A Story of Revenge: Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë's only novel, was published in 1847 under the pseudonym "Ellis Bell".
Although Wuthering Heights is now a classic of English literature, contemporary reviews were deeply polarised; it was controversial because of its unusually stark depiction of mental and physical cruelty, and it challenged strict Victorian ideals of the day regarding religious hypocrisy, morality, social classes and gender inequality.
Wuthering Heights has been seen as having elements of the gothic novel,and another significant aspect is the moorland setting. The novel has inspired adaptations, including film, radio and television dramatizations, a musical, a ballet, operas, and a song by Kate Bush.
Many people, generally those who have never read the book, consider Wuthering Heights to be a straightforward, if intense, love story — Romeo and Juliet on the Yorkshire Moors. But this is a mistake. Really the story is one of revenge. It follows the life of Heathcliff, a mysterious gypsy-like person, from childhood (about seven years old) to his death in his late thirties. Heathcliff rises in his adopted family and then is reduced to the status of a servant, running away when the young woman he loves decides to marry another. He returns later, rich and educated, and sets about gaining his revenge on the two families that he believed ruined his life.