight to build it strong: the narrow windows are deeply set in the wall, and the corners defended with large jutting stones.

Before passing the threshold, I paused to admire a quantity of grotesque carving lavished over the front, and especially about the principal door; above which, among a wilderness of crumbling griffins and shameless little boys, I detected the date "1500," and the name "Hareton Earnshaw." I would have made a few comments, and requested a short history of the place from the surly owner; but his attitude at the door appeared to demand my speedy entrance, or complete departure, and I had no desire to aggravate his impatience previous to inspecting the penetralium.

One step brought us into the family sitting-room, without any introductory lobby or passage. They call it here "the house" pre-eminently. It includes kitchen and parlour, generally; but I believe at Wuthering Heights the kitchen is forced to retreat altogether into another quarter: at least I distinguished a chatter of tongues, and a clatter of culinary utensils, deep within; and I observed no signs of roasting, boiling, or baking, about the huge fireplace; nor any glitter of copper saucepans and tin cullenders on the walls. One end, indeed, reflected splendidly both light and heat from ranks of immense pewter dishes, interspersed with silver jugs and tankards, towering row after row, on a vast oak dresser, to the very roof. The latter had never been underdrawn: its entire anatomy lay bare to an inquiring eye, except where a frame of wood laden with oatcakes and clusters of legs of beef, mutton, and ham concealed it. Above the chimney were sundry villainous old guns and a couple of horse-pistols: and, by way of ornament, three gaudily painted canisters disposed along its ledge. The floor was of smooth, white stone; the chairs, high-backed, primitive structures, painted green: one or two heavy black ones lurking in the shade. In an arch under the dresser reposed a huge liver-coloured bitch pointer, surrounded by a swarm of squealing puppies; and other dogs haunted other recesses.

The apartment and furniture would have been nothing extraordinary as belonging to a homely, northern farmer, with a stubborn countenance and stalwart limbs set out to advantage in knee-breeches and gaiters. Such an individual seated in his armchair, his mug of ale frothing on the round table before him, is to be seen in any circuit of five or six miles among these hills, if you go at the right time after dinner. But Mr. Heathcliff forms a singular contrast to his abode and style of living. He is a dark-skinned gipsy in aspect, in dress and manners a gentleman: that is, as much a gentleman as many a country squire: rather slovenly, perhaps, yet not looking amiss with his negligence, because he has an erect and handsome figure; and rather morose. Possibly, some people might suspect him of a degree of underbred pride; I have a sympathetic chord within that tells me it is nothing of the sort: I know, by instinct, his reserve springs from an aversion to showy displays of feeling--to manifestations of mutual kindliness. He'll love and hate equally under cover, and esteem it a species of impertinence to be loved or hated again. No, I'm running on too fast: I bestow my own attributes over liberally on him. Mr. Heathcliff may have entirely dissimilar reasons for keeping his hand out of the way when he meets a would-be acquaintance, to those which actuate me. Let me hope my constitution is almost peculiar: my dear mother used to say I should never have a comfortable home; and only last summer I proved myself perfectly unworthy of one.

Table of Contents

Preface to the Fifth Edition: "Spirits so Lost and Fallen" ix

The Text of Wuthering Heights 1

Volume I, Chapter I-XIV 3

Volume II, Chapter I-XX 121

Backgrounds and Contexts 257

Emily Bronté's Diary Papers And Devoirs 259

Editor's Note: Emily Brontë's Diary 259

Emily Brontë's Diary 259

November 24, 1834 259

June 26, 1837 260

July 30, 1841 261

July 30, 1845 262

Editor's Note: Emily Brontë's Devoirs 263

The Cat 264

The Butterfly 265

The 1847 First Edition 0f- Wuthering Heights 267

Editor's Note: Publishing the 1847 Wuthering Heights 267

Letters 268

C. Brontë to Messrs AyIott and Jones, 6 April 1846 268

Currer Bell to Henry Colburn, 4 July 1846 269

C. Bell to W. S. Williams, 10 November 1847 269

C. Bell to W. S. Williams, 14 December 1847 270

C. Bell to W. S. Williams, 21 December 1847 270

T. C. Newby to ?Emily J. Brontë [Ellis Bell], 15 February 1848 271

Editor's Note: Reviews of the 1847 Wuthering Heights 271

[H. F. Chorley] • Athenaeum, December 25, 1847 272

Atlas, January 1848 273

Douglas Jerrold's Weekly Newspaper, January 1848 275

Examiner, January 1848 276

Britannia, January 1848 279

[Unidentified Review] 282

New Monthly Magazine, January 1848 283

[Sydney Dobell] • Palladium, September 1850 284

[E. P. Whipple] • North American Review, October 1848 289

The 1850 Second Edition Of Wuthering Heights 295

Editor's Note: The 1850 Wuthering Heights 295

The Second Edition in Progress: Letters from Charlotte Brontë 296

To W. S. Williams, 5 September 1850 296

To James Taylor, 5 September 1850 296

To W. S. Williams, 10 September 1850 297

To W. S, Williams, 13 September 1850 297

To W. S. Williams, 20 September 1850 298

To W. S. Williams, 27 September 1850 298

To W. S. Williams, [?c. 19 November 1850] 299

To Sydney Dobell, 8 December 1850 300

[Charlotte Brontë] • Biographical Notice of Ellis and Acton Bell, by Currer Bell (1850) 300

[Charlotte Brontë] • Editor's Preface to the New Edition of Wuthering Heights (1850) 306

Editor's Note: Emily Brontë's Poems for the 1850 Wuthering Heights 310

[Charlotte Brontë] • Selections from the Literary Remains of Ellis and Acton Bell (1850) 312

Ellis Bell • Poems 314

40 [A little while, a little while] 314

42 [The bluebell is the sweetest flower] 315

39 [Loud without the wind was roaring] 317

84 [Shall Earth no more inspire thee] 320

79 [The night wind] 321

85 [Aye there it is! It wakes to night] 322

128 [Love is like the wild rose briar] 323

112 [From a Dungeon Wall] 323

106 [How few, of all the hearts that loved] 325

98 [In the earth, the earth thou shalt be laid] 327

35 [Song by J. Brenzaida to G.S.] 328

32 [For him who struck thy foreign string] 329

120a [Heavy hangs the raindrop] 329

120b [Child of Delight!] 331

123 [Silent is the House] 332

89 [I do not weep] 336

201 [Stanzas] 337

125 [No coward soul is mine] 338

Editor's Note: Reviews of the 1850 Wuthering Heights 339

Examiner, December 21, 1850 339

[G. H. Lewes] • Leader, December 28, 1850 342

[H. F. Chorley] • Athenaeum, December 28, 1850 344

Eclectic Review, February 1851 346

Emily Brontë's Poetry: A Further Selection 349

Editor's Note: On Grief and Remembrance (Emily Brontë's Other Poetry) 349

Ellis Bell • Poems 349

116 [Remembrance] 349

108 [To Imagination] 350

77 [If greif for greif can touch thee] 351

Criticism 353

Sandra M. Gilbert and Susan Gubar • Looking Oppositely: Emily Brontë's Bible of Hell 355

Martha C. Nussbaum • The Romantic Ascent: Emily Brontë 369

Ivan Kreilkamp • Petted Things: Cruelty and Sympathy in the Brontës 386

Alexandra Lewis • Memory Possessed: Trauma and Pathologies of Remembrance in Emily Bronlë's Wuthering Heights 406

Janis McLarren Caldwell • Wuthering Heights and Domestic Medicine: The Child's Body and the Book 423

Emily Brontë: A Chronology 445

Selected Bibliography 447

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