Wuthering Heights is an immortal story of love and obsession on the stormy Yorkshire moors. The fate of the Earnshaw family is forever changed when they adopt a dark-skinned orphan boy named Heathcliff. As the years pass, Heathcliff and young Catherine Earnshaw fall deeply in love, but their passion cannot survive the pressures of society and the black force of jealousy. Driven away by a broken heart, Heathcliff leaves Wuthering Heights only to return years later, bent on the cruelest kind of revenge.
Pride and Prejudice is a classic comedy of manners and an enduring romance. In a remote Hertfordshire village, Jane Bennet attracts the attentions of a young gentleman named Charles Bingley, but his good friend Mr. Darcy disapproves of the match. Elizabeth Bennet, always eager to defend her sweet-natured sister, detests the prideful Mr. Darcy, even when he asks for her hand in marriage. But when a chance encounter reunites the combative couple, Elizabeth realizes that her prejudices have been standing in the way of her heart’s true desire.
Far from the Madding Crowd is a love story wrapped in the cloak of tragedy. Shortly after the spirited, impulsive, and beautiful Bathsheba Everdene arrives in Wessex, she saves the life of a young shepherd. When he asks for her hand in marriage, Bathsheba refuses; she cannot sacrifice her independence for a man she does not love. Years later and now a wealthy woman, Bathsheba falls for a dashing sergeant and makes a fateful decision that brings long-buried secrets to the fore.
Jane Eyre shines a brilliant light into the dark corners of Victorian society. Born to a good family but with no wealth of her own, Jane Eyre lives first with her uncle and then in a punitive boarding school for girls. When she becomes governess of Thornfield Hall, the young orphan feels at home for the first time in her life. She soon falls in love with Edward Rochester, master of the house, but just when it seems her luck has finally changed, Jane discovers the secret of the attic—a terrible revelation that threatens to destroy her dreams of happiness forever.
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The young orphan Jane Eyre inhabits a fragile position. Born to a good family but with no wealth of her own, Jane is sent to live with her uncle’s family—an arrangement that turns sour when he dies—and then to Lowood, a punitive and tyrannically run boarding school for girls. As she matures into adulthood, Jane’s fiery spirit and independence grow more acute, as does her sensitivity to the world around her. Now governess of the secluded Thornfield Hall, the first place she has ever really felt at home, Jane falls in love with the passionate and impulsive Edward Rochester, master of the house. Just when it seems her luck has finally changed, Jane discovers the secret of the attic—a terrible revelation that threatens to destroy her dreams of happiness forever.
Narrated in the unforgettable voice of its remarkable heroine, Jane Eyre is a timeless tale of heartbreak, mystery, and romance that shines a brilliant light into the dark corners of Victorian society.
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The instant and lasting success of Jane Eyre proved Brontë's instincts correct. Readers of her era and ever after have taken the impoverished orphan girl into their hearts, following her from the custody of cruel relatives to a dangerously oppressive boarding school and onward through a troubled career as a governess. Jane's first assignment at Thorn field, where the proud and cynical master of the house harbors a scandalous secret, draws readers ever deeper into a compelling exploration of the mysteries of the human heart.
A banquet of food for thought, this many-faceted tale invites a splendid variety of interpretations. The heroine's insistence upon emotional equality with her lover suggests a feminist viewpoint, while her solitary status invokes a consideration of the problems of growing up as a social outsider. Some regard Jane's attempts to reconcile her need for love with her search for moral rectitude as the story's primary message, and lovers of gothic romance find the tale's social and religious aspects secondary to its gripping elements of mystery and horror. This classic of English literature truly features something for every reader.
A selection of the Common Core State Standards Initiative.
