BronteAlong: Wuthering Heights

Wuthering Heights Frontispiece
BronteAlong has now officially moved on to a focus on Wuthering Heights, after weeks and weeks of wallowing recklessly in everything Jane Eyre. As promised, we won’t be necessarily leaving Jane and Edward F. Rochester behind… just adding Cathy and Heathcliff to the mix.

Although it’s kind of hard to imagine them all together in the same room, in’it?

Wuthering Heights

As you know, I never had quite the fondness for Wuthering Heights as I did for Jane Eyre, but that’s not saying a whole lot, as I was deeply obsessed by Jane Eyre when I was a young lass.  It would have taken a whole lot to have jolted me out of that attachment.

And Cathy and Heathcliff just never did. I mean, I love a good tale that involves woe, and scandal, and staggering across the moors, and desperate love, as much as (and quite likely more than) anyone else. But I knew before I even read it that the story ended tragically, so I never even allowed myself to fully hope for these characters, to fully invest in them, if you know what I mean.

Also, they are kind of maddening. You just want to shake them!

Of course, that’s pretty much how I feel about Lily Bart and Selden in The House of Mirth.  Every single damn time I read that book (I’m down to about once a year with the Wharton gang — I tend to pick them up in the fall, when my husband and I are often traveling to New York) I say EVERY TIME I read it, I retain a shred of hope that Lily will do something different, not take the loan from slimy Trenor, something… or that Selden will finally locate his spine and marry her after all.

Oh, PS, House of Mirth Spoiler Alert. Belated. Sorry. (But honestly, if you haven’t read The House of Mirth yet, how on earth did you find this blog?)

Where was I?

Oh yes, Wuthering Heights. Staggering woefully across the Yorkshire moors. Awesome.

So I watched the 2009 version from Masterpiece Theater, and I loved it. Tom Hardy was a great Heathcliff — he always plays such a believable baddie, and I thought he really nailed the pride and vulnerability in the younger Heathcliff, and the pride and remorse of the older one.

Lots of pride, that Heathcliff. Lots of pride. And, um, anger. Plenty of that, too.

I have no idea what sort of craft I might conjure up to celebrate this portion of BronteAlong, though! I shall have to read it and watch it again to get inspired. I’ve been listening to it, off and on, for a week or so, in my car — courtesy of a great audio version narrated by the excellent Michael Kitchen.

This is, of course, only my first post in the Wuthering Heights series of BronteAlong. More to come anon!

6 Thoughts.

  1. The Wuthering folk are SO maddening- you speak the truth! I read it long ago and don’t remember the details of the storyline, but I do remember the frustration! Still, I look forward to rereading it with ya’ll. I enjoy a nice, moody novel. Here’s to moping on the moors… 😉

  2. my issue with the book was the first narrator, Lockwood — i didn’t like him one bit. and also the unhappy ending — too much pain! finally, with the latest masterpiece theatre version with tom hardy, the whole obsessive love thing finally made sense and i GOT heathcliff and cathy at last. and now they’re stuck in my heart and i’m feeling a little melancholy. i’ll need a good dose of silly to snap me out of it.

  3. i’m hoping to give it another go as well, mad mad people in those pages. and don’t you totally find yourself saying, “I shall!” and such after reading these novels? :)

  4. Erica – I totally pick up anachronistic language from reading and watching this stuff. I’ve got so much random 19th-century vocabulary littering my everyday speech, I’m surprised people can understand me at all.

    Lucy – I do think that I am a sucker for a happy ending, and so knowing that WH ended badly just soured me on it from the start. This time around, I am trying to just enjoy it on its own merits, take it as it is.

    Leah – I am all for moping on the moors.

  5. I’m so glad to know that others would like to shake some sense into Catherine and Heathcliff. At least I have no preconceived notions that there could be anything but an unhappy ending with this doleful tale. And I’ll watch the 2009 version once I’ve finished reading it. But I may have to take a breath and slip back into the pages of Jane Eyre for a little sanity. How’s that for a twist?

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