Author(s): Robert Louis Stevenson
This is the "Penguin English Library Edition" of "Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde" by Robert Louis Stevenson. 'All human beings, as we meet them, are commingled out of good and evil: and Edward Hyde, alone in the ranks of mankind, was pure evil'. 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. This edition also includes Stevenson's chilling story "The Bottle Imp". "The Penguin English Library" - 100 editions of the best fiction in English, from the eighteenth century and the very first novels to the beginning of the First World War.
My eleven-year-old and I read this for our bedtime story over a few exciting nights, and we enjoyed discussing our observations and opinions (on the suppression and isolation of parts of the spectrum of inclinations that make a ‘personality’, and the consequent tendency of a suppressed part to grow in strength until the part seeks to supplant the whole, and that sort of thing). Stevenson first started explored these matters in the (unsuccessful) play Deacon Brodie, or, The Double Life, about the respectable life and crimes of Edinburgh cabinet-maker William Brodie, some of whose furniture Stevenson’s family owned. - Thomas
Robert Louis Stevenson was born in Edinburgh in 1850. The son of a prosperous civil engineer, he was expected to follow the family profession but was finally allowed to study law at Edinburgh University. Stevenson reacted forcibly against the Presbyterianism of both his city's professional classes and his devout parents, but the influence of Calvinism on his childhood informed the fascination with evil that is so powerfully explored in Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Stevenson suffered from a severe respiratory disease from his twenties onwards, leading him to settle in the gentle climate of Samoa with his American wife, Fanny Osbourne.