Over a hundred and fifty years after its initial publication, Emily Brontë’s turbulent portrayal of the Earnshaws and the Lintons, two northern English households nearly destroyed by violent passions in the last quarter of the eighteenth century, continues to provoke and fascinate readers. Heathcliff remains one of the best-known characters in the English novel, and Catherine Earnshaw’s impossible choice between two rivals retains its appeal for contemporary readers. At the same time, the novel’s highly ambivalent representations of domesticity, its famous reticence about its characters and their actions, its formal features as a story within a story, and the mystery of Heathcliff’s origins and identity provide material for classroom discussion at every level of study.
The introduction and appendices to this Broadview edition, which place Brontë’s life and novel in the context of the developing “Brontë myth,” explore the impact of industrialization on the people of Yorkshire, consider the novel’s representation of gender, and survey the ways contemporary scholarship has sought to account for Heathcliff, open up multiple contexts within which Wuthering Heights can be read, understood, and enjoyed.
About the authors
Beth Newman is an Associate Professor of English at Southern Methodist University.
“This Broadview edition of Wuthering Heights is ideal for understanding the novel. Beth Newman has written an incisive introduction, intelligently edited the text, and provided a wonderful set of contemporary documents that provide multiple valuable ways of contextualizing Brontë’s powerful narrative.” — James Phelan, Ohio State University
“Broadview Press’s edition of Wuthering Heights, edited by Beth Newman, is a critically current and versatile text that includes solid primary materials and a strong introduction. Newman’s stated aim is to provide a broad contextual understanding of contemporary critical approaches, and the finished product fulfills this objective. The primary material accompanying the text accomplishes two very important goals—rooting the text in important known textual materials, such as Brontë’s poems, Belgian devoirs, and critical reviews contemporary to the text, as well as drawing attention to new historical materials, such as an essay ‘On Brain Fever,’ which illuminates Catherine’s medical treatment. In short, the edition is entirely usable and an excellent choice for the classroom or the general reader.” — Terri A. Hasseler, Bryant University