Stephenie Meyer Inspires Reading Classics

It’s no secret that Stephenie had a loose inspiration for each of her books from classic literature.

Twilight: Pride and Prejudice

New Moon: Romeo and Juliet

Eclipse: Wuthering Heights

Breaking Dawn: The Merchant of Venice and A Midsummers Night Dream

Well now it seems that sales for Wuthering Heights are up to record highs in France, and booksellers are attributing the success to Stephenie Meyer.

“We have sold as many copies of Wuthering Heights in the first two months of 2009 as we usually sell in a whole year,” said a spokeswoman for Le Livre de Poche, the publisher of the French translation…We are on course to sell several tens of thousands of copies this year, which is exceptional. The enthusiasm has prompted a lot of bookshops to put Brontë on display next to Stephenie Meyer, and that has obviously encouraged people to buy both of them.”

See the full article here.

Have any of you picked up a classic novel because of Stephenie Meyer?

Comments

  1. I read Wuthering Heights just because I knew Stephenie Meyer based some of Eclipse on it.

    • That is so wrong. Emily Bronte was a poet. An artist. Her charecters are legends. Wuthering Heights is so much more than a romance. It’s BARELY a romance. It’s about anger and passion, and when love trancends the boundaries of hatred and goes straight into the deepest dpeths of hell. You aren’t supposed to LIKE tha charecters of WH. You’re supposed to revile them. But their love means more than life, and the poetry to which Emily Bronte wrote it… it deserves more than to be the wind benieth Twilight’s wings. Hate me for this all you want, but WH will Always be better than Twilight. Twilight will always be the book that needed to borrow WH’s beauty because it doesn’t compare.

      • @ kellan
        finally someone with sense!! All twihards or whatever you call yourselves please please please do not compare any pieces of classic literature to twilight, its really insulting.
        Pride and Prejudice, Wuthering Heights, Romeo and Juliet etc = Great originals
        Twilight = Poor imitation.

        • @Kellan @nell

          Although the classics are beautifully written works of art, I disagree. Stephenie Meyer is inspired by the classics. The Twilight Saga is not an “imitation” at all. In fact, it was more quoting the classics and respecting them. I know Wuthering Heights is more than just a love story and so does Stephenie Meyer. She’s not trying to take away from the classics, she’s using their beauty and knowledge and tying it in with the way she writes. Like I said, she looks up to them.

  2. As a life long reader, it’s stories like this that make me smile. To have people, young readers especially, to give these great classics a chance just makes me so happy.

    I pulled down my old paperback copy of Wuthering Heights earlier this winter. And though I’ve read P&P numerous times, one version that I want to read is The Annotated Pride and Prejudice. http://tinyurl.com/certox

    These are such great books that I will continue to re-read. I hope these new readers take the same joy out of these classics as I have.

  3. I picked Wuthering Heights for a school paper because of Stephanie Meyer… and I loved it.

  4. I actually just bought it the other day, but I have something else I want to read first.

  5. I read Midsummer Night’s Dream in school. Truth betold I really didn’t like it. I also read Romeo and Juliet in school. I liked it much more. But I couldn’t really see very many similarities between BD and MND…

  6. Definatly! I read Romeo and Juliet and it’s one of my favorites not only because of Steph, it’s a masterpiece, but I think i enjoyed it more knowing that it inspired parts of New Moon! ^^

    • You guys do know that R&J isn’t a love story… right? It’s a cautionary tale about the stupidity of teenagers and the shallow frailty of “love at first sight.” Shakespeare was making a point about how two people should try to know each other before they decide they’re in love. Romeo was a player, and Juliet was so tightly wound, she’s have done anything to just let loose a little. It wasn’t really a romance. Midsummer Night’s Dream was brilliant. But it had nothing to do with Breaking Dawn.

  7. That’s funny, I just bought Wuthering Heights about a month or two ago because it was mentioned in Eclipse but I haven’t gotten through it yet cause I’ve been caught up in school readings. Would’ve picked up The Merchant of Venice but I’m on a budget… I read Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer’s Night Dream in high school and I saw the film for Pride and Prejudice so I never bothered picking those three up.
    Makes sense to me, and I’m quite happy that people are picking up more classics, I think they’re tougher to get through but definitely worth it.

