Short summary - Wuthering Heights - Emily Jane Brontë

British literature summaries -

Short summary - Wuthering Heights
Emily Jane Brontë

Feeling the urgent need to take a break from the hustle and bustle of London and fashionable resorts, Mr. Lockwood decided to settle in the wilderness for a while. The place of his voluntary retreat, he chose the old landowner house, Skvortsov Manor, standing among the rolling heathlands and swamps of northern England. Having settled in a new place, Mr. Lockwood considered it necessary to pay a visit to the owner of the Starlings and his only neighbor, Squire Heathcliff, who lived four miles, in a estate called Thunder Pass. The landlord and his home made a somewhat strange impression on the guest: the gentleman in clothing and manners, in the form of Heathcliff, was a pure gypsy; his house resembled rather the harsh abode of a simple farmer than the estate of the landowner. In addition to the master, Storm Pass was inhabited by the old grouchy servant Joseph; young, charming, but some kind of excessively harsh and complete to all of undisguised contempt Catherine Heathcliff, the daughter-in-law of the owner; and Herton Earnshaw (this name Lockwood saw knocked out near the date «1500» above the entrance to the estate) - a small, rustic-looking village, a little older than Katherine, looking at whom it was possible to say with confidence only that he was not a servant and not a master son. Intrigued, Mr. Lockwood asked the housekeeper, Mrs. Dean, to satisfy his curiosity and tell the story of strange people living on Wuthering Heights. The request was addressed to the right address, for Mrs. Dean was not only a wonderful storyteller, but also a direct witness to the dramatic events that made up the history of the Ernshaw and Linton families and their evil genius - Heathcliff. the daughter-in-law of the owner; and Herton Earnshaw (this name Lockwood saw knocked out near the date «1500» above the entrance to the estate) - a small, rustic-looking village, a little older than Katherine, looking at whom it was possible to say with confidence only that he was not a servant and not a master son. Intrigued, Mr. Lockwood asked the housekeeper, Mrs. Dean, to satisfy his curiosity and tell the story of strange people living on Wuthering Heights. The request was addressed to the right address, for Mrs. Dean was not only a wonderful storyteller, but also a direct witness to the dramatic events that made up the history of the Ernshaw and Linton families and their evil genius - Heathcliff. the daughter-in-law of the owner; and Herton Earnshaw (this name Lockwood saw knocked out near the date «1500» above the entrance to the estate) - a small, rustic-looking village, a little older than Katherine, looking at whom it was possible to say with confidence only that he was not a servant and not a master son. Intrigued, Mr. Lockwood asked the housekeeper, Mrs. Dean, to satisfy his curiosity and tell the story of strange people living on Wuthering Heights. The request was addressed to the right address, for Mrs. Dean was not only a wonderful storyteller, but also a direct witness to the dramatic events that made up the history of the Ernshaw and Linton families and their evil genius - Heathcliff. looking at which it was possible to say with confidence only that he was not a servant here, nor a master's son. Intrigued, Mr. Lockwood asked the housekeeper, Mrs. Dean, to satisfy his curiosity and tell the story of strange people living on Wuthering Heights. The request was addressed to the right address, for Mrs. Dean was not only a wonderful storyteller, but also a direct witness to the dramatic events that made up the history of the Ernshaw and Linton families and their evil genius - Heathcliff. looking at which it was possible to say with confidence only that he was not a servant here, nor a master's son. Intrigued, Mr. Lockwood asked the housekeeper, Mrs. Dean, to satisfy his curiosity and tell the story of strange people living on Wuthering Heights. The request was addressed to the right address, for Mrs. Dean was not only a wonderful storyteller, but also a direct witness to the dramatic events that made up the history of the Ernshaw and Linton families and their evil genius - Heathcliff.

Earnshaw, said Mrs. Dean, had lived on Wuthering Heights since ancient times, and Lintons on Skvortsov Manor. Old Mr. Earnshaw had two children - Hindley's son, the eldest, and daughter Katherine. One day, returning from the city, Mr. Ernshaw picked up on the road a gypsy girl who was dying of hunger and brought him into the house. The boy went out and was christened Heathcliff (no one subsequently could tell for sure whether it was a name, a surname, or both at once), and it soon became obvious to everyone that Mr. Earnshaw was much more attached to his cub than to his own son. Heathcliff, in whose character was by no means the most noble features, shamelessly used this, childishly tying Hindley in every possible way. Heathcliff, however strange, struck up a strong friendship with Katherine.

