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Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde

PDF The young Robert Louis Stevenson sufferedfrom repeated nightmares of living a double life, in which by day heworked as a respectable doctor and by night he roamed the back alleysof old-town Edinburgh. In three days of furious writing, he produceda story about his dream existence. His wife found it too gruesome, sohe promptly burned the manuscript. In another three days, he wrote itagain. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was published asa "shilling shocker" in 1886, and became an instant classic. In thefirst six months, 40,000 copies were sold. Queen Victoria read it.Sermons and editorials were written about it. When Stevenson and hisfamily visited America a year later, they were mobbed by reporters atthe dock in New York City.Compulsively readable from its openingpages, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is still one of the best talesever written about the divided self.

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

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

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