The strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

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9781563120084: The strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is a novella by the Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson 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 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.

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The young Robert Louis Stevenson suffered from repeated nightmares of living a double life, in which by day he worked as a respectable doctor and by night he roamed the back alleys of old-town Edinburgh. In three days of furious writing, he produced a story about his dream existence. His wife found it too gruesome, so he promptly burned the manuscript. In another three days, he wrote it again. "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" was published as a "shilling shocker" in 1886, and became an instant classic. In the first six months 40,000 copies were sold. Queen Victoria read it. Sermons and editorials were written about it. When Stevenson and his family visited America a year later, they were mobbed by reporters at the dock in New York City. Compulsively readable from its opening pages, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is still one of the best tales ever written about the divided self.

From the Publisher:

Robert Louis Stevenson originally wrote Dr. Jekyll And Mr Hyde as a "chilling shocker." He then burned the draft and, upon his wife's advice, rewrote it as the darkly complex tale it is today. Stark, skillfully woven, this fascinating novel explores the curious turnings of human character through the strange case of Dr. Jekyll, a kindly scientist who by night takes on his stunted evil self, Mr. Hyde. Anticipating modern psychology, Jekyll And Hyde is a brilliantly original study of man's dual nature -- as well as an immortal tale of suspense and terror. Published in 1866, Jekyll And Hyde was an instant success and brought Stevenson his first taste of fame. Though sometimes dismissed as a mere mystery story, the book has evoked much literary admirations. Vladimir Nabokov likened it to Madame Bovary and Dead Souls as "a fable that lies nearer to poetry than to ordinary prose fiction."

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