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The House of Dead Maids by Clare B. Dunkle


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Eleven-year-old Tabby Aykroyd, who would later serve as housekeeper for thirty years to the Bronte sisters, is taken from an orphanage to a ghost-filled house, where she and a wild young boy are needed for a pagan ritual.

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The House of Dead Maids by Clare B. Dunkle

  1. 1. A Tour of Wuthering Heights<br />
  2. 2. Many people are surprised to learn that Wuthering Heights is Bronte’s only published novel. I say “published” because she wrote from an early age, although little of her work survives beyond some poetry, several diary entries, and a few essays. Her family life fostered creativity, especially in the form of the written word, and both she and her sister, Charlotte, published two books that are now considered classics (Charlotte published Jane Eyre in 1847. Their younger sister, Anne, also published a novel, Agnes Grey.). Because women were not highly regarded in the literary community at the time, the sisters used the pseudonyms Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell, representing Charlotte, Emily, and Anne, respectively.<br />
  3. 3. Wuthering Heights is a stark portrayal of amoral passion, which many critics during the time of its publication in 1847 found repugnant. Bronte saved several reviews of her book, which have since been identified: <br />
  4. 4. Britannia<br />“Far better romance” if the characters were “nearly as violent and destructive as [Heathcliff]” <br />“shocking pictures of the worst forms of humanity”<br />“…not a single character which is not utterly hateful or thoroughly contemptible”<br />Atlas<br />“strange, inartistic story”<br />“Wild, confused; <br />disjointed and improbable”<br />Examiner<br />
  5. 5. Today, however, Wuthering Heights is regarded as one of the finest works of English literature. <br />
  6. 6. The Byronic Hero<br />Although the Byronic hero derives from the life and writings of Lord Byron, Emily and Charlotte Bronte created two of the most well-known fictional examples of him: Mr. Rochester from Jane Eyre and, of course, Wuthering Heights’s Heathcliff. In the words of Byron’s former lover, the Byronic hero is “mad, bad, and dangerous to know.” <br />
  7. 7. Arrogant<br />Disrespectful of rank and privilege<br />Self-destructive<br />Emotionally conflicted<br />Socially and sexually dominant<br />Cunning and able to adapt<br />Cynical<br />He may be characterized by any and all of these traits:<br />
  8. 8. Dr. Mary Buckelaw, Clare B. Dunkle’s mother, takes this archetype one step further, arguing that Heathcliff is not a Byronic hero but a Satanic hero.<br />
  9. 9. Wuthering Heights in Popular Culture<br />With her first single, “Wuthering Heights,” Kate Bush began a career as one of the United Kingdom’s bestselling artists. <br />Producer Samuel Goldwyn felt that the script was too dark for a romance movie and asked several writers to do a re-wrtie. <br />
  10. 10. “It would degrade me to marry Heathcliff now; so he shall never know how I love him; and that, not because he’s handsome, Nelly, but because he’s more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same, and [Edgar’s] is as different as a moonbeam from lightning, or frost from fire.”<br />
  11. 11. Credits<br />(in order of appearance)<br />Images Courtesy of Flickr:<br />nutmeg66<br />Huang Xiang and William Rock<br />Shironeko Euro<br />TelemahosEfthimiadis<br />country_boy_shane<br />Song courtesy of:<br />Bush, K. (1978). Wuthering heights. On The kick inside [Vinyl]. United Kingdom: EMI.<br />