The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: And Other Tales of Terror

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: And Other Tales of Terror

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Overview

Stevenson's famous exploration of humanity's basest capacity for evil

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde have become synonymous with the idea of a split personality. More than a morality tale, this dark psychological fantasy is also a product of its time, drawing on contemporary theories of class, evolution, criminality, and secret lives. Also in this volume are "The Body Snatcher," which charts the murky underside of Victorian medical practice, and "Olalla," a tale of vampirism and "the beast within," with a beautiful woman at its center.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780141439730
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/28/2003
Series: Penguin Classics Series
Edition description: Revised
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 176,113
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.80(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-94) is the author of many works of fiction including Kidnapped, Treasure Island, The Weir of Hermiston, and poetry.

Robert Mighall has edited The Picture of Dorian Gray for Penguin Classics and is the author of A Geography of Victorian Gothic Fiction (1999).

Date of Birth:

November 13, 1850

Date of Death:

December 3, 1894

Place of Birth:

Edinburgh, Scotland

Place of Death:

Vailima, Samoa

Education:

Edinburgh University, 1875

Read an Excerpt

Story of the Door


MR. UTTERSON the lawyer was a man of a rugged countenance that was never lighted by a smile; cold, scanty and embarrassed in discourse; backward in sentiment; lean, long, dusty, dreary and yet somehow lovable. At friendly meetings, and when the wine was to his taste, something eminently human beaconed from his eye; something indeed which never found its way into his talk, but which spoke not only in these silent symbols of the after-dinner face, but more often and loudly in the acts of his life. He was austere with himself; drank gin when he was alone, to mortify a taste for vintages; and though he enjoyed the theater, had not crossed the doors of one for twenty years. But he had an approved tolerance for others; sometimes wondering, almost with envy, at the high pressure of spirits involved in their misdeeds; and in any extremity inclined to help rather than to reprove. "I incline to Cain's heresy," he used to say quaintly: "I let my brother go to the devil in his own way." In this character, it was frequently his fortune to be the last reputable acquaintance and the last good influence in the lives of downgoing men. And to such as these, so long as they came about his chambers, he never marked a shade of change in his demeanour.

No doubt the feat was easy to Mr. Utterson; for he was undemonstrative at the best, and even his friendship seemed to be founded in a similar catholicity of good-nature. It is the mark of a modest man to accept his friendly circle ready-made from the hands of opportunity; and that was the lawyer's way. His friends were those of his own blood or those whom he had known the longest; hisaffections, like ivy, were the growth of time, they implied no aptness in the object. Hence, no doubt, the bond that united him to Mr. Richard Enfield, his distant kinsman, the well-known man about town. It was a nut to crack for many, what these two could see in each other, or what subject they could find in common. It was reported by those who encountered them in their Sunday walks, that they said nothing, looked singularly dull, and would hail with obvious relief the appearance of a friend. For all that, the two men put the greatest store by these excursions, counted them the chief jewel of each week, and not only set aside occasions of pleasure, but even resisted the calls of business, that they might enjoy them uninterrupted.

It chanced on one of these rambles that their way led them down a by-street in a busy quarter of London. The street was small and what is called quiet, but it drove a thriving trade on the weekdays. The inhabitants were all doing well, it seemed, and all emulously hoping to do better still, and laying out the surplus of their grains in coquetry; so that the shop fronts stood along that thoroughfare with an air of invitation, like rows of smiling saleswomen. Even on Sunday, when it veiled its more florid charms and lay comparatively empty of passage, the street shone out in contrast to its dingy neighbourhood, like a fire in a forest; and with its freshly painted shutters, well-polished brasses, and general cleanliness and gaiety of note, instantly caught and pleased the eye of the passenger.

Two doors from one corner, on the left hand going east, the line was broken by the entry of a court; and just at that point, a certain sinister block of building thrust forward its gable on the street. It was two storeys high; showed no window, nothing but a door on the lower storey and a blind forehead of discoloured wall on the upper; and bore in every feature, the marks of prolonged and sordid negligence. The door, which was equipped with neither bell nor knocker, was blistered and distained. Tramps slouched into the recess and struck matches on the panels; children kept shop upon the steps; the schoolboy had tried his knife on the mouldings; and for close on a generation, no one had appeared to drive away these random visitors or to repair their ravages.

Mr. Enfield and the lawyer were on the other side of the by-street; but when they came abreast of the entry, the former lifted up his cane and pointed.

"Did you ever remark that door?" he asked; and when his companion had replied in the affirmative, "It is connected in my mind," added he, "with a very odd story."

"Indeed?" said Mr. Utterson, with a slight change of voice, "and what was that?"

