The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Other Tales of Terror by Robert Louis Stevenson

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Other Tales of Terror

Written by Robert Louis Stevenson

13+ readers   Bookshelf Essentials   YA readers   
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Published as a 'shilling shocker', Robert Louis Stevenson's dark psychological fantasy gave birth to the idea of the split personality. The story of respectable Dr Jekyll's strange association with 'damnable young man' Edward Hyde, the hunt through fog-bound London for a killer, and the final revelation of Hyde's true identity is a chilling exploration of humanity's basest capacity for evil.

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The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Other Tales of Terror by Robert Louis Stevenson

The other stories in this volume also testify to Stevenson's inventiveness within the gothic genre: "Olalla", a tale of vampirism and tainted family blood, and "The Body Snatcher", which shows the murky underside of medical practice.

About the Author

Robert Louis Stevenson

Robert Louis Stevenson was born to Thomas and Margaret Isabella Balfour Stevenson in Edinburgh on 13 November 1850. From the beginning he was sickly. Through much of his childhood he was attended by his faithful nurse, Alison Cunningham, known as Cummy in the family circle. She told him morbid stories about the Covenanters (the Scots Presbyterian martyrs), read aloud to him Victorian penny-serial novels, Bible stories, and the Psalms, and drilled the catechism into him, all with his parents' approval. Thomas Stevenson was quite a storyteller himself, and his wife doted on their only child, sitting in admiration while her precocious son expounded on religious dogma. Stevenson inevitably reacted to the morbidity of his religious education and to the stiffness of his family's middle-class values, but that rebellion would come only after he entered Edinburgh University.

The juvenilia that survives from his childhood shows an observer who was already sensitive to religious issues and Scottish history. Not surprisingly, the boy who listened to Cummy's religious tales first tried his hand at retelling Bible stories: "A History of Moses" was followed by "The Book of Joseph." When Stevenson was sixteen his family published a pamphlet he had written entitled The Pentland Rising, a recounting of the murder of Nonconformist Scots Presbyterians who rebelled against their royalist persecutors.

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Robert Louis Stevenson
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Penguin Books Ltd

Publication date

27th February 2003




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