The idea for Robert Louis Stevenson's immortal masterpiece of psychological terror sprang from the deepest recesses of his own subconscious -- a nightmare from which his wife awakened him. He wrote it as a stark yet complex tale whose popularity has endured for more than a century, making the phrase "Jekyll and Hyde" synonymous with man's internal war between good and evil. Brilliantly anticipating modern psychology, Stevenson's story of the kindly scientist who drinks a potion that nightly transforms him into a stunted, evil version of himself is a tale of incomparable suspense and horror.
Washington Square Press' Enriched Classics present the great works of world literature enhanced for the contemporary reader. This edition of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde has been prepared by Barry V. Qualls, professor of English at Rutgers University, and Susan J. Wolfson, professor of English at Princeton University. It includes Stevenson's notes, a selection of critical excerpts, suggestions for further reading, and a unique visual essay of period illustrations and photographs.
What would it happen if a certain day we could transform ourselves in our worst without anybody noticing it?
The strangest thing is not the case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, but the way the story is structured. Even if Mr Utterson can be considered a detective, the story doesn't really start like a detective fiction with a case to be solved. It is a dream driving the sleeper (and the reader) into a metaphysical confusing world.
"I feel very strongly about putting questions. It partakes too much of the style of the day of judgment. You start a question, and it's like starting a stone. You sit quietly on the top of a hill; and away the stone goes, starting others; and presently some bland old bird (the last you would have thought of) is knocked on the head in his own back garden and the family have to change their name..."