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The Reader's Guide to Wuthering Heights

Chapter list

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Prologue

Link to chapter Chapter 1:(I) A Visit to Wuthering Heights

1801. Mr Lockwood visits Heathcliff at Wuthering Heights who is leasing him Thrushcross Grange. He describes Heathcliff and the sitting room of the Heights, and briefly has an altercation with the dogs before returning to the Grange.

Link to chapter Chapter 2:(II) A Singular Family

Lockwood returns to Wuthering Heights the next day. He encounters the rest of Heathcliff's family ― sullen Cathy and rough Hareton. The weather turns bad and, after being injured by the dogs, Lockwood is forced to remain at the Heights overnight.

Link to chapter Chapter 3:(III) The Ghost at the Window

Lockwood is shown to a room to sleep which used to belong to Cathy's mother, Catherine. He has a restless night and is apparently woken by a tree branch tapping on the window. As he reaches out to stop it, his wrist is grasped by a cold hand, the ghost of Catherine. He wakes and rouses Heathcliff. Unable to sleep, he moves downstairs until Heathcliff escorts him back to Thrushcross Grange.


The Childhood of Heathcliff

Link to chapter Chapter 4:(IV) Arrival of a Foundling

In Thrushcross Grange, Ellen begins to tell Lockwood of the story of Heathcliff. She explains how he was brought to Wuthering Heights as a child and spread discord among the Earnshaw family.

Link to chapter Chapter 5:(V) The Death of Mr Earnshaw

Mr Earnshaw sends Hindley off to college. Several years later, the former goes into decline and dies to the despair of all.

Link to chapter Chapter 6:(VI) New Acquaintances

Hindley returns to Wuthering Heights with a new wife. Catherine and Heathcliff grow more rebellious and wild. They sneak into Thrushcross Grange and Catherine is injured by their dogs.

Link to chapter Chapter 7:(VII) Catherine Becomes a Lady

Catherine returns to Wuthering Heights having been taught to look and act like a lady at Thrushcross Grange. She acts aloof from Heathcliff who briefly tries to smarten himself up to impress her but fails, throwing apple sauce over Edgar in the process.

Link to chapter Chapter 8:(VIII) The Disintegration of the Earnshaws

Hareton is born to Hindley and Frances but the latter soon dies of tuberculosis, causing Hindley to gradually fall apart. Catherine continues her friendship with Edgar, moving further from Heathcliff and closer to Edgar.

Link to chapter Chapter 9:(IX) The Disappearance of Heathcliff

In a drunken state, Hindley returns and drops Hareton from the landing; the child is saved by Heathcliff. Catherine talks with Ellen and reveals that she has accepted an offer of marriage from Edgar. She says that she couldn't marry Heathcliff because he is too poor and rough but that, really, her heart belongs to him. He overhears the first part of this but not the second and runs away from Wuthering Heights. Catherine goes on to marry Edgar and Ellen leaves with her as her maid.

Link to chapter Chapter 10:(X) Mr Heathcliff Returns

Three years after Heathcliff's departure, six months after the marriage, Heathcliff arrives at Thrushcross Grange, now improved in physique and manner. He is staying with Hindley at Wuthering Heights and taking advantage of the latter's alcoholism and gambling. Isabella falls in love with Heathcliff and is teased by Catherine.

Link to chapter Chapter 11:(XI) "The Milk-Blooded Coward"

Ellen walks to Wuthering Heights to see Hindley but she meets Hareton at the gate who has become coarse and foul-mouthed under Heathcliff's tutorage. Heathcliff goes to Thrushcross Grange to see Catherine and Isabella, and clashes with Edgar.

Link to chapter Chapter 12:(XII) Delirium

Catherine falls ill from fever and delirium, and Ellen gets into trouble for not telling Edgar. With their minds occupied by this, they are unaware that Isabella has eloped with Heathcliff.

Link to chapter Chapter 13:(XIII) Isabella Learns Her Fate

Under Edgar's care, Catherine recovers from her fever. Ellen receives a letter from Isabella describing her arrival at Wuthering Heights and the poor treatment she received there. She writes how she wishes to hear from her brother.

Link to chapter Chapter 14:(XIV) The Mediator

Ellen visits Wuthering Heights with the news that Edgar no longer wants any communication with Isabella or Heathcliff. Heathcliff wants to see Catherine again and refuses to let Ellen leave until she agrees to act as mediator.

Link to chapter Chapter 15:(XV) The Final Meeting

While Edgar is absent, Heathcliff arrives at Thrushcross Grange for a final meeting with Cathy. Edgar returns but, with Cathy very ill, he is more concerned with her than his enemy.

Link to chapter Chapter 16:(XVI) Life and Death

Cathy is born and her mother dies soon after. Heathcliff makes one last visit to see her body before she is buried.

Link to chapter Chapter 17:(XVII) The Master of Wuthering Heights

Isabella arrives at Thrushcross Grange, having fled from Heathcliff. She eventually moves south near London where she gives birth to Linton. Six months after Catherine's death, Hindley dies as well and Heathcliff becomes master of Wuthering Heights.


