The Yorkshire Moors in Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights

Heath on the North York moors. PHOTO CREDIT: 4wd. This photo is in the public domain.

“My love for Linton is like the foliage in the woods: time will change it, I’m well aware, as winter changes the trees. My love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath: a source of little visible delight, but necessary.”1

As children in Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights, Catherine and Heathcliff spend their days running together on the Yorkshire Moors, a wet and wild expanse of land, symbolic of their own shared wildness and attraction to danger. As adults, they become encompassed in a wretched and tragic love triangle, the feelings of which they frequently describe in comparison to the tumultuous weather on the Moors. The Yorkshire Moors become a place of comfort for Catherine and Heathcliff; a sanctuary from endless disapproval and oppression from those at Wuthering Heights. Although Cathy and Heathcliff’s reckless love affair endangers everyone around them, they both find solace in the grassy freedom of the Yorkshire Moors.

The Yorkshire Moors (now simply referred to as the North York Moors National Park), are located in North Yorkshire, England and were described in detail by Emily Brontë in Wuthering Heights, as Emily herself lived in Yorkshire. The weather on the Moors varies each day, a perfect parallel to the turbulent and chaotic passions of the novel’s characters. The Moors are one of the largest expanses of undeveloped land in the United Kingdom, a fact which Brontë used as a welcoming refuge for the liberation-seeking lovers in comparison to the stifling and restrained enclosure of Wuthering Heights.

Read more about place on Wikipedia. Find Wuthering Heights at a local library or on Amazon.

1Bronte, Emily. Wuthering Heights. New York: Barnes & Noble, 2005. Print. Barnes & Noble Classics Ser.

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