  8. Chloe Cullen says:

    I haven’t YET… I read Romeo and Juliet before I read Twilight, but I definitely WANT to read the others. And that was inspired by Twilight ;)

  9. @ Jordan, I think the biggest comparison is probably the love at first sight being compared to imprinting.

  10. I read Romeo and Juliet before I read Twilight, and the first few chapters of Pride and Prejudice. But Twilight’s inspired me to pick it back up again. :) Awesome book, I totally recommend it! Mr. Darcy is actually really similar to Edward too!

  11. Rachel A. says:

    I read Wuthering Heights and Pride and Predjudice. I know that Stephenie said that they were the inspiration for her books, but I did not neccessarily get that from reading the classics and then reading her books. Her books are all too…happy and nice (no one ever dies or gets hurt irreversibly).

  12. i actually had the book prior to reading the twilight series. I had planned to read it after starting Jane Eyre, which I had bought at the same time, but around the time i decided to stop reading it, since i found it deathly boring, I had a third person recommend Twilight to me, and then I said “That’s it, I must read this book that everyone keeps telling me about!” I read it, then read all the other ones, since I started reading Twilight in May of 08, and went almost right into the fourth book. Trying to pick up Wuthering Heights now, but because I find reading 19th century literature boring, i’m having a hard time with it. :-\

  13. Yes! because I was tired of reading Eclipse & being totally clueless what she was talking about! lol. So I bought and read Wuthering Heights a couple weeks ago.

    But that’s not the only one! In the same book-shopping-spree, I also bought The Merchant of Venice & a 7-novel compilation by Jane Austen. I haven’t read either of those yet…I’ve been busy rereading the Saga for the 6th time (since Christmas).

    I’m also going to see The Merchant of Venice, which I wouldn’t have been interested in otherwise if not for BD.

  14. I read Romeo and Juliet a couple of years ago for my English Junior Cert exam and then we watched the Merchant of Venice last September when my class went to Stratford (the home of Shakespeare himself…. it was really fun!) and now, I’m nearly done reading Wuthering Heights! :D

  15. yes i have actually..It’s crazy because at the time i thought i was a lame dork but i came to love wuthering heights (the book i read).I have already read romeo and juliet and P&P so it was amazing to relate the saga to them..The classic’s are wonderful and i think its just brilliant to see an modern day author put a modern daytwist on basically the foundations of literature. whoo go stephenie meyer…

  16. Yeah, I just finished Wuthering Heights, and I’m starting Pride and Prejudice soon! I’ve always wanted to read more of the classics, but their close ties to Twilight prompted me further :]

  17. I have read all of the above books, as well as many others that these authors have created, when i was going through middle school and high school…i am an english lit major in college, and i am actually working on a research paper that discusses the similarities between twilight and some of the classics…really interesting stuff =D

    • @ jaime:
      i know it’s been eight months since you wrote this, but i would be really interested in that paper of yours. i’m actually using this comparison in my ma thesis to define bella’s chararacter…
      it would be so awesome if you got back to me, since there aren’t that many people to talk to about it around at my university ;)
      interested?

  18. Wuthering Heights is amazing.
    The first dark romance. Tragic. It was the book all other romances are judged by to be honest.

    To those of you who say its boring…give it a few chapters. It is a little weird and boring, not really I dont think, just odd in the beginning. But you’ll soon realize that that is just the atmosphere of the novel. The novel is very dark, strange, and confusing at times. But definitely a most read for Twilight fans.

  19. Twilight Nymph says:

    I actually picked up Pride and Prejudice, Romeo and Juliet, and currently Wuthering Heights because they inspired the Twilight Saga. Yet, I have to admit, Wuthering Heights is much more interesting than the last two. I can’t understand Shakespeare at all, had to read the translated version online. As, for Pride and Prejudice, I noticed that there is a bit of Elizabeth Bennet in Bella and a bit of Fitzwilliam Darcy in Edward. Yet, so far my favorite is Wuthering Heights is my favorite. I jus have one question for anyone who knows, Stephenie seems to compare Heathcliff to Edward, yet he seems to have both characteristics of Heathcliff and Edgar. Jacob seems to do so as well. Is it me that only sees that, or is it that Edward is like Heathcliff and Jacob is like Edgar? If anyone can answer that one it would be nice. =)

