Item description for Wuthering Heights (Classic Fiction) by Emily Bronte, Freda Dowie & Ken Drury...
Outline ReviewAmazon Exclusive: Editorial Director Elda Rotor on Classics That Never Go Out of Style
Dear Amazon Readers:
Penguin Classics is pleased to publish three new Penguin Classics Deluxe editions of Wuthering Heights, The Scarlet Letter and Pride and Prejudice, with covers designed by world-renowned fashion illustrator Ruben Toledo.
With Penguin's history of excellence in book design and following the success of our continued series of award-winning deluxe editions with covers by leading graphic and comic artists, we wanted to explore another inspiring world of design for Penguin Classics. Roseanne Serra, our art director for this series, which we call in-house the Couture Classics, had the vision of inviting fashion illustrators to create specially commissioned art work. My first choice of an artist to ask was Ruben Toledo, whose work I have admired since I was a student combing through pages of the earlier incarnations of Paper and Details magazines. I always found his drawings of women dressed in the latest styles to be so imaginative, whimsical and surreal, that they could be characters out of beloved novels.
Ruben agreed to draw these three covers, each in a different medium of ink, watercolor or pencil, because he was attracted to the idea of creating covers for a younger generation of Penguin Classics readers and to promote literacy. They are "not your mother's Bronte" as Glamour tagged the set. Our hope is that these vibrant covers will entice general readers and students with an interest in design to delve into the stories that inspire these artistic creations. We hope that book lovers, those that cherish the old-school feel of a physical book, who love book design, fonts, and the all-around aesthetics of a beautiful book, will want all three.
Cathy and Heathcliff, Hester and Pearl, and Elizabeth and Darcy are the literary muses for these covers, and readers will enjoy Ruben's interpretations of these classic characters plus the mood, texture, and scenery inspired by them. From front to back cover, extending even to the French flaps, each cover represents a refreshing representation of the classic work through Ruben's unique artistic sensibility.
The fun of these covers is that they reiterate that classics are relevant for every generation, especially the latest one. Liesl Schillinger for the New York Times blog identifies the fun in seeing the aesthetics of today's youth embodied in Toledo's art: "Was Heathcliff--the wild child of Wuthering Heights--a 19th-century emo boy? Can you picture Jane Austen's Lizzy Bennet as a Regency gossip girl, and Darcy as her Mr. Big in knee breeches? And what about Hester Prynne--was she Nathaniel Hawthorne's idea of a colonial yummy mummy?" Nylon first blogged about Toledo's series, and the tongue-in-cheek challenge to judge a book by its cover: "While his surreal take on the Yorkshire moors or his Technicolor vision of Hester Prynne might not change the actual details of the plot, they certainly add a stylish edge to book club mainstays."
I've heard that people love the Wuthering Heights cover because it exudes the same dark Gothic sexiness of Twilight's Edward and Bella. (How perfect that Bella herself reads Wuthering Heights for advice on her own love life.) Toledo's details capturing Cathy's persona are mesmerizing, and the chic mysteriousness of Heathcliff peering above his collar captures the perfect bad-boyfriend tone.
The stark black and white Pride and Prejudice cover in silhouette is precise yet witty. (I love the chair on the back cover.) Ruben has a little extra for readers of Pride and Prejudice with a frontispiece of extra “accessories” for the cover's characters.
But my personal favorite is The Scarlet Letter cover. I love the gossiping women, who extend to the French flaps of the cover, emphasizing the size of Hester's scandal. For the font-crazed, Ruben creates various fonts of the letter "A" tacked along the fence. The rose bush, a classic image that appears in 19th-century illustrated editions, is the perfect anchor to this modern interpretation. Look at the ravishing Hester entangled by the mark she must wear on what might be a cashmere sweater dress with an utterly intimidating Pearl in tow in what could be Wolford baby tights. With such alluring images, who wouldn’t be compelled to read these novels?
What went through Ruben's mind in creating these covers? Ruben discussed his process with Women's Wear Daily, "I did approach each story as abstract images--visual quotes from a dream. As I read, I was playing the animated movie in my head. These masterpieces are all so well written."
