Page 180. " his basilisk eyes were nearly quenched by sleeplessness "


GNU Free Documentation LicenseBasilisk - Credit: Georges Jansoone

The basilisk is a reptile of Greek legend known as the king of the serpents. It reputedly had the power to cause death with a single glance. 

Mediaeval European portrayals of basilisks (as pictured) added elements of the cockerel.  Basilisks were said to derive from serpents' eggs hatched by cockerels.

Page 187. " should be buried at the cross-roads "
by cm

Creative Commons AttributionCrossroads - Credit: Dominic Alves
Traditionally, those who committed suicide were denied burial in the consecrated ground of a churchyard.  Instead, they were interred at a crossroads, a place of no identity and little peace.

According to the law of the time, drinking oneself to death was tantamount to committing suicide, so Heathcliff is right to suggest the cross-roads for Hindley's grave.  However, if Hindley were officially declared to have committed suicide, his property would be claimed by the Crown, and Heathcliff would be unable to gain possession of it.  Hence Heathcliff does not press the point, but allows Nelly to perform a proper burial to safeguard the property.

Page 190. " The abrupt descent of Penistone Craggs particularly attracted her notice "


Ponden Kirk
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikePonden Kirk - Credit: Aaron Collis

Ponden Kirk is believed to be the inspiration for Penistone Craggs, the place where Cathy and Heathcliff go to escape Hindley and the place that so captures the imagination of young Catherine. Ponden Kirk has a natural hole in its base that corresponds to the Fairy Cave Cathy speaks of.


The name Penistone likely comes from nearby Penistone Hill.



Page 200. " the travelling carriage rolled in sight "


Travelling Carriage
GNU Free Documentation LicenseTravelling Carriage - Credit: The HouseKeeper

Carriages in the 19th century were horse-drawn and usually available only to members of the upper classes. There were several different types of carriage available, including the Barouche, Curricle, Landau and Phaeton