Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and Other Tales by Robert Louis StevensonStrange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and Other Tales by Robert Louis Stevenson

Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and Other Tales

byRobert Louis StevensonEditorRoger Luckhurst

Paperback | June 8, 2008

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'Instantly the spirit of hell awoke in me and raged...I was suddenly struck through the heart by a cold thrill of terror.' Stevenson's short novel, published in 1886, became an instant classic. It was a Gothic horror that originated in a feverish nightmare, whose hallucinatory setting in the murky back streets of London gripped a nation mesmerized by crime and violence. The respectable doctor's mysterious relationshipwith his disreputable associate is finally revealed in one of the most original and thrilling endings in English literature. In addition to Jekyll and Hyde, this edition also includes a number of short stories and essays written by Stevenson in the 1880s, minor masterpieces of fiction and comment: 'The Body Snatcher', 'Markheim', and 'Olalla' feature grave-robbing, a sinister double, and degeneracy, while 'A Chapter onDreams' and 'A Gossip on Romance' discuss artistic creation and the 'romance' form. Appendixes provide extracts from contemporary writings on personality disorder, which set Stevenson's tale in its full historical context.
Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson (1850-1894), was a Scottish novelist, poet, essayist and travel writer.
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Title:Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and Other TalesFormat:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 7.72 × 5.08 × 0.64 inPublished:June 8, 2008Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199536228

ISBN - 13:9780199536221

Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fast-paced and disturbing In his dark 1886 classic novella, Robert Louis Stevenson explores the idea of a dual nature of the human soul, the debilitatingly high expectations of behaviour that society places on those who are prominent members of the community, and the eternal conflict between good and evil. The protagonist, Dr. Jekyll, is an amiable, generous physician, who has dedicated his life to alleviating the suffering of others and is beloved by all who know him. He considers himself inherently 90% “good” and 10% “evil”, so that his favourable qualities consistently overpower his occasional indiscretions. However, having grown up in a wealthy and well-respected family, and now a renowned member of an esteemed profession, Dr. Jekyll has been conditioned to feel immense shame for his faults. An intelligent and inquisitive man, Jekyll wonders if he could free himself from this debilitating shame if he could only somehow separate the evil from his otherwise virtuous personality. After many hours spent toiling away in his home laboratory, he finally succeeds in concocting a potion that does just that, splitting his personality into the savage, diabolical, grotesque Mr. Hyde and his normal attractive, good-natured self. At last, with just a sip of his potion, he is capable of instantaneously transforming himself into his purely evil alter-ego—who delights in spending nights purging himself of all manner of immoral and scandalous desires without experiencing even a modicum of guilt—and then back again when he is ready to go home and assume his regular responsibilities. All goes as planned for a while, until Mr. Hyde begins to come to the attention of the local police for perpetrating such horrific crimes as crushing a small child and brutally murdering an elderly man; Dr. Jekyll realizes that he will not be able to get away with his duplicity for much longer. However, just as he resolves to stop tampering with his personality and spend the rest of his days as the morally upstanding, if slightly boring and frustrated, Dr. Jekyll, the potion apparently starts to lose its effectiveness—no matter how many times he drinks it in order to return to his regular appearance, his body then promptly turns back into the evil Mr. Hyde. Evidently, the immense amount of time that Jekyll has spent committing atrocities in Hyde’s body has flipped his soul’s character from mostly “good” to mostly “evil”, and as he begins to run low on supplies of the ingredients necessary to make more of his potion, Jekyll realizes he is soon going to be permanently trapped in the mind and body of his evil alter-ego. A fast-paced and disturbing story, “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” seems to be cautioning readers on the consequences inevitably suffered by those who dare to play God by meddling with human nature for personal gain—a disquietingly relevant topic now, 131 years later, as we enter the age of human genome editing.
Date published: 2018-01-02

Table of Contents

Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr HydeThe Body SnatcherMarkheimOlallaA Gossip on RomanceA Chapter on DreamsAppendix A: Henry Maudsley, 'The Disintegrations of the "Ego"'Appendix B: Frederic Myers, 'The Multiplex Personality'Appendix C: W. T. Stead, 'Has Man Two Minds or One?'