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The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Dover Thrift Editions) [Paperback]

Robert Louis Stevenson
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)

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Book Description

January 1, 1991 0486266885 978-0486266886
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, whose power to terrify and move us remains, over a century later, undiminished.

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Editorial Reviews


"Martin Danahay's edition of Jekyll and Hyde is a treasure-trove of biographical, cultural, and historical materials. It makes a number of important contexts for interpretation available through its accessible but intriguing assemblage of ancillary documents. It cannot fail to be the inspiration for deeper investigations of a masterpiece that is itself at the crossroads of Victorian anxieties about sex, class, psychology, evolution, and the rise of popular culture." (John Kucich)

"The appendices to this edition offer the reader a splendid sense of the book’s cultural background. Especially interesting are the selections from nineteenth-century psychology. The discussions concerning the nature of dreaming and the concept of the 'double-brain' add an intriguing dimension to one’s understanding of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde." (Ann C. Colley, author of Robert Louis Stevenson and the Colonial Imagination)

"Danahay provides an authoritative text, an excellent introductory commentary, an up to date bibliography, and a well-chosen set of contextualizing appendices. For an in-depth understanding of Stevenson's masterpiece of horror this is the text of choice." (Patrick Brantlinger)

"Danahay's edition of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde places that text in a variety of important and enriching contexts, using selections from Stevenson's letters and other relevant works, as well as contemporary reviews and responses (including a Punch parody and an early adaptation of Jekyll and Hyde for the stage). The appendices also connect Stevenson's novel with Victorian thought about psychology, criminality, degeneracy, and urban life. Providing a splendid, brief immersion in late Victorian culture, this edition will be a boon to the classroom or to an individual's private enjoyment of this classic tale." (Gordon Hirsch)

"Martin Danahay's edition justifies our on-going admiration for this masterpiece of English literature. The appendices offer students and scholars alike interesting and important insights into the cultural context of the novel." (Patricia O'Neill)

"Martin Danahay's new edition of the Robert Louis Stevenson horror fantasy classic (first published in 1886) sets this seminal, influential work firmly in the context out of which it emerged. The many appendices include a range of contemporary reactions to the novel; a selection of Victorian views on criminality and degeneracy; descriptions of Soho and London's West End in the 1880s; and a portfolio of newspaper accounts of and reaction to the 'Jack the Ripper' murders. This scholarly edition of The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is highly recommended for personal and academic library collections and literary studies reading lists." (Midwest Book Review) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

First published in 1886 as a "shilling shocker," Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde takes the basic struggle between good and evil and adds to the mix bourgeois respectability, urban violence, and class conflict. The result is a tale that has taken on the force of myth in the popular imagination. This Broadview edition provides a fascinating selection of contextual material, including contemporary reviews of the novel, Stevenson's essay "A Chapter on Dreams," and excerpts from the 1887 stage version of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Also included are historical documents on criminality and degeneracy, the "Jack the Ripper" murders, and London in the 1880s. New to this second edition are an updated critical introduction and, in the appendices, writings on Victorian psychology by Thomas Carlyle, Richard Krafft-Ebing, and Henry Maudsley, among others. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Product Details

  • Series: Dover Thrift Editions
  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications (January 1, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486266885
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486266886
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.2 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,994 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Victorian sight of Good and Evil struggle. October 25, 2004
Robert Louis Stevenson (1850 - 1894) was a remarkable author from the Victorian Era. He has left us at least two masterpieces: "The Treasure Island" (1883) and "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" (1886) and some other good novels such as "The Black Arrow" (1888).

It is amazing how writers and poets are able, thru intuition, to anticipate events or discoveries. When this book was first published, Sigmund Freud was studying with Charcot and not so many years later will produce his theoretic corpus of the human psyche. At some points the present story touches Freud's conceptualizations.

Dr. Jekyll suspect evil burdens every human soul, being an obstacle in its way to goodness. So he investigates and produces a drug that "liberates" the evil spirit and doing so he intend to be relived of it.
But Evil starts to grow each time more powerful and Mr. Hyde end cornering Dr. Jekyll into impotence and fear.

