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The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Robert Louis Stevenson

Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is a novella written by the Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson and first published in 1886. It is about a London lawyer who investigates strange occurrences between his old friend, Dr Henry Jekyll, and the misanthropic Edward Hyde. The work is known for its vivid portrayal of the psychopathology of a split personality; in mainstream culture the very phrase "Jekyll and Hyde" has come to mean a person who may show a distinctly different character, or profoundly different behaviour, from one situation to the next, as if almost another person, possibly because of the rare disorder "multiple personality disorder" (more recently renamed "Dissociative Identity Disorder").

Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde was an immediate success and one of Stevenson's best-selling works. Stage adaptations began in Boston and London within a year of its publication and it has gone on to inspire scores of major film and stage performances.

Introduction

On their weekly walk, an eminently sensible, trustworthy lawyer named Mr. Utterson listens as his cousin Enfield tells a gruesome tale of assault. The tale describes a sinister figure named Mr. Hyde who tramples a young girl, disappears into a door on the street, and reemerges to pay off her relatives with a check signed by a respectable gentleman. Since both Utterson and Enfield disapprove of gossip, they agree to speak no further of the matter. It happens, however, that one of Utterson’s clients and close friends, Dr. Jekyll, has written a will transferring all of his property to this same Mr. Hyde. Soon, Utterson begins having dreams in which a faceless figure stalks through a nightmarish version of London.

(From Wikipedia, description text under GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL))

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