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

Download The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde as PDF

by Robert Louis Stevenson

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a novella written by Robert Louis Stevenson in 1886. It features the double lives of Dr. Jekyll, a well respected chemist, and Mr. Hyde, a criminal who is wanted for murder. Mr. Utterson, the story's protagonist, finds it curious that Dr. Jekyll has named Mr. Hyde his beneficiary. Perhaps there's some blackmailing going on? This swift and delightful thriller has enshrined the image of a character with "split personalities" as representing good and evil, and the name Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde has become a pseudonym for anyone with such a temperament.

The idea for this story supposedly came to Stevenson during a nightmare, and the original manuscript was apparently burned by a family member. He then set about rewriting it over the course of six days, supposedly assisted by cocaine. A friend of the author noted: "The mere physical feat was tremendous; and instead of harming him, it roused and cheered him inexpressibly." Though the substance which transformed Dr. Jekyll into Mr. Hyde was some malignant liquid, one might imagine that it was the aforementioned stimulant which might split the character's personality - or the author's for that matter - in two?

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