The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: The Original Horror Novella (Paperback)
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
by Robert Louis Stevenson
The Original Horror Novella
A Complete Original World Classic Horror Novella
Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is the original title of a novella written by the Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson that was 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 work is commonly associated with the rare mental condition often spuriously called "split personality," referred to in psychiatry as dissociative identity disorder, where within the same body there exists more than one distinct personality. In this case, there are two personalities within Dr Jekyll, one apparently good and the other evil. 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.
John Utterson, a lawyer, is on his weekly walk with his relative, Enfield, who proceeds to tell Utterson of an encounter he had seen some months ago while coming home late at night between a man and a young girl. The man, a sinister figure named Edward Hyde, and a young girl, who has run to get a doctor, accidentally bump into one another, but Hyde proceeds to trample her. Enfield chases after Hyde, brings him back to the scene, and, after the doctor assures them that the girl is okay, though frightened, joins with the girl's family in forcing Hyde to pay 100 pounds to avoid the scandal they will otherwise spread for his despicable behavior. Hyde leads them to the building Enfield and Utterson have paused before months later, disappears, and re-emerges with 10 pounds in gold and a cheque for the rest, drawn on the account of a reputable gentleman, who is later revealed to be Dr. Henry Jekyll (a client and old friend of Utterson's). Jekyll had recently and suddenly changed his will to make Hyde the sole beneficiary in case of his death or disappearance for more than three months. This development concerns and disturbs Utterson, who makes an effort to seek out Hyde, fearing that Hyde is blackmailing Jekyll. When he finally sees Hyde, the latter's ugliness, as if deformed, amazes Utterson. Although Utterson cannot say exactly how or why, Hyde provokes an instinctive feeling of revulsion in him. Much to Utterson's surprise, Hyde willingly offers Utterson his address. After one of Jekyll's dinner parties, Utterson stays behind to discuss the matter of Hyde with Jekyll. Utterson notices Jekyll turning pale, yet he assures Utterson that everything involving Hyde is in order and that Hyde should be left alone.
A year passes uneventfully. One night, a servant girl witnesses Hyde beat a man to death with a heavy cane. The victim was MP Sir Danvers Carew, another of Utterson's clients who was carrying a letter addressed to Utterson when he was killed. The police, who suspect Hyde, contact Utterson. He leads the officers to Hyde's apartment, feeling a sense of foreboding amid the eerie weather (the morning is dark and wreathed in fog). When they arrive at the apartment, the murderer has vanished, but they find half of the cane (described as being made of a strong wood but broken due to the beating) left behind a door.
About the Author
Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson (13 November 1850 - 3 December 1894) was a Scottish novelist, poet, essayist, and travel writer. His most famous works are Treasure Island, Kidnapped, and Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. A literary celebrity during his lifetime, Stevenson now ranks among the 26 most translated authors in the world. His works have been admired by many other writers, including Jorge Luis Borges, Bertolt Brecht, Marcel Proust, Arthur Conan Doyle, Henry James, Cesare Pavese, Ernest Hemingway, Rudyard Kipling, Jack London, Vladimir Nabokov, J. M. Barrie, and G. K. Chesterton, who said of him that he "seemed to pick the right word up on the point of his pen, like a man playing spillikins."