Today’s recommendation is Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte (published in 1847). I have been studying the Gothic genre while doing my English Literature A-Level and this is one of the books we’ve started studying.
I completely loved the book; I think it’s a great example of the gothic genre with its sublime use of nature and intense characters. I know that many people share in that same love but it wasn’t always so well received. As quoted from Sparknotes; ‘Even Emily Brontë’s sister Charlotte—an author whose works contained similar motifs of Gothic love and desolate landscapes—remained ambivalent toward the unapologetic intensity of her sister’s novel. In a preface to the book, which she wrote shortly after Emily Brontë’s death, Charlotte Brontë stated, “Whether it is right or advisable to create beings like Heathcliff, I do not know. I scarcely think it is.”’ I feel that what Charlotte comments on is exactly why the book is so well loved now. The Gothic explores the darker side to humanity, never admits that anyone is perfect and questions our own purpose and that, I think, we can agree is still very relevant to today.
It is at this point I must provide a disclaimer, Bronte writes the interesting character of Joseph and yet, no one in my entire English class could understand much of his dialogue. But as one of my friends found, if this becomes a problem there are translations available somewhere on the internet. Other than that, it is a brilliantly crafted piece of Literature.
I’m also going to briefly recommend Frankenstein, as written by Mary Shelley, which is another favourite of mine, and another of the Gothic genre, because it explores these same motifs while also questioning the purpose of man in relation to God.
PS. I apologise to my followers for putting this recommendation up so late as I was ill earlier today.