The Maturity of Heathcliff

Link to chapter Chapter 18:(XVIII) The Explorer

Cathy grows up in isolation at Thrushcross Grange. With Isabella dying, Edgar travels to London to pick up Linton. While he is away, Cathy goes exploring on the moor and meets Hareton at Wuthering Heights.

Link to chapter Chapter 19:(XIX) A Sickly Child

Edgar arrives back at Thrushcross Grange with Linton. Before the day is out, Joseph arrives with orders to take the child to Wuthering Heights immediately but Edgar puts him off until the morning.

Link to chapter Chapter 20:(XX) Father and Son

The next day, Ellen takes Linton up to Wuthering Heights. Although Heathcliff despises the child, he assures Ellen that he will look after him as he has plans for him.

Link to chapter Chapter 21:(XXI) Young Love

On her sixteenth birthday, Catherine goes with Ellen onto the moor and meets Heathcliff to takes her back to Wuthering Heights to meet Hareton. She is prohibited by her father from seeing either of them again but keeps up a clandestine relationship via mail. Ellen finds out and burns the letters, forcing Catherine to promise to end the relationship.

Link to chapter Chapter 22:(XXII) An Invitation from Heathcliff

A few months later, Catherine and Ellen are walking around the grounds when they encounter Heathcliff on the boundary road. He explains that Linton is ill and believes that Catherine deliberately stopped writing. Heathcliff notes that he will be away for a week and she could visit in the meantime. Reluctantly, Ellen agrees to accompany her to Wuthering Heights the next day.

Link to chapter Chapter 23:(XXIII) The Wiles of Linton

At Wuthering Heights, they find Linton who quarrels with Cathy. He feigns illness and she is fooled into sympathy for him. They return home where Ellen is confined to bed with illness for a few weeks. While there, Cathy continues to visit Linton.

Link to chapter Chapter 24:(XXIV) Deeper In

Ellen learns of Cathy's secret visits to Wuthering Heights to see Linton. The former reveals the information to Edgar who prohibits Cathy from visiting the Heights again (although he allows Linton to visit Thrushcross Grange).

Link to chapter Chapter 25:(XXV) Mr Linton Considers the Future

As Edgar begins to decline and fear for the future, he reconsiders his opposition to Linton and comes to believe that a marriage between him and Cathy may be the best option so that she will not be left without an inheritance.

Link to chapter Chapter 26:(XXVI) An Ominous Meeting

Some months later, Edgar allows Cathy to meet Linton again (but not at Wuthering Heights). Linton is visibly more ill and hardly has the energy to meet her. He makes her promise to return the next week.

Link to chapter Chapter 27:(XXVII) Prisoners

With Edgar dying, Ellen and Cathy make their way onto the moor to see Linton. He is there but very frightened. Heathcliff arrives and persuades everyone to go into Wuthering Heights. Once there, he locks them in and says that they will remain prisoners until Cathy and Linton are married.

Link to chapter Chapter 28:(XXVIII) The Last of the Lintons

Ellen is set free and returns to Thrushcross Grange after failing to free Cathy. Edgar is on the point of death. She vows to get Cathy freed but, fortunately, the girl arrives after being let out by Linton. She spends a last few moments with her father before he dies and Heathcliff takes control of the Grange.

Link to chapter Chapter 29:(XXIX) Heathcliff Triumphant

Heathcliff arrives at Thrushcross Grange to escort Cathy to Wuthering Heights while Ellen must remain behind. While Cathy is preparing, he tells Ellen of how he has been tormented by Catherine for the last eighteen years.

Link to chapter Chapter 30:(XXX) Catherine Alone

Heathcliff does not allow Linton any medical help and he dies. Later on, Hareton tries to start a friendship with Cathy but, because of his previous neglect, she remains aloof.

Link to chapter Chapter 31:(XXXI) Mr Lockwood Takes His Leave

Deciding to stay no longer in Yorkshire, Lockwood rides to Wuthering Heights to tell Heathcliff. He sees Cathy and Hareton in argument over books and the latter's attempts to improve his education.


Epilogue

Link to chapter Chapter 32:(XXXII) Many Changes

The next autumn, Lockwood visits Thrushcross Grange on a trip north. He finds Ellen has moved to Wuthering Heights. When he arrives there, he finds that Hareton and Cathy are in love and Heathcliff has been dead three months. Ellen tells him of the events since he left, explaining how Cathy gradually broke down Hareton's resistance by offering to teach him to read.

Link to chapter Chapter 33:(XXXIII) The Haunted Soul

In Ellen's account, Cathy persuades Hareton to dig up some of Joseph's fruit bushes to make a garden. When Heathcliff finds out though, his expected outburst is muted. He is strangely quiet and tells Ellen that he feels a change coming on, that he is haunted by Catherine everywhere.

Link to chapter Chapter 34:(XXXIV) Unions

Heathcliff grows worse, roaming the moors and neither eating nor sleeping. He sees Catherine everywhere he looks but is strangely happy. Eventually he is found dead in Catherine's room and is buried alongside her. Lockwood takes his leave with Hareton and Cathy planning to marry and move to Thrushcross Grange.