We hope you enjoy all three books. We hope they spark your imagination and stir up passion for the classics, for Penguin Classics, so timeless and trend-setting, they never go out of style.
Best wishes, Elda Rotor Editorial Director, Penguin Classics
The story of Cathy Earnshaw and the wild Heathcliff as they fall in love on the Yorkshire moors spans three generations and is seen through the eyes of the narrators Lockwood and Nelly Dean. Emily Bronte tells of the passion between Cathy and Heathcliff with such vivid intensity that her tale of tragic love has gripped readers for over 100 years.
Book Description Cambridge Literature is a series of literary texts edited for study by students aged 14-18 in English-speaking classrooms. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte is edited by Richard Hoyes, Head of English and Media Studies, Farnham College, Surrey.
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Emily Jane Bronte was the most solitary member of a unique, tightly-knit, English provincial family. Born in 1818, she shared the parsonage of the town of Haworth, Yorkshire, with her older sister, Charlotte, her brother, Branwell, her younger sister, Anne, and her father, The Reverend Patrick Bronte. All five were poets and writers; all but Branwell would publish at least one book. Fantasy was the Bronte children's one relief from the rigors of religion and the bleakness of life in an impoverished region. They invented a series of imaginary kingdoms and constructed a whole library of journals, stories, poems, and plays around their inhabitants. Emily's special province was a kingdom she called Gondal, whose romantic heroes and exiles owed much to the poems of Byron. Brief stays at several boarding schools were the sum of her experiences outside Haworth until 1842, when she entered a school in Brussels with her sister Charlotte. After a year of study and teaching there, they felt qualified to announce the opening of a school in their own home, but could not attract a single pupil. In 1845 Charlotte Bronte came across a manuscript volume of her sister's poems. She knew at once, she later wrote, that they were "not at all like poetry women generally write...they had a peculiar music-wild, melancholy, and elevating." At her sister's urging, Emily's poems, along with Anne's and Charlotte's, were published pseudonymously in 1846. An almost complete silence greeted this volume, but the three sisters, buoyed by the fact of publication, immediately began to write novels. Emily's effort was Wuthering Heights; appearing in 1847 it was treated at first as a lesser work by Charlotte, whose Jane Eyre had already been published to great acclaim. Emily Bronte's name did not emerge from behind her pseudonym of Ellis Bell until the second edition of her novel appeared in 1850. In the meantime, tragedy had struck the Bronte family. In September of 1848 Branwell had succumbed to a life of dissipation. By December, after a brief illness, Emily too was dead; her sister Anne would die the next year. Wuthering Heights, Emily's only novel, was just beginning to be understood as the wild and singular work of genius that it is. "Stronger than a man," wrote Charlotte, "Simpler than a child, her nature stood alone."
Emily Bronte lived in Thornton. Emily Bronte was born in 1818 and died in 1848.
Reviews - What do customers think about Wuthering Heights (Classic Fiction)?
Love doesn't always make us happy. Jul 2, 2008
Told in alternating flashbacks from the perspectives of two narrators, Wuthering Heights is the gothic love story of Catherine and Heathcliff. Their doomed love has tragic repercussions for them and both of their families.
I absolutely loved this when I first read it as a teenager. It's like a creepy soap opera.
Tedious and unengaging Jun 18, 2008
I don't know what people see in this book. I found it irritating from the start -- all the characters are thoroughly unlikeable. After slogging my way through a quarter of the book, I found I still couldn't care less what happened to these people, and in fact I rather hoped they might all be swept away in a flood. The writing is also painfully verbose and florid. I would be willing to cope with this if the story was engaging, but as it is, it's just another reason to put the book down and never pick it up again.
it's a pity... but it doesn't measure up Jun 16, 2008
Of course, I'm not referring to one of the best novels (I don't say "best-loved" novels, because it's not a lovable reading, but an all-important, soul-searching and unforgettable one). As the noted critic A. C. Swinburne said in 1883: "It may be true that not many will ever take it to their hearts: it is certain that those who do like it will like nothing very much better in the whole world of poetry or prose". So it has been for more than a century. Nobody should miss this strangest and strongest of English novels, so hauntingly beautiful and intensely poetical in its dark and eerie otherness. By the way, don't miss Emily Brontë's poems, or a good selection of them.
