Wuthering Heights is a moody 19th-century triumph, lauded for its dark imagery, austere setting, and depiction of fraught romance. Wuthering Heights is Emily Bronte’s account of the tormented love story between orphan Heathcliff and the daughter of his benefactor, Catherine Earnshaw. Troubled, stark, and violent, Wuthering Heights was hugely controversial at its publication in 1847, but has since become a classic of English literature. This Essential Classics edition includes a new introduction by Professor Vivian Heller, Ph.D. in literature and modern studies from Yale University.
Emily Bronte was an English novelist and poet, best known for her only novel, Wuthering Heights. Silent and reserved, Bronte wrote using the pen name Ellis Bell, and was one of the Bronte siblings.
Vivian Heller received her Ph.D. in English Literature and Modern Studies from Yale University. She is author of Joyce, Decadence, and Emancipation(University of Illinois Press) and of The City Beneath Us (W.W. Norton & Company), a history of the building of the New York City subway system. She is an associate at Columbia’s School of Professional Studies and is the writing tutor for the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College. She is also a long-standing member of the non-fiction committee of the PEN Prison-Writing Committee, which awards prizes to inmates from across the country.
Essential Classics publishes the most crucial literary works throughout history, with a unique introduction to each, making them the perfect treasure for any reader’s shelf.
The main drama in Bronte's novel happens in a long narrative told by an elderly housekeeper to a convalescing new tenant. This story-within-a-story setup makes it well suited for audio adaptation, as Scales takes the housekeeper's part and relates the past, while West performs as the tenant and describes the present. Scales primarily uses a folksy lower-class accent, but she also makes her voice harsh and threatening when speaking as Heathcliff, the surly man at the novel's heart. West, as the bewildered tenant, manages to sound both nervous and pretentious, but his part is fairly small, especially with this abridgment, so he mostly serves to provide transitions for the housekeeper's story. The extensive abridgment generally deletes sentences and phrases rather than entire paragraphs or sections. One drawback for the audio format is the difficulty of clarifying the novel's convoluted plot and family tree, since it's harder to search back through long CD tracks than through earlier chapters of the paperback. While a little of the depth of Bronte's writing is lost in abridgment, the novel's emotional core remains intact and wrenching, and the actors' heartfelt interpretations make it easy to imagine being curled up by a warm fire listening to an absorbing tale. In June, Penguin Audio remastered and released on CD for the first time nine other Penguin Classics: Crime and Punishment, Dracula, Frankenstein, Great Expectations, Jane Eyre, Moby Dick, Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility and Tale of Two Cities.