When old Earnshaw died, Hindley, who had been living in the city for several years, did not come to the funeral alone, but with his wife. Together, they vividly brought their orders on the Stormy Pass, and the young owner did not fail to briskly fight back for the humiliations that he once suffered from his father’s favorite: he now lived in the position of an almost simple worker, Katherine also had a hard time under the care of the not-so-bad evil hypocrite Joseph ; Perhaps her only joy was her friendship with Heathcliff, which gradually developed into a love that was still unrecognized by young people.

Meanwhile, two teenagers also lived on Skvortsov Manor - the master children Edgar and Isabella Lintona. Unlike the savages of the neighbors, these were real noble gentlemen - well-mannered, educated, unnecessarily, perhaps, nervous and arrogant. Acquaintance could not take place between the neighbors, but Heathcliff, a rootless plebeian, was not accepted into Linton's company. It would have been nothing, but from some point on, Catherine began with an overwhelmingly great pleasure to spend time in Edgar's company, neglecting an old friend, and sometimes even mocking him. Heathcliff vowed to avenge revenge on young Linton, and it wasn’t in kind for the man to throw words down the drain.

Time passed. Hindley Earnshaw had a son - Gerton; after giving birth, the boy’s mother fell and did not get up anymore. Having lost the most precious thing that he had in his life, Hindley surrendered and went down in front of his eyes: he disappeared all day in the village, returning, in a drunken, irrepressible rampage, terrified the family.

Relations between Katherine and Edgar gradually became more and more serious, and now, one fine day, the young people decided to get married. Katherine was not easily given such a decision: with her heart and soul she knew that she was doing wrong; Heathcliff was the focus of her biggest thoughts, the one without whom the world is unthinkable for her. However, if she could liken Heathcliff to the underground stone strata on which everything rests, but whose existence does not bring hourly pleasure, she compared her love for Edgar with spring foliage - you know that winter will not leave a trace of it, and yet you cannot do not enjoy it.

Heathcliff, barely aware of the upcoming event, disappeared from Wuthering Heights, and for a long time nothing was heard about him.

Soon the wedding was played; leading Katherine to the altar, Edgar Linton considered himself the happiest of people. The young lived on Skvortsov Manor, and anyone who saw them at that time could not help but recognize Edgar and Katherine as an exemplary loving couple.

Who knows how long the serene existence of this family would continue, but one fine day a stranger knocked on Skvortsov’s gates. Heathcliff was not immediately recognized in him, for the former uncouth young man now appeared as an adult man with a military dressing and the habits of a gentleman. Where he was and what he did in those years that had passed since his disappearance remained a mystery to everyone.

Catherine and Heathcliff met as good old friends, but for Edgar, who had previously disliked Heathcliff, his return caused displeasure and dismay. And not in vain. His wife suddenly lost her peace of mind, so carefully guarded by him. It turned out that all this time Katherine executed herself as the culprit of the possible death of Heathcliff somewhere in a foreign land, and now his return reconciled her with God and humanity. A childhood friend became even more dear to her than before.

Despite Edgar's discontent, Heathcliff was received at Skvortsov Manor and became a frequent guest there. Moreover, he did not bother to comply with conventions and decencies: he was sharp, rude and straightforward. Heathcliff did not hide the fact that he returned only in order to fulfill revenge - and not only over Hindley Earnshaw, but also over Edgar Linton, who had robbed his life of all its meaning. He bitterly blamed Katherine for the fact that she, a man with a capital letter, preferred a weak-willed, nervous drooling to him; Heathcliff's words hurt her soul.

To everyone's surprise, Heathcliff settled on Wuthering Heights, which had long since turned from the landowner's house into a hangout of drunkards and gamblers. The latter was to his advantage: the loser of all the money, Hindley gave Heathcliff a mortgage on the house and estate. Thus, he became the owner of all the property of the Earnshaw family, and Hindley's rightful heir - Herton - remained penniless.

