Wuthering Heights and a mess on the floor

This is what a finished book looks like.
Last night I finished Improper Relations, my next Little Black Dress book, and this is the entire manuscript dropped on the floor as I went through it page by page after a hard copy edit.

Whew! I’m still catching up from Nationals and then a Mullany expedition to the beach last week where I thought I’d have internet but didn’t. Here’s a pic of my mother in law Rosie Mullany to whom I dedicated A Most Lamentable Comedy.

But today is the birthday of Emily Bronte (1818-1848) so I thought we should talk about Wuthering Heights. I consider it an odd, difficult novel, full of shifts in time and narration. Where Jane Eyre (by sister Charlotte) has a clear legacy in popular fiction (plain, poor, virtuous heroine–check; brooding dark hero–check; brooding dark house–check; unspeakable secrets–check), what influence has Wuthering Heights had?

It’s almost as though Wuthering Heights stands alone, the odd cousin who smells of elderberries and talks to herself in a corner at the family gathering. We know she’s there, we know she’s part of the family, but she doesn’t quite fit in. Somehow she takes things to extremes–Heathcliffe is dark and brooding yet psychopathic; the heroine dies; the bleak landscape is the star of the show.

And what about the movie versions? Do you think any of them crack the Wuthering Heights code? There’s the 1939 classic with Laurence Olivier and Merle Oberon (left); the 1992 version with Juliette Binoche (whom I love, but why??) and Ralph Fiennes with bad hair.

The most recent is the 2009 PBS adaptation with Charlotte Riley and Tom Hardy (both of whom look far too clean in this pic and yet another bad Heathcliffe wig). And according to this article Keira Knightley and Lindsay Lohan are battling it out for the role of Cathy in yet another remake.

But to me, the most brilliant adaptation is this one by Monty Python (it starts about a minute in after some silly stuff with a policeman but this was the only one I could find without Spanish subtitles):

What do you think? Is there a movie version you like? A book you feel that is particularly influenced by Wuthering Heights?

My blog tour continues tomorrow with a visit to the Word Wenches and more next week–visit my website for the whole schedule (and enter the contest, which is ending soon, while you’re there).

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