Copyright 2024
The Reader's Guide to Wuthering Heights


The lifelong servant at Wuthering Heights, to the Earnshaws and then Heathcliff. Fanatically Calvinist and self-righteous, he is unpleasant and unkind. He speaks in a broad Yorkshire accent, translations of which can be found on the Joseph's speech page.

Leo G Carroll as Joseph
Leo G Carroll from the 1939 film
Aubrey Woods as Joseph
Aubrey Woods from the 1970 film
Brian Wilde as Joseph
Brian Wilde
from the 1978 TV drama
Robert Demeger as Joseph
Robert Demeger from the 1992 film
Tom Georgeson as Joseph
Tom Georgeson from the 1998 TV drama
Des McAleer as Joseph
Des McAleer
from the 2009  TV drama
Steve Evets as Joseph
Steve Evets
from the 2011 film

Vital Data
Parents: unknown Siblings: unknown
Date of birth: unknown, probably around 1730. As he is considered 'very old' in 1801, he would have been born in the early part of the eighteenth century. He was an important servant to Mr Earnshaw in 1771 and had been serving the family for "sixty years" in 1802. Place of birth: unknown
Married: apparently never Children: unknown
Physical description: "vineger-faced", hale and sinewy


He was, and is yet most likely, the wearisomest self-righteous Pharisee that ever ransacked a Bible to rake the promises to himself and fling the curses to his neighbours.

(1801, aged about 71) Joseph was an elderly, nay, an old man: very old, perhaps, though hale and sinewy. 'The Lord help us!' he soliloquised in an undertone of peevish displeasure, while relieving me of my horse: looking, meantime, in my face so sourly that I charitably conjectured he must have need of divine aid to digest his dinner, and his pious ejaculation had no reference to my unexpected advent.

(1801, aged about 71) Vinegar-faced Joseph projected his head from a round window of the barn.