Date Thesis Awarded


Access Type

Honors Thesis -- Access Restricted On-Campus Only

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)




Deborah Morse

Committee Members

Kim Wheatley

Kathrin Levitan

Suzanne Raitt


At the outset of the Victorian Era, a young poet from the north of England composed a provocative and lapidary work of fiction, outfitted with the tempestuousness hinted at in its title. This poet was Emily Brontë; her 1847 masterpiece Wuthering Heights—the only novel she wrote before her death in 1848—is an atmospheric recalibration of ethnic, gender, and social identities in a remote corner of Yorkshire, as well as an extended meditation on unchecked passions. I contend that Wuthering Heights is a revolutionary recasting of the novel of manners, when the genre was nascent and hitherto largely a literary commodity of the south of England. It was Brontë’s innovation to develop a northern novel of manners, in which she envisions characters who are not rejecting social norms so much as instituting new, heretical ones to suit their own claustrophobic context.

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