Robert Louis Stevenson
This edition of The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is perfect for GCSE-level students: it comes complete with the novel, plus an introduction providing context, and a glossary explaining key terms.
‘He put the glass to his lips, and drank at one gulp. A cry followed; he reeled, staggered, clutched at the table and held on, staring with injected eyes, gasping with open mouth; and as I looked there came, I thought, a change…’
A series of brutal incidents – a murder, the trampling of a child – leads lawyer Mr Utterson to try to find out more about the repulsive perpetrator Mr Hyde. More importantly, he begins to question how Hyde is connected to Utterson’s old friend, the respectable Dr Jekyll.
Robert Louis Stevenson’s 1886 novel, with its concern with doubles and the ‘dual nature of man’, takes the reader into the darker regions of late Victorian London, as Utterson begins to unravel the mystery and confront the horror of Hyde’s true identity.
Robert Louis Stevenson was born in Edinburgh in 1850. The son of a prosperous civil engineer, he was expected to follow the family profession, but was allowed to study law at Edinburgh University. Stevenson reacted strongly against the Presbyterian respectability of the city's professional classes and this led to painful clashes with his parents. In his early twenties he became afflicted with a severe respiratory illness from which he was to suffer for the rest of his life; it was at this time that he determined to become a professional writer. The effects of the often harsh Scottish climate on his poor health forced him to spend long periods abroad. After a great deal of travelling he eventually settled in Samoa, where he died on 3 December 1894.
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