The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

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by MR Robert Louis Stevenson
     
 

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Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is the original title of a novella written by the Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson that was first published in 1886. The work is commonly known today as The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, or simply Jekyll & Hyde. It is about a London lawyer named Gabriel John Utterson who investigates strange

Overview

Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is the original title of a novella written by the Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson that was first published in 1886. The work is commonly known today as The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, or simply Jekyll & Hyde. It is about a London lawyer named Gabriel John Utterson who investigates strange occurrences between his old friend, Dr Henry Jekyll, and the evil Edward Hyde.

The work is commonly associated with the rare mental condition often spuriously called "split personality", referred to in psychiatry as dissociative identity disorder, where within the same body there exists more than one distinct personality. In this case, there are two personalities within Dr Jekyll, one apparently good and the other evil; completely opposite levels of morality. The novella's impact is such that it has become a part of the language, with the very phrase "Jekyll and Hyde" coming to mean a person who is vastly different in moral character from one situation to the next.

Stevenson had long been intrigued by the idea of how personalities can affect a human and how to incorporate the interplay of good and evil into a story. While still a teenager, he developed a script for a play about Deacon Brodie, which he later reworked with the help of W. E. Henley and saw produced for the first time in 1882. In early 1884 he wrote the short story "Markheim", which he revised in 1884 for publication in a Christmas annual. One night in late September or early October 1885, possibly while he was still revising "Markheim," Stevenson had a dream, and upon wakening had the intuition for two or three scenes that would appear in the story. Biographer Graham Balfour quoted Stevenson's wife Fanny Stevenson:

"In the small hours of one morning,[...]I was awakened by cries of horror from Louis. Thinking he had a nightmare, I awakened him. He said angrily: 'Why did you wake me? I was dreaming a fine bogey tale.' I had awakened him at the first transformation scene."

Lloyd Osbourne, Stevenson's stepson, wrote:

"I don't believe that there was ever such a literary feat before as the writing of Dr Jekyll. I remember the first reading as though it were yesterday. Louis came downstairs in a fever; read nearly half the book aloud; and then, while we were still gasping, he was away again, and busy writing. I doubt if the first draft took so long as three days.''

As was customary, Mrs Stevenson would read the draft and offer her criticisms in the margins. Louis was confined to bed at the time from a haemorrhage. Therefore, she left her comments with the manuscript and Louis in the toilet. She said that in effect the story was really an allegory, but Louis was writing it as a story. After a while Louis called her back into the bedroom and pointed to a pile of ashes: he had burnt the manuscript in fear that he would try to salvage it, and in the process forced himself to start again from nothing, writing an allegorical story as she had suggested. Scholars debate whether he really burnt his manuscript; there is no direct factual evidence for the burning, but it remains an integral part of the history of the novella.

Stevenson re-wrote the story in three to six days. A number of later biographers have alleged that Stevenson was on drugs during the frantic re-write; for example, William Gray's revisionist history A Literary Life (2004) said he used cocaine, while other biographers said he used ergot. However, the standard history, according to the accounts of his wife and son (and himself), says he was bed-ridden and sick while writing it. According to Osbourne, "The mere physical feat was tremendous and, instead of harming him, it roused and cheered him inexpressibly". He continued to refine the work for four to six weeks after the initial re-write. The novella was written in the southern English sea side town of Bournemouth.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781490330150
Publisher:
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Publication date:
06/01/2013
Pages:
84
Product dimensions:
5.06(w) x 7.81(h) x 0.17(d)