Heathcliff's frequent visits to Skvortsov Manor had one unexpected consequence - Isabella Linton, Edgar's sister, fell in love with him without a memory. Everyone around tried to turn the girl away from this almost unnatural affection for a man with the soul of a wolf, but she remained deaf to persuasion, she was indifferent to Heathcliff, because he did not care about everyone and everything except Katherine and his revenge; he decided to make Isabella the instrument of this revenge, which his father, beating Edgar, bequeathed to the Skvortsov Manor. One fine night, Isabella fled with Heathcliff, and after a while they appeared on Wuthering Heights as husband and wife. There are no words to describe all the humiliations that Heathcliff subjected his young wife to and who did not think to hide from her the true motives of his actions. Isabella endured silently, perplexed in her soul,

Heathcliff has not seen Katherine since the day he escaped with Isabella. But once, upon learning that she was seriously ill, he, in spite of everything, appeared in the Starlings. A tormenting conversation for both, in which the nature of the feelings Katherine and Heathcliff had for each other, was completely exposed, turned out to be their last: the same night, Katherine passed away, giving life to the girl. The girl (who, having grown up, and was seen by Mr. Lockwood at Wuthering Heights) was named after her mother.

Brother Katherine, robbed by Heathcliff Hindley Earnshaw, soon died too - he got drunk, literally, to death. Earlier, Isabella had run out of patience, who finally ran away from her husband and settled somewhere near London. There she had a son - Linton Heathcliff.

Twelve or thirteen years passed, during which nothing disturbed the peaceful life of Edgar and Katie Linton. But then the news of Isabella's death came to Skvortsov Manor. Edgar immediately went to London and brought her son from there. It was a spoiled creature that inherited soreness and nervousness from its mother, and cruelty and diabolical arrogance from its father.

Cathy, much like her mother, immediately became attached to her newly-born cousin, but the very next day Heathcliff appeared on the Manor and demanded to give her son. Edgar Linton, of course, could not mind him.

The next three years passed quietly, for all relations between Wuthering Heights and Skvortsov Manor were banned. When Katie was sixteen, she did get to the Pass, where she found her two cousins, Linton Heathcliff and Herton Earnshaw; however, she hardly recognized the second for a relative - he was too rude and uncouth. As for Linton, the way her mother used to be, Katie convinced herself that she loved him. And although Linton's insensitive egoist was not able to answer her love, Heathcliff intervened in the fate of young people.

He did not have feelings for Linton, which at all resembled those of his father, but in Katie he saw a reflection of the trait of the one who had possessed his thoughts all his life, the one whose ghost haunted him now. Therefore, he decided to make sure that Wuthering Heights and Skvortsov Manor after the death of Edgar Linton and Linton Heathcliff (and both of them were already breathing incense) passed into the possession of Katie. And for this, the children had to be married.

And Heathcliff, contrary to the will of Katie's dying father, arranged their marriage. A few days later, Edgar Linton passed away, and Linton Heathcliff soon followed.

So there are three of them left: the obsessed Heathcliff, despising Gherton and not finding council on Katie; the infinitely arrogant and wayward young widow Katie Heathcliff; and Gerton Earnshaw, the beggar of the last of an ancient family, naively in love with Katie, who mercilessly pushed for an illiterate country cousin.


This story was told to Mr. Lockwood by old Mrs. Dean. The time came, and Mr. Lockwood finally decided to part with the village solitude, as he thought, forever. But a year later, he again found himself in passage in those places and could not help but visit Mrs. Dean.

Over the year, it turns out, much has changed in the lives of our heroes. Heathcliff died; before his death, he completely lost his mind, could neither eat nor sleep, and wandered around the hills, summoning the ghost of Katherine. As for Katie and Gherton, the girl gradually left contempt for her cousin, warmed up to him and finally reciprocated his feelings; the wedding was supposed to play for the New Year.

In the village cemetery, where Mr. Lockwood went before leaving, everyone told him that, no matter what trials fall on the lot of people resting here, now they all sleep peacefully.