Wuthering Heights was published by Emily Bronte in 1847, 10 years into the reign of Queen Victoria. Although the Victorian era is commonly thought of as very prude or uptight—"Victorian," as it were—the domestic policy of the Victorians was actually quite liberal, at least relative to the time.
Perhaps the most important feature of the Victorian era in Emily Brontë's case is that the genre of the novel became wildly popular. Before the Victorian era, nearly all respected literature came in the form of poetry and drama; very few respected people were writing novels. However, this quickly changed in the Victorian period (mostly thanks to Charles Dickens), and the novel became wildly popular.
Novels during this time were published serially, which means that rather being published all at once, they were dealt out in (often monthly) installments. Therefore, novels read similarly to how we understand weekly TV shows today. Cliffhangers were often utilized to keep the audiences attention, and there would be discussion of the text in between installments.