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The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (Collins Classics) 3.8 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 91 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
'Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde' is very well-written and intriguing. The true horror of the tale is not so much the fate of the experimental Dr. Jekyll as a result of his tampering with his soul, but rather the chilling possibilty presented to the reader that if he or she had the same opportunity for evil, the story might well be the same. This novella left me wondering if the potential for such evil as is present in Mr. Hyde really exists in the recesses of everyone's soul. The creepiness of this tale isn't strongly present during the reading of it, but upon contemplating it afterwards, the eeriness sets in.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm 14 years old, and recently had to read Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde for my English assignment. The assignment was comparing this fiction text, to a non-fiction text about crimes in a similar era. I think that Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde was good for this assignment, however it was a bit too slow moving for me.
kw50197 More than 1 year ago
Like Frankenstein, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a tale of a good man who lets his ambitions lead him astray. But unlike Frankenstein, where one should not judge by looks alone, Mr. Hyde is exactly as he appears. To borrow a cliche, evil incarnate. While most of Frankenstein is told from a first-person's perspective, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is narrated by several people who have either met Hyde or knows Jekyll. If I wasn't already aware of how the story played out, I imagine this would have been a great setup for the dramatic revelation at the end. As it is, there are times when I couldn't help but forget about the ending in my search for any tell-tale hints early on to clue in the reader. There are a few but I'm not sure I could have made the correct deduction on my own. The battle between the personalities of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is supposed to reflect the duality of man, a battle of good versus evil. If so, the ending is a rather pessimistic outlook isn't it ? Mr. Hyde as the personification of evil may not have escaped just punishment but at least in his struggles with Dr. Jekyll, he gained the upper hand. However if the winner of their battle was Dr. Jekyll, the tale might not have been as memorable. That is my take at least. An enjoyable read. Definitely should be read at least once.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really like this book. It is scary in some parts but is great over all. Anyone under the age of 10 shouldn't read this book. But besides that it is pretty good book about a man finds a wy to split the good and evil in him to to diffrent beings while still being one. Hard to describe but after you read it you will get what I am saying. You should read this book!
RebeccaScaglione More than 1 year ago
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson may have a long title, but it's a short book to read. The Strange Case is about the duality of man: good versus evil, and how everyone has that inside of them. Mr. Utterson, the lawyer, finds it odd that his good friend Dr. Jekyll has amended his will in order to leave everything to Mr. Hyde. This is strange because Mr. Hyde is an unappealing man, possibly deformed, not to mention evil, having caused major disturbances and a horrific crime. Dr. Jekyll won't get into his relationship with Mr. Hyde, but Mr. Utterson is going to get down to the bottom of the situation eventually! I really enjoyed this book. It was short, and while I kind of knew what the premise was, there were pieces I did not know, which made it a better read. You should read it if you enjoy classics, a little bit of horror, and short novels! Everyone has good and evil inside of them, and most people work on a balance between the two, shifting more to the good side than the evil side. But what if those two sides could be separated? Would you want to separate your good side and evil side into two separate people? Thanks for reading, Rebecca @ Love at First Book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The letters are quite confused, making this impractical to read. Try the Gutenberg edition instead.
Guest More than 1 year ago
im a 14 year old who read this book over the summer for high school next year. I thought it was one of the better books i have read. I would recommend this book to anyone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is one of the best books ever written by Robertson. It is about a doctor named Dr. Henry Jekyll. He discovers a potion that can divide his good and evil side. It is narrated by Mr. Utterson. It is set in London, England in the late 1800s or 19th century. The setting is by the mention of wine all through out the book. The author creates suspension by shifting point-of-views. The main theme is dual nature. Man is not good and evil, but a combination of both. The symbolism is great. The book has lots of hidden meanings and can go one way or another. The book is not really believable, but you might believe it depending on who you are. I loved the theme of the book. I also loved how pithy it was. Eventhough the book says that Mr. Hyde is pure evil, there is actually no proof in the novel that makes him worse than your average murderer. Books like Dracula are long and have no excitement, but Robertson uses suspense and makes it exciting. I especially loved the contradiction between good and evil. The book was very close to being realistic. The author used a lot of vocabulary from the 19th century and a wide variety. I had to read this book for my Outside Reading Project and it was very good. Trust me you will love it. Don't use cliff notes, you miss the meaning and ecitement of the book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
¿Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde¿ is a very quick, but interesting read. The genre is a mix between a mystery and a horror. The book, over all, has a dark feel to it, which adds a hint of gloominess.

Robert Louis Stevenson delivers the content of this book very well. Throughout the novel, there is an uncomfortable feeling that dwells in the reader¿s mind. The only thing that isn¿t done well is that the outcome of the story was fairly obvious. A factor that might contribute to this is that the tale is very well known in our society. It is still a great read for those who know the story and for those who don¿t.

Guest More than 1 year ago
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was a really good book. It caught your attention from the beginning of the story.The only thing about the book I didn't like was that it was kind of hard to keep up with. But it had a terrifc suprise ending.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is probably the best book I've ever read. Me being just 14 you may say, ' Oh what does this kid know?' Well I've read enough books to know that this is indeed a great book. The book has just one plot but, tops everything off with an ironic and twisted ending. You probably have allready asummed the ending, but if you had no idea of what this book was about you would be in complete ahhhhhhh over it. Very exciting. Set down on a Monday to begin reading it and finished the following night. It's considered a 'Can't put downer'.
Guest More than 1 year ago
What I think of this book is pretty cool but strange. When first I start to read this book everyhting was weird even the characterization. Then I get used to it and it gets more intersting.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is one of the three best horror books ever made along with Mary Shelly's 'Frankenstein' and Bram Stoker's 'Dracula.' I think everyone should read it to see if they like it.
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InTheBookcase More than 1 year ago
The actual story of Jekyll and Hyde is different than what I expected it to be (LESS creepier, in fact!). It is told simply about a man who can, quite literally, change from one appearance to another, thus creating the effect of two persons. One admittedly better-spirited, and the other having a dark soul.  As classics go, this one is written very well. Certainly not a favorite of mine, but still it was worth the read, just to see what it was like.
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I just love the book
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