This story has captivated the public's imagination for more than a hundred years. Movies, comics and theater pieces had evolved from it. His tortured dual character is now a well known icon as Stoker's Dracula or Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.
Even if you know more or less the story and its ending, reading this very short book is a powerful adventure.
A Classic you shouldn't let pass by unheeded!
Reviewed by Max Yofre.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stevenson's psychological nightmare realized May 17, 2004
By A.J.
Robert Louis Stevenson's "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" is arguably the single most famous metaphor that Western literature has bestowed upon the public conscience, and certainly the most ubiquitous metaphor for duality of personality. But what of the artistic quality of the novella itself? The outer plot -- involving the detection of Henry Jekyll's double identity by his friend and lawyer Gabriel Utterson -- is the least interesting facet of the story; Stevenson's concept, inspired by a nightmare, and the vivid language he uses to convey it, are what impress the most upon the reader.
The respected London scientist Henry Jekyll seems normal enough, but he is fascinated by what he considers to be two distinct sides to his (or, he believes, anybody's) personality, which can be described crudely as good and evil. He furthermore believes these sides are physically separable, just as water can be separated into its constituent elements, hydrogen and oxygen, by electrolysis; and so he invents a potion that essentially splits his personality so that only one side will manifest itself while the other becomes latent. In this way, Jekyll reasons, the "good" side may be an agent of good works without being burdened by the disgrace of an inherent evil, and the "evil" side is free to do his damage without the pangs of remorse he would inherit from the conscience of his good twin. In Freudian terms, Jekyll is the ego, Hyde is the id, but unfortunately -- and this is the point that drives the story -- Jekyll has no superego to tell him that the potion is an irresponsibly bad idea in the first place.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The classic horror tale of the beast buried within us October 20, 2002
"The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" is assured a place in the history of horror fiction because it the literary classic that represents the archetype of the werewolf (the human with the hiding inside). Along with Mary Wollstonecraft's "Frankenstein" (the Thing Without a Name) and Bram Stoker's "Dracula" (the Vampire) Robert Louis Stevenson's novella is part of the gothic foundation of the modern horror story. All have in common the fact that they promise to tell a story that might best be left untold, which, of course, is exactly the sort of story we want to hear.
Given that Stevenson was writing when the genre of horror fiction was not recognized as such, it is surprising that "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" is cast in the form of a mystery novel. Stevenson invites his readers to try and get ahead of the story, to put the clues together and come to the conclusion. Today it is nearly impossible to pick up this story and not know the "secret," but if you think back to the late 19th-century when this story was written you can get a sense for how Stevenson used the biases and limitations of his readers to his advantage in keeping them from what we might consider to be an obvious conclusion.
More importantly, Stevenson is writing several decades before the writings of Sigmund Freud revolutionized the whole idea of human psychology. Yet we can certainly find evidence of the conscious and subconscious mind of which Freud would write. Stevenson reinforces this metaphor with the block of buildings that divides this particular part of London, with one side representing the civilized world of a respected physician and the other side the squalor of the world inhabited by an inhuman creature who gives in to his every earthly desire.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A literary novel masquerading as a tale of horror June 2, 2012
By maelje
Although sometimes overlooked, Robert Louis Stevenson's novella of dual identity ranks with Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" and Bram Stoker's "Dracula" as one of the great horrific works of the 19th century. I first read it as a boy and I recently returned to it for the upteenth time -- and I'm in my early 50s now. This is one of those stories to which an appreciative reader can relish, over and over again.

That said, I must warn anyone expecting a really good fright that our modern sensibilities probably prevent this book from having that effect. And in fact, "Jekyll and Hyde" was never as terrifying as "Frankenstein," the story of a man who presumes godly powers but creates a monster, or "Dracula," the tale of a creature who seems to have cheated death. Instead, this story of Dr. Henry Jekyll's transformation into a malformed thug is creepy, yes, but also quite sad.

But that evocation of pathos may be the book's greatest strength. As a reader, I am repelled by Mr. Hyde but also feel a great pity for him, so twisted he is in body, mind and soul. Stevenson, able to create those conflicting emotions in his audience, stands as one of our great writers.

I have read that some people reading this book for the first time have been disappointed by the experience, partly because of their own lofty expectations. If you're coming to the book anew, remember that it was written in a different time, long before we had become jaded by slasher films and pointless exercises in cruelty such as the "Saw" and "Hostel" series. This is a marvelous (and short!) tale of a man who lets his humanity slip away into the darkness. Highly recommended.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
This is a novel that can be classified as a work of science fiction, thriller, or even good old horror! Read more
Published 1 month ago by Kreg Gilson
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must-Read Classic
This book opened a whole new genre for me with its gothic tale of how the mind can be so easily manipulated and how the power of our mind itself can be enough to effect the others... Read more
Published 1 month ago by swood556
4.0 out of 5 stars very good
It is really hard to put so much story into one really thin book. Robert Louis Stevenson made it look extremely easy! Of course after you read it, you want more. Read more
Published 2 months ago by gadget annie
1.0 out of 5 stars Hated it
I just did not care for the story at all. I found it very boring and uninteresting. Simply couldn't get into it.
Published 2 months ago by Michael H
4.0 out of 5 stars great book!
This book was in very fine conditioin when I received it. I had to read it for a school assignment but I really got into it after the first few pages. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Pedro
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read!
I bought the book for my son(school read), and I read it. I truly enjoyed it. The book arrived before the scheduled date, in awesome shape.
Published 3 months ago by monster
3.0 out of 5 stars Worth reading!
Interesting read. Enjoyed Under the Dark and Stary Skies too! Robert Louis Stevenson writes the book (The Strange of Dr Jekyll...)in the story.
Published 3 months ago by Luv2BOutdoors
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Story
The only thing that keeps me from giving this 5 stars is the line-length of the body copy. It was a little difficult to travel across sometimes. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Holly
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read at a good price.
The dover thrift editions are a good way to read the classics at a good price. Jekyll and Hyde is the story most of us already know about mans dark side and good side. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Jeff
4.0 out of 5 stars A nice little book
This is, mind you, a small paperback book. It is probably half an inch thick and 8 inches tall. Nothing fancy, just a paperback. But it is well-made, and good quality. Read more
Published 5 months ago by C Wilson
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