Copyright 2024
The Reader's Guide to Wuthering Heights

Cathy (Catherine) Linton

The daughter of Catherine and Edgar. Heathcliff hates her and plans his revenge around her. She inherits her mother's beauty and headstrong behaviour but Edgar and Ellen turn her into a gentler character. When she is taken to live with Heathcliff at Wuthering Heights, her treatment turns her into a reserved, unfriendly person until her growing friendship with Hareton brings out her former traits.

Known as Catherine Heathcliff after her first marriage, and Catherine Earnshaw after her second marriage

Note: to differentiate between this Catherine and her mother in this site, the mother is normally written as "Catherine" and her daughter as "Cathy", except in quotations.

Cathryn Harrison as Cathy Linton
Cathryn Harrison
from the 1978 TV drama
Juliette Binoche as Cathy Linton
Juliette Binoche
from the 1992 film
Sarah Smart as Cathy Linton
Sarah Smart
from the 1998 TV drama
Rebecca Night as Cathy Linton
Rebecca Night
from the 2009 TV drama

Vital Data
Parents: Edgar Linton and Catherine Earnshaw Siblings: none
Date of birth: 20 March 1784 (about midnight 19th/20th) Place of birth: Thrushcross Grange
Married: Linton Heathcliff in September 1801 (1) Married: Hareton Earnshaw on 1 January 1803 (2)
Physical description: pretty; flaxen or golden hair, in ringlets; small features; dark eyes

Link to "FAQ: Was Heathcliff the father of Cathy?" Link to "FAQ: Was Cathy's marriage legal?"


(Childhood) She was the most winning thing that ever brought sunshine into a desolate house: a real beauty in face, with the Earnshaws' handsome dark eyes, but the Lintons' fair skin and small features, and yellow curling hair. Her spirit was high, though not rough, and qualified by a heart sensitive and lively to excess in its affections. That capacity for intense attachments reminded me of her mother: still she did not resemble her: for she could be soft and mild as a dove, and she had a gentle voice and pensive expression: her anger was never furious; her love never fierce: it was deep and tender. However, it must be acknowledged, she had faults to foil her gifts. A propensity to be saucy was one; and a perverse will, that indulged children invariably acquire, whether they be good tempered or cross … Fortunately, curiosity and a quick intellect made her an apt scholar: she learned rapidly and eagerly, and did honour to his teaching.

(1800, aged 16) Catherine had reached her full height; her figure was both plump and slender, elastic as steel, and her whole aspect sparkling with health and spirits.

(1801, aged 17) [Cathy] was slender, and apparently scarcely past girlhood: an admirable form, and the most exquisite little face that I have ever had the pleasure of beholding; small features, very fair; flaxen ringlets, or rather golden, hanging loose on her delicate neck; and eyes, had they been agreeable in expression, that would have been irresistible …

(1801, aged 17) "I'll put my trash away, because you can make me if I refuse," answered [Cathy], closing her book, and throwing it on a chair. "But I'll not do anything, though you should swear your tongue out, except what I please!"

(1802, aged 18) … perhaps you have never remarked that their [Hareton and Cathy] eyes are precisely similar, and they are those of Catherine Earnshaw. The present Catherine has no other likeness to her, except a breadth of forehead, and a certain arch of the nostril that makes her appear rather haughty, whether she will or not.