    • I’ve read them all, and none of the characters of Wuthering Heights or Pride and Prejudice are ANYTHING like the chracters of Twilight. Heathcliff was a villain. He never made any pretense about that. He seduced Isabella, and then beat the living hell out of her because his heart and soul belonged to Cathy. Cathy loved Heathcliff, but married Edgar out of spite, and delighted in making him miserable. It was all a big game to them. Edgar was a coward and a snobbish little weakling, and isabella was a flighty moron who needed the love of her husband’s life to DIE before she wised up enough to leave him. Edward likes to pretend that he’s tortured, but since we never get much info on his supposedly dark background, he just seems like a brooding emo cliche. And Cathy would never have been able to stomach Bella’s weakness. Cathy was an iron-willed bitch, and Bella’s just so submissive. She’s willing to give up her life, dreams, and free will to a guy who was a total dick to her when they first met! Any other girl would have said, “screw you, pretty boy. I know I can do better.” But she fawned over Edward. Neither Cathy or Elizabeth Bennet would have done that. Sorry, but Bella always gave the impression of being incredibly materialistic, weak, shallow, and kinda pathetic.
      Edward was some aristocratic brat who would rather whine about his lot in life than actually do anything about it. If Darcy or Heathcliff had ever been turned into blood-suckers, they’d be out kicking ass and taking names. Not graduating high school for the millionth time.
      Besides, Heathcliff was already a gypsy. He had certain powers. That was how he managed to curse Cathy’s spirit to stay with him. If He were a vampire to boot, Edward wouldn’t stand a chance. Heathcliff would probably seduce Bella and then make them both miserable as Cathy continued to haunt him.
      The only likable person in Twilight was Jacob, and when SM figured out that he was more entertaining than Edward, she made him a pedophile… Why on earth do you like this book series?

    • No one in Twilight is ANYTHING like anyone in either Wuthering Heights or Pride and Prejudice. Heathcliff was a villain. He never made any pretense about that. He seduced Isabella Linton and then beat the living hell out of her while remaining desperately in love with Cathy Earnshaw. Cathy was a selfish bitch who loved Heathcliff with all her immortal soul, and married Edgar Linton out of pure spite, and made him miserable. Edgar was a cowardly, snobbish little weakling who thought he could buy Cathy’s devotion with money. He knew she loved Heathcliff from the very start, he just didn’t care. Isabella was a flighty little twit who decided that she was in love with Heathcliff after about five minutes, and didn’t realize that he well and truly hated her until Cathy was dead. It took her about a year to wise up and leave him.

      Edward likes to act tortured, but since we never get much insight into his background, he appears more like a brooding emo cliché than like the dark hero of a torrid love story. Cathy would never have been able to stomach Bella’s weakness. The girl surrendered her life, dreams, and future to be with a guy who was a complete jerk to her through most of the first book. Cathy didn’t take that from ANY man. Not Heathcliff and certainly not Edgar. Like Elizabeth Bennet, Cathy was a strong, independent woman when women weren’t supposed to be that way. Opposite that, Bella is weak and submissive in a time of feminine empowerment.

      Like Heathcliff, Darcy (who’s first name is never mentioned in Pride and Prejudice) was a man ruled by his passion. He believed in doing the right thing, no matter who it hurt. He was prideful, and had strange ideas about what made a woman accomplished. But he was also loving, tender, and never left the people he loved out to dry. I guess I can see that in Jacob. Well, before Meyer turned him into a near-rapist pedophile, that is. And I can most see Cathy in Bella when Bella is jerking Jacob around by his heart strings. She didn’t really love him, but she pretended to while she waited for Edward to return… Gee, that sounds a lot like Cathy. Just, not in a good way.

      Edward reminds me most of Edgar, because he’s constantly buying Bella’s affection. And Bella is incredibly shallow and materialistic. The best example of this is her reaction to the bike Edward buys. Jacob built her a bike out of scraps, and a good one at that. He did it because he loved her, and it made her happy. As soon as Edward came along with the big expensive motorcycle, Bella launches into a monologue about how inadequate Jake’s gift is. One would think that the very fact that he’d made it for her with his bare hands would make it a far superior bike… but I digress.

