|Wuthering Heights is a novel by Emily Brontë, written between October 1845 and June 1846, and published in 1847 under the pseudonym "Ellis Bell." It was her first and only published novel: she died aged 30 the following year. The decision to publish came after the success of her sister Charlotte's novel, Jane Eyre. After Emily's death, Charlotte edited the manuscript of Wuthering Heights, and arranged for the edited version to be published as a posthumous second edition in 1850.
Wuthering Heights is the eponymous farmhouse on the Yorkshire moors where the story unfolds. Its core theme is the enduring love between the heroine, Catherine Earnshaw, and her father's adopted son, Heathcliff, and how it eventually destroys their lives and the lives of those around them. Although Wuthering Heights is now widely regarded as a classic of English literature, it received mixed reviews when first published, and was considered controversial because its depiction of mental and physical cruelty was so unusually stark, and it challenged strict Victorian ideals of the day, including religious hypocrisy, morality, social classes and gender inequality.
In the second half of the 19th century, Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre was considered the best of the Brontë sisters' works, but later critics argued that Wuthering Heights was superior.
- The 1st edition, published as the first two volumes of a three-volume novel, the third volume being the first edition of Anne Brontë's Agnes Grey. It was published by T. C. Newby, who is renowned for poorly supervising the printing and correction of the novels that he published. This edition is no exception; it contains many errors. (Volume 1 transcription project, Volume 2 transcription project)
- The 2nd edition, posthumously edited by Charlotte Brontë and published in 1850. Charlotte Brontë corrected many errors but also made editorial changes that are not considered authoritative.
- An unsourced edition, possibly the 1910 John Murray edition from which the Project Gutenberg edition of this work is taken.