We asked JSTOR Daily readers what books they remembered most from childhood. Here is one of them, plus related content you won’t find anywhere else.
Ask a bookish type his or her favorite book of all times, and with surprisingly frequency the answer will be Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë’s only novel, published a year before she died at age 30. The gloomy tale of orphans, unrequited love, ghosts, moors, and cousin-marriage was greeted with mixed reviews in its own time, but has since become known as a classic. What elevates it from being Victorian YA?
Patsy Stoneman wrote in her “Feminist Criticism of Wuthering Heights” that it wasn’t until the advent of Freudian theory that readers “began to allow themselves to recognise the curious mixture of fascination and fear induced by Wuthering Heights.” Stoneman traces feminist readings of the novel, dissecting how the book manages to encompass the universal within the domestic. Download the PDF and read her whole essay for free. (Just think how impressed your book group will be!)