Wednesday, 27 March 2013

HELLO The Classics Club - Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, written in 1886 by Robert Louis Stevenson. It's a horror, thriller about London lawyer, Gabriel John Utterson, who investigates the strange goings on with his friend, Dr Henry Jekyll, and the allusive, evil, Mr Edward Hyde.

It's the classic good verses evil, seen through Jekyll and Hyde, the divided personalities within the one body.

13th Nov 1850 - 3rd Dec 1894

Stevenson suffered from reoccurring illnesses from childhood till his death, leaving him extremely thin. He was an only child and described as 'strange looking,' and 'eccentric.' Due his illnesses he spent a lot of time at home, and wrote lots of stories.

He moved from his birth place of Scotland to warmer climes,to Bournemouth, for his health. Here he wrote Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, inspired by a dream. Apparently, he was ill with a haemorrhage at the time.

It has been said that we place a part of ourselves in our work. That rings a bell. Oh, yes. I'm reading The Picture of Dorian Gray at the moment. It is true, I believe, and Stevenson certainly did in this work. He was interested in how personality effects our lives, and with him suffering will bouts of illness, this story is symbolic of his physical and spiritual struggles.

I recently read The Golem by Gustav Meyrink, and this book has the same feel to me. Jekyll and Hyde were always on the periphery, yet they drew you in, through the streets and houses, murder and fear. Poor Dr Jekyll feels alive as Hyde, but this dark side has to die.

The story is allegorical, as Stevenson's wife suggested. Good verses evil. I think from a psychological point of view, conscious verses subconscious, it would make a great study. I enjoyed this book and have discovered, from other books I've selected in my 50 list, that a nice 'shelf' of them are Gothic horror.


  1. Replies
    1. More shivers when I read Edgar Allan Poe.

  2. I'm not a great reader of such fiction though I can see the appeal.
    I guess those strange illnesses that well known authors dies from like Jane Austen would probably now be easily diagnosed and treated.

    1. The romantic curse: dying for your art. It makes you wonder what other delights they would have written had they lived a little longer.

      James Herbert died recently. I know I'll miss his writing.

    2. The great and the good all too often die young, don't they?

  3. Love your reviews and insights of the British Classics! Have a great week, Debbie.

  4. I loved reading your take and review of these books.