What can they (among the 2000 people surveyed) have been thinking of who were responsible for putting Wuthering Heights in first place? This is where I will openly court controversy by saying that a love story cannot be the greatest, in which things go badly wrong and one of the two romantic protagonists ends up merely a ghost. Other things can be said for such a tale, but the greatest of love stories turn out well in the end.
Some people just like the notion of unrequited love. I loved, loved, loved Wuthering Heights at age 13. Now, not so much. Also, there's a certain type of girl who likes bad boys and nobody is badder than Heathcliff.
Besides, Wuthering Heights isn't the only tale of doomed love to make the list.
- In "Romeo and Juliet," the lovers kill themselves.
- Rhett Butler leaves Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind.
- The heroine in The English Patient dies a horrible death.
- Doctor Zhivago doesn't get Lara.
- Gatsby dies.
- Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford break up--I only know the movie version of The Way We Were.