Any reader of Wuthering Heights should recognize immediately that it is not the sort of novel that a gently-bred Victorian lady would be expected to write. Emily Brontë sent it to publishers under the masculine name of Ellis Bell, but even so it took many tries and many months before it was finally accepted. Its reviews were almost entirely negative: reviewers implied that the author of such a novel must be insane, obsessed with cruelty, barbaric. Emily's sister Charlotte's novel Jane Eyre was much more successful. Emily was always eager to maintain the secrecy under which the novel was published, understandably. She died soon after the publication, and Charlotte felt obliged - now that secrecy was no longer necessary - to write a preface for the novel defending her sister's character. The preface also made it clear that Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell were, in fact, different people: some readers had speculated that Wuthering Heights was an early work by the author of Jane Eyre . It appears that Charlotte herself was uncomfortable with the more disturbing aspects of her sister's masterpiece. She said that if Emily had lived, "her mind would of itself have grown like a strong tree; loftier, straighter, wider-spreading, and its matured fruits would have attained a mellower ripeness and sunnier bloom." Her apology for Emily's work should be read with the realization that Charlotte's character was quite different from Emily's: her interpretation of Wuthering Heights should not necessarily be taken at face value.
The story of unfortunate lovers Heathcliff and Cathy who, despite a deep affection for one another, are forced by circumstance and prejudice to live their apart. Heathcliff and Cathy first meet as children when her father brings the abandoned boy to live with them. When the old man dies several years later Cathy's brother, now the master of the estate, turns Heathcliff out forcing him to live with the servants and working as a stable boy. The barrier of class comes between them and she eventually marries a rich neighbor, Mr. Edgar Linton, at which point Heathcliff disappears. He returns several years later, now a rich man but little can be done. Written by garykmcd