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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. Hydewas 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. Hydeis 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 --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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ISBN-10:  0451528956
ISBN-13:  978-0451528957
Author:  Robert Louis Stevenson
Genre:  Literature & Fiction
Publisher:  Signet Classics
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review by . November 13, 2010
There are some plot twists which are so ingrained into our society's mythos that we forget they were ever plot twists in the first place. Everyone alive today, regardless of whether or not they're familiar with the source material, knows Rosebud was the sled. Everyone knows Janet Leigh is cut to ribbons in the shower and that the parental lineage of Luke Skywalker directly passes the Dark Side. Does the name Tom Riddle ring any bells? Video gamers will all have strong feelings - good and bad - over …
review by . February 04, 2007
What would you do if you could drink an elixir that removes all guilt from your mind for a few hours and allows you to partake in things that you normally would never dream of? Robert Louis Stevenson gives us a glimpse of what could happen in "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde." It's a wonderful classic originally published in 1886. In it, the well-worn battle between good and evil is played out not in the forms of a hero and a villain, but inside the mind and soul of one man who toys with the idea of acting …
review by . April 02, 2006
The classic story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde tells of a respectable citizen Dr Jekyll who transforms into a heinous villian by night that trolls the streets of Edinburgh in the 1800s. This dual life of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is traced in a third person account by a friend of the good doctor, who follows the evidence provided by both Jekyll and Hyde. The story itself is easy to understand and enjoyable to follow. The book is appropriate for anyone in high school or higher, and makes for a good movie …
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Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (Signet Classics)
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