The issue now, is this PARTICULAR paperback edition (Wordsworth Classics, 2000). What do we get and what not, how does it compare to the other editions in the marketplace.
To begim with, it's ONE OF THE THINNEST EDITIONS EVER, light on your pocket and cheap as airborne luggage (6/8 inch vs., say, one full inch for Penguin Classics edition). The mass-market paperback, is as bad as you fear, and then some... for its paper quality and binding. A bit surprisingly, printing quality is good enough. The Introduction (18 pp) by John S. Whitley is not bad, perhaps one bit askew for the intended readership (I don't feel myself at ease with those Freudian interpretations). The Bibliography is good and so is the annotation at the end of the book, three pages in small type that aren't user-friendly, specially in the handling of the dialect tirades.
So, it looks like a good edition, were it not for the outrageous material production; but then, Penguin's and Oxford's aren't so much better as paper quality and binding go, although their type is easier on the eyes and the printing quality a little better. And, mind, when I speak of bad quality paper, it's a matter of Penguin browned pages in only five years, and Oxford's little better behaving of slightlier browned pages in ten years. Wordsworth Classics pages haven't got brown so far but they sure will do (when you make paper out of whole timber logs, it always happens).
The worst thing, by far, is the text itself. It's a careful and accurate 1850-type text, that follows that of the by then very distinguished Haworth Edition (1900), the same text used by Barnes&Noble Classics noteworthy hardcover edition. Of course, there are texts far worse than that, namely Modern Library, Chatham River and Time-Warner ones, not to mention Gutenberg Project's most corrupted electronic text.
As you probably know, the 1850 text was edited, or more precisely, in all good will tampered-with, by Charlotte Brontë (who didn't like her sister's novel at all). The changes in the text from the 1847 edition were pervasive, and detrimental: there were some hundred of small stylistical or grammatical "improvements", now as useless as then; a toned-down, sweetened version of York dialect paragraphs that looks decidedly funny and almost as hard to understand; the punctuation was brought in line with Victorian practice (which isn't ours, anyway): professional, light and discrete, syntactical in concept, instead of Emily's rather inconsistent usage, rethorical in concept, as 18th century's prose and specially poetry had been. Even WORSE was the urgent need to save printing space at all costs, which resulted in the disparition of more than 600 paragraph beginnings (I mean just the paragraphing, not the paragraph contents!). Overall, it makes for a worse and distorted reading experience. Many of us (I don't know HOW many) think 1850 is a no-go textform, and would like to see it no more in the intricate textual history of this work.
TO SUMMARIZE: I recommend strongly NOT to buy this edition, in spite of its real merits. And then what? If durability is not a must and budget is tight, go for either Penguin's Classics (Pauline Nestor) or Oxford's World Classics (Patsy Stoneman). If durability is a must, and budget is not so tight, then go for one of the best context-oriented, "study" editions: Broadview Press (Beth Newman), Longman Cultural (Alison Booth) or Norton Critical (Fourth Edition) (Dunn). If what you are after is a nice hardcover edition, the options are greatly reduced: you may try Barnes&Noble, with the selfsame ignoble text as Wordsworth Edition, or go for a good copy of the 1978 Franklin Mint edition, the one with the Alan Reingold lithographs, with a very good 1847 text and no Introduction or annotation other than Charlotte Brontë Preface (NOT to be read BEFORE the novel) and full and right glosses as footnotes for the dialectal tirades (the first edition to do so, as far as I know).
*This* is a *Classic*? May 1, 2008
I found this 'classic' slow and distasteful. I could not identify with any of the characters and did not like a single one, except for possibly Mr. Lockwood, whom the story is being told to. The one redeeming quality was the death of the 'hero,' that his charges may have peace.
Audio Book Apr 6, 2008
I used express delivery and it left the warehouse the same day I ordered it and I received it promptly. Thank you for an exceptional sale. I will do this again.