The Setting of Wuthering Heights is a vital but contradictory force in the novel, as important as any of the Characters. “Wuthering” is a Yorkshire dialect term for the roaring of the wind, a sound both inviting and frightening. Wuthering Heights, the mansion where much of the action takes place, is a harshly beautiful building that contrasts with the other major locale of the novel, Thrushcross Grange, a more conventionally attractive mansion several miles from the Heights. Between the two houses lie the moors-high, broad stretches of wetland covered with heather and filled with marshy bogs.

The events of Wuthering Heights occur during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Rural Yorkshire was then an area where sheep were raised for wool mills. As England became more industrialized, competition for power between older landowning families, such as the Lintons, and clever upstart businessmen, such as Heathcliff, increased. Thus the place and time of the novel intensify the major conflicts inherent in its Themes.