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Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

by Robert Louis Stevenson

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The young Robert Louis Stevenson suffered from repeated nightmares of living a double life, in which by day he worked as a respectable doctor and by night he roamed the back alleys of old-town Edinburgh. In three days of furious writing, he produced a story about his dream existence. His wife found it too gruesome, so he promptly burned the manuscript. In another three days, he wrote it again. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was published as a "shilling shocker" in 1886, and became an instant classic. In the first six months, 40,000 copies were sold. Queen Victoria read it. Sermons and editorials were written about it. When Stevenson and his family visited America a year later, they were mobbed by reporters at the dock in New York City. Compulsively readable from its opening pages, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is still one of the best tales ever written about the divided self.

This University of Nebraska Press edition is a small, exquisitely produced paperback. The book design, based on the original first edition of 1886, includes wide margins, decorative capitals on the title page and first page of each chapter, and a clean, readable font that is 19th-century in style. Joyce Carol Oates contributes a foreword in which she calls Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde a "mythopoetic figure" like Frankenstein, Dracula, and Alice in Wonderland, and compares Stevenson's creation to doubled selves in the works of Plato, Poe, Wilde, and Dickens.

This edition also features 12 full-page wood engravings by renowned illustrator Barry Moser. Moser is a skillful reader and interpreter as well as artist, and his afterword to the book, in which he explains the process by which he chose a self-portrait motif for the suite of engravings, is fascinating. For the image of Edward Hyde, he writes, "I went so far as to have my dentist fit me out with a carefully sculpted prosthetic of evil-looking teeth. But in the final moments I had to abandon the idea as being inappropriate. It was more important to stay in keeping with the text and, like Stevenson, not show Hyde's face." (Also recommended: the edition of Frankenstein illustrated by Barry Moser) --Fiona Webster

From Library Journal
This budget hardcover includes the full text of Jekyll and Hyde plus the short pieces "The Body Snatcher," "The Bottle Imp," "Markheim," and "The Pavillion on the Links," as well as an essay on Jekyll by Henry James and one on Stevenson by G.K Chesterton. A great deal for the price.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From AudioFile
Stevenson's most often dramatized and distorted novella gets its umpteenth audiobook reading from the talented Scott Brick. Although his British accent is a wee bit shaky, he doesn't disappoint. He narrates in his wonted American voice with particular attention to atmosphere and delivers his British characters with personality and a reserve that lends appropriate gravity to the tale and plays effectively against its melodrama. Y.R. © AudioFile 2003, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine

From Booklist
The Whole Story series, which features unabridged texts, annotations, and many colorful pictures, appeals to young people who are urged to read the classics, but reject the small print and dull look of many editions intended for older readers. This edition of Stevenson's classic tale gives the flavor of late Victorian England through its lively ink-and-watercolor illustrations and plentiful reproductions of period photos, sketches, engravings, and paintings. Marginal notes comment on Stevenson and on aspects of the story and of Victorian culture that might be obscure to modern readers. Given the colorful look of the book and the perennial appeal of the story, this version will be a useful addition to many libraries. Carolyn Phelan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Gordon Hirsch, University of Minnesota
"this edition will be a boon to the classroom or to an individual's private enjoyment of this classic tale."

Midwest Book Review
"This scholarly edition...is highly recommended for personal and academic library collections"

Book Description

This intriguing combination of fantasy thriller and moral allegory depicts the gripping struggle of two opposing personalities — one essentially good, the other evil — for the soul of one man. Its tingling suspense and intelligent and sensitive portrayal of man's dual nature reveal Stevenson as a novelist of great skill and originality.



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