"Wuthering Heights" is Emily Brontë's only novel. Written between October 1845 and June 1846, "Wuthering Heights" was published in 1847 under the pseudonym "Ellis Bell"; Brontë died the following year, aged 30. "Wuthering Heights" and Anne Brontë's "Agnes Grey" were accepted by publisher Thomas Newby before the success of their sister Charlotte's novel, "Jane Eyre". After Emily's death, Charlotte edited the manuscript of "Wuthering Heights", and arranged for the edited version to be published as a posthumous second edition in 1850.
"Agnes Grey" is the debut novel of English author Anne Brontë (writing under the pen name of Acton Bell), first published in December 1847, and republished in a second edition in 1850. The novel follows Agnes Grey, a governess, as she works within families of the English gentry. Scholarship and comments by Anne's sister Charlotte Brontë suggest the novel is largely based on Anne Brontë's own experiences as a governess for five years. Like her sister Charlotte's novel "Jane Eyre", it addresses what the precarious position of governess entailed and how it affected a young woman. The choice of central character allows Anne to deal with issues of oppression and abuse of women and governesses, isolation and ideas of empathy. An additional theme is the fair treatment of animals. "Agnes Grey" also mimics some of the stylistic approaches of bildungsromans, employing ideas of personal growth and coming to age, but representing a character who in fact does not gain in virtue.
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“I do not think, sir, you have any right to command me, merely because you are older than I, or because you have seen more of the world than I have; your claim to superiority depends on the use you have made of your time and experience.” ― Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre
Jane Eyre is a classic coming of age novel telling the story of a young girl who comes, not only to be loved, but to truly love herself.
These things and deeds are diametrically opposed: they are as distinct as is vice from virtue. Men too often confound them: they should not be confounded: appearance should not be mistaken for truth; narrow human doctrines, that only tend to elate and magnify a few, should not be substituted for the world redeeming creed of Christ. There is—I repeat it—a difference; and it is a good, and not a bad action to mark broadly and clearly the line of separation between them.
The world may not like to see these ideas dissevered, for it has been accustomed to blend them; finding it convenient to make external show pass for sterling worth—to let white washed walls vouch for clean shrines. It may hate him who dares to scrutinise and expose—to rase the gilding, and show base metal under it—to penetrate the sepulchre, and reveal charnel relics: but hate as it will, it is indebted to him.
This Broadview edition includes a critical introduction by Kate Lawson and Lynn Shakinovsky. The many contextual documents include contemporary writings on surveillance and espionage, anti-Catholicism, and working women, as well as letters describing Brontë’s own time in Brussels.
‘Cheerfulness, it would appear, is a matter which depends fully as much on the state of things within as on the state of things without and around us.’
Considered one of her less well-known novels, Shirley is Charlotte Brontë’s only historical work, set during the Napoleonic Wars. Wealthy and independent, Shirley is very different from her friend Caroline who has few prospects and is dependent on her uncle. Struggling Mill owner Robert Moore considers marriage to the monied Shirley in order to secure his financial future, however it is Caroline who he loves while Shirley has fallen for Robert’s brother, an impoverished tutor who is deemed an unsuitable match for her. Unsentimental, yet unflinching in its honest portrayal of love, class conflict and identity, Brontë uses the backdrop of her beloved Yorkshire to play out the tensions and dramas of a society facing social and industrial upheaval.
Loved TWILIGHT? Then you’ll adore Jane Eyre...
You can’t choose who you fall in love with.
For Jane Eyre, orphan and impoverished governess, the last person she should want is the only person she needs: her employer, Rochester.
Not only is he socially inaccessible, he’s also a man of few words and many secrets – and one of his secrets is so terrible it could destroy everything he and Jane hold dear...
Charlotte Brontë's last and most autobiographical novel is a vivid narrative of deftly drawn characters and memorably depicted places. Originally published in 1853, it reflects the author's deep loneliness at the loss of her siblings. The remarkably modern heroine, a creature of moody complexity, far predates the advent of psychoanalysis. Villette is nevertheless a powerfully moving psychological study, acclaimed by George Eliot as "a still more wonderful book than Jane Eyre," and by Virginia Woolf as "Brontë's finest novel."