      The point is, yes. You can compare Twilight to the classics. But that’s not a good thing. You can use the classics to highlight every flaw in this true love charade that Edward and Bella have. And Heathcliff was already a gypsy. That’s why he was able to curse Cathy’s spirit to stay with him. If he were a vampire to boot, Eddie wouldn’t stand a chance. He’d probably seduce Bella and make them both miserable as Cathy continued to haunt him from beyond the grave.

      I’m pretty sure that if either Darcy or Heathcliff were made vampires, they’d be kicking ass and taking names. Not graduating high school for the millionth time. They’d be hunters. Probably vampire hunters. Well, Heathcliff might just be a killer, but we’ll hold out hope.

  20. rebelangel says:

    jajaja yhea i read wuthering heights cause of eclipse and bronte was a plus…but eclipse got me interested…heights was a great book :)

  21. I always wanted to read Bronte some day but never got to it. But now I got a copy out of the library and started reading.

  22. I read “A Midsummers Night Dream” when I heard that that was one of the books that would be an inspiration for Breaking Dawn. I’d already read “Romeo and Juliet”, “Wuthering Heights”, and “Merchant of Venice” before reading the Twilight series, and picked up “Pride and Prejudice” at the recommendation of a friend (not because of Twilight).

  23. Wuthering Heights is my single favourite book – EVER. I’d take it over Twilight, sorry Steph! It’s such an emotionally driven, amazing book. I recomend everyone to read it. I’m so glad others are picking up classics and reading them – because their amazing. I’d recomed a bit of Orwell, he is truly fascinating!

  24. MagicLily says:

    I’ve read Pride and Prejudice and Romeo + Juliet before the Twilight series, but I really want to try the merchant of venice now, because i was so unprepared for the peachy end in book four

  25. I’ve read it, and I agree with Edward’s feelings (pg. 28 Eclipse)… They are ghastly people who ruin each other’s lives… How in the world are they ranked among Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy? And it is a hate story. Don’t get me wrong, there is love there, but there is so much hate in the book, I found, for me, it was overridden.

  26. FilDeCuivre says:

    I read Wuthering Heights two years ago because
    1. I had always wanted to
    2. My mother had it already so I could read it anytime I wanted
    3. I’d heard that Eclipse is loosely based on it
    4. I had to read a classic book and write an essay about it for my class

    So I had quite a few reasons to read it :) And I fell in love with the book! Now I have two copies of it: one is in English and the other one in Finnish.

  27. yes, i bought wuthering heights a few months ago, i just haven’t started reading it.
    if it wasn’t mentioned in the book, i probably wouldn’t have known about wuthering heights.

    i’ve also read romeo and juliet about 4 years ago, but i can see some similarities to it.

  28. I had already read Wuthering Heights, Pride and Prejudice and Romeo and Juliet before reading Twilight series and knowing that Twilight was based on my favorite classics spurred me to finish the series. I admit, however, that Breaking Dawn was a bit of a disappointment, so I haven’t read Merchant of Venice. I had read Midsummer NIght’s Dream, but found limited parallels between Breaking Dawn and Shakespeare. I had always thought Twilight paralleled Jane Eyre instead of PRide and PRejudice, but that’s just me.

  29. thinribboncandy says:

    lol, YES!
    it was wuthering heights and i bought it after i read twilight back in 2007

  30. Susan H. says:

    I read Jane Eyre because of Stephenie–while none of her plots are based on the book, it’s obvious when you read it that it was a big influence on her characters and her ideas about love.

  31. yes, I read wuthering heights and Pride and prejudice because they had “inspired” the twilight series

  32. I had to read Wuthering Heights for school, and I do love it. :D

  33. I picked up Wuthering Heights because it is featured in Eclipse. But, I’ve read before all the other novels.

  34. Yeah, we bought all of them! lol

  35. Devon061381 says:

    I’ve read Romeo & Juliet in HS, and Pride & Prejudice is one of my favorite novels of all time. I have seen the movie for MSND, but never read it. Wuthering Heights is a novel I’ve been meaning to pick up years ago and haven’t gotten around to it. I have never read MoV. Luckily, I have a Shakespeare anthology so I will be reading the plays and picking up Wuthering Heights – a close friend of mine who is a school teacher, and coincidentally the same person who turned me onto the Twilight Saga, are doing a long-distance summer book club (she lives in TX, I live in PA), and we’re only doing classics, so these are on the list already :)

  36. I read Twilight, New Moon and Eclipse and somehow, I managed to get my hands on Wuthering Heights. I really, really love this book.^^

  37. I actually started reading Jane Eyre and watched different movies because of Stephenie’s books and I LOVE JANE EYRE SO THANK YOU STEPHENIE !

