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English Literature   >   Bronte: Wuthering Heights


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Bronte: Wuthering Heights

In this course, Professor John Bowen (University of York) explores Emily Brontë’s 1848 novel, Wuthering Heights. In the first module, we provide an introduction to the novel as a whole, focusing in particular on Brontë’s life, her character, and the impact of her only novel – Wuthering Heights. After that, we think about the Brontë family, life in Haworth, and the setting of the novel. In the third module, we think about Emily’s early experience of death, her interest in Romanticism, and the power of the past in the novel, before turning in the fourth module to the question of how we judge characters in the novel – especially the figure of Heathcliff. Do we approve or disapprove of him? Is he a victim or a tyrant? In the sixth module, we think about the origins of some of characters in the novel, before turning in the seventh module to the question of who the main characters in the novel are. Is it Heathcliff? Catherine? Both of them together? Or neither? In the eighth module, we think about the critical reception of the novel, while in the ninth module, we consider the way the story is told in Wuthering Heights, including the strange repetition of names throughout the novel. Finally, in the tenth novel, we consider the related themes of character psychology, the way the characters in the novel tend to treat each other, and the transformation of Heathcliff in the novel’s final pages.


In this module, we provide an introduction to the novel as a whole, focusing in particular on: (i) Emily Bronte’s sheltered life and her limited literary output; (ii) Constantin Héger’s description of Emily as someone with an “imperious will” who was “obtuse to all reasoning where her own wishes and her own sense of right was concerned”; (iii) the immediate impact of Wuthering Heights, and its worldwide reach today; and (iv) Wuthering Heights as a highly organised, well-planned novel that is at the same completely self-disciplined and ungoverned.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Bowen, J. (2020, September 12). Bronte: Wuthering Heights - Introduction [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Bowen, J. "Bronte: Wuthering Heights – Introduction." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 12 Sep 2020,


Prof. John Bowen

Prof. John Bowen

York University