Catherine Earnshaw (Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte)Read about the other girlfriends on the list.
Don’t even get me started on my love of Heathcliff—now there’s a man who could wander across my bleak, windswept moor any day. Granted, you can argue that he was just as reprehensible as his lover, the beautiful and tempestuous Catherine Earnshaw. However, while Heathcliff remained eternally devoted to Cathy, she did not always return the favor. After all, why marry a rootless (if smoking hot and fanatically loyal) orphan boy when you’ve managed to snag the eye of the frail, snobbish heir to a neighboring estate? Thus the impetuous young Cathy became engaged to wussy little Edgar Linton of Thrushcross Grange, allowing her desire for social acceptance and advancement to prevail over her love of the brooding Heathcliff. (I mean, why have steak, when you can have a turkey slider?!) This drove Heathcliff away from Wuthering Heights and ultimately sent him down a destructive path of single-minded revenge and madness that lasted until he died, miserable and alone. Way to go, Cathy. Heathcliff loved you so much that after your tragic early death he dug up your grave so that he could visit you. Trust me, it was romantic. I guess you had to be there.
Also see: Five of the lamest boyfriends in fiction.
Wuthering Heights appears on Becky Ferreira's list of seven of the worst wingmen in literature, Na'ima B. Robert's top ten list of Romeo and Juliet stories, Jimmy So's list of fifteen notable film adaptations of literary classics, John Mullan's lists of ten of the best thunderstorms in literature, ten of the worst nightmares in literature and ten of the best foundlings in literature, Valerie Martin's list of novels about doomed marriages, Susan Cheever's list of the five best books about obsession, and Melissa Katsoulis' top 25 list of book to film adaptations. It is one of John Inverdale's six best books and Sheila Hancock's six best books.
The Page 99 Test: Wuthering Heights.