  38. I would recommend “the historian” for any avid readers…it’s definately not an easy read, so i only suggest reading it if you are:
    a.) a vampire enthusiast
    b.) love classic novels
    c.) or read anything you can get your hands on

    i personally am all of the above, so it was great for me…it’s not a love story though…it’s kinda twist on van helsing, but with a heroine rather than a hero, and the author did an insane amount of research for the book, making the historical aspects really strong…i am a history/english lit major, so i think it’s perfect =P

  39. lol i just got wuthering hieghts 2 days ago! i’ve always wanted to read it ever since i read eclipse

  40. Alu Rathbone says:

    I have Wuthering Heights, Pride and Prejudice, Romeo and Juliet, Midsummers Night Dream, and a few other classics she did not use in my home library.

    Will i ever read Wuthering Heights, never… why… I find it relatively boring. (I tried to read it… never again say’s I.)

    If anyone wants to see a Bollywood/Hollywood twist on Pride and Prejudice, I suggest watching Bride and Prejudice! It’s a great movie!!!!!!

  41. There’s a pillow biting scene in Wuthering Heights.

    Joyce

  42. Yes, actually! :) I was curious about Wuthering Heights after I read Eclipse. I went to Barnes and Noble and bought Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, and all of Jane Austen’s novels. I haven’t finished them all yet, but so far they’re fantastic. Especially Wuthering Heights. :)

  43. Yes, last week I actually bought Wuthering Heights myself. And yes, that was because Stephenie mentioned it in Eclipse :)

  44. I’m a big reader, so I had already read many classics before Twilight. Pride and Prejudice had always been one of my favorites.

    But I will say, that Wuthering Heights was a book I hadn’t really heard of, so when it was mentioned in Eclipse I went and got it from the library. :)

  45. i read all those books before i’d even heard of the twilight saga.

    wuthering heights was my favorite book for aaaaages, pride and prejudice is amazing.
    also, the movies for both of those [wuthering heights: i'd get the one with ralph fiennes as heathcliff, he's excellent; pride and prejudice: i'd go with the 2005 kiera knightly version]

    i have to say that i do not see any similarities between twilight and pride and prejudice. but then again, no one can claim that the saga is timeless literature either.

    but it’s great that kids are reading more now.
    i wish everyone would read more.

  46. Oh, it was really fascinating that Eclipse and WH had so much in common… I still have to read the merchant of Venice and A midsummernight’s dream, but Breaking Dawn doesn’t have as much parallels than Eclipse or New Moon. Well, it’s still great.^^

  47. Well, I read Pride and Predjudice and I’ve bought Wuthering Heights, just haven’t got round to reading it yet!

  48. I read Jane Eyre because she had mentioned liking it (it was amazing, I loved it). I started A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Wuthering Heights, and Pride and Prejudice, but I could never get through them. I’ll try again in a couple years.

  49. RE: izzo

    I much prefer the 1939 version of Wuthering Heights with Sir Laurence Olivier and Merle Oberon, while it may not be for everyone – and cuts out a main section of the book – it is timelessly wonderful. The acting is impecabble, and nothing can compare to watching a classic film of a classic book. Though, the Ralph/Juliette version is also great if you want the entire story.

  50. I had read Pride & Prejudice, Sense & Sensibility, Jane Eyre, and Romeo & Juliet in the past. Somehow, I missed Wuthering Heights; I guess I need to read it because in the Ralph Fiennes/Juliette Binoche film, I saw no similiarity whatsoever to Edward & Bella or Eclipse. If you’re looking for a character who is beautiful, romantic, brooding, etc.–all those qualities we love in Edward–check out Pride & Prejudice. Mr. Darcy runs a very close second to Edward for me. Also, either the BBC version (with Colin Firth) or the more recent (with Keira Knightly & Matthew Macfadyen) are wonderful movie versions of Pride & Prejudice.

    • You have to read the books. They are way better than the movies. Yes in the movie Mr. Darcey is close but he is not as comtroling as Edward and Elizabeth is more head strong than Bella. So pick up the books and read them first instead of watching the movie. The book is always better.

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