"Well, it was this way," returned Mr. Enfield: "I was coming home from some place at the end of the world, about three o'clock of a black winter morning, and my way lay through a part of town where there was literally nothing to be seen but lamps. Street after street, and all the folks asleep--street after street, all lighted up as if for a procession and all as empty as a church--till at last I got into that state of mind when a man listens and listens and begins to long for the sight of a policeman. All at once, I saw two figures: one a little man who was stumping along eastward at a good walk, and the other a girl of maybe eight or ten who was running as hard as she was able down a cross street. Well, sir, the two ran into one another naturally enough at the corner; and then came the horrible part of the thing; for the man trampled calmly over the child's body and left her screaming on the ground. It sounds nothing to hear, but it was hellish to see. It wasn't like a man; it was like some damned Juggernaut. I gave a view halloa, took to my heels, collared my gentleman, and brought him back to where there was already quite a group about the screaming child. He was perfectly cool and made no resistance, but gave me one look, so ugly that it brought out the sweat on me like running. The people who had turned out were the girl's own family; and pretty soon, the doctor, for whom she had been sent, put in his appearance. Well, the child was not much the worse, more frightened, according to the Sawbones; and there you might have supposed would be an end to it. But there was one curious circumstance. I had taken a loathing to my gentleman at first sight. So had the child's family, which was only natural. But the doctor's case was what struck me. He was the usual cut and dry apothecary, of no particular age and colour, with a strong Edinburgh accent, and about as emotional as a bagpipe. Well, sir, he was like the rest of us; every time he looked at my prisoner, I saw that Sawbones turn sick and white with desire to kill him. I knew what was in his mind, just as he knew what was in mine; and killing being out of the question, we did the next best. We told the man we could and would make such a scandal out of this, as should make his name stink from one end of London to the other. If he had any friends or any credit, we undertook that he should lose them. And all the time, as we were pitching it in red hot, we were keeping the women off him as best we could, for they were as wild as harpies. I never saw a circle of such hateful faces; and there was the man in the middle, with a kind of black, sneering coolness--frightened too, I could see that--but carrying it off, sir, really like Satan. 'If you choose to make capital out of this accident,' said he, 'I am naturally helpless. No gentleman but wishes to avoid a scene,' says he. 'Name your figure.' Well, we screwed him up to a hundred pounds for the child's family; he would have clearly liked to stick out; but there was something about the lot of us that meant mischief, and at last he struck. The next thing was to get the money; and where do you think he carried us but to that place with the door?--whipped out a key, went in, and presently came back with the matter of ten pounds in gold and a cheque for the balance on Coutts's, drawn payable to bearer and signed with a name that I can't mention, though it's one of the points of my story, but it was a name at least very well known and often printed. The figure was stiff; but the signature was good for more than that, if it was only genuine. I took the liberty of pointing out to my gentleman that the whole business looked apocryphal, and that a man does not, in real life, walk into a cellar door at four in the morning and come out with another man's cheque for close upon a hundred pounds. But he was quite easy and sneering. 'Set your mind at rest,' says he, 'I will stay with you till the banks open and cash the cheque myself.' So we all set off, the doctor, and the child's father, and our friend and myself, and passed the rest of the night in my chambers; and next day, when we had breakfasted, went in a body to the bank. I gave in the cheque myself, and said I had every reason to believe it was a forgery. Not a bit of it. The cheque was genuine."

"Tut-tut," said Mr. Utterson.

"I see you feel as I do," said Mr. Enfield. "Yes, it's a bad story. For my man was a fellow that nobody could have to do with, a really damnable man; and the person that drew the cheque is the very pink of the proprieties, celebrated too, and (what makes it worse) one of your fellows who do what they call good. Black mail, I suppose; an honest man paying through the nose for some of the capers of his youth. Black Mail House is what I call the place with the door, in consequence. Though even that, you know, is far from explaining all," he added, and with the words fell into a vein of musing.

From this he was recalled by Mr. Utterson asking rather suddenly: "And you don't know if the drawer of the cheque lives there?"

"A likely place, isn't it?" returned Mr. Enfield. "But I happen to have noticed his address; he lives in some square or other."

"And you never asked about the--place with the door?" said Mr. Utterson.

"No, sir: I had a delicacy," was the reply. "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. No sir, I make it a rule of mine: the more it looks like Queer Street, the less I ask."

"A very good rule, too," said the lawyer.

"But I have studied the place for myself," continued Mr. Enfield. "It seems scarcely a house. There is no other door, and nobody goes in or out of that one but, once in a great while, the gentleman of my adventure. There are three windows looking on the court on the first floor; none below; the windows are always shut but they're clean. And then there is a chimney which is generally smoking; so somebody must live there. And yet it's not so sure; for the buildings are so packed together about the court, that it's hard to say where one ends and another begins."

The pair walked on again for a while in silence; and then "Enfield," said Mr. Utterson, "that's a good rule of yours."

"Yes, I think it is," returned Enfield.

"But for all that," continued the lawyer, "there's one point I want to ask: I want to ask the name of that man who walked over the child."

"Well," said Mr. Enfield, "I can't see what harm it would do. It was a man of the name of Hyde."

"Hm," said Mr. Utterson. "What sort of a man is he to see?"

"He is not easy to describe. There is something wrong with his appearance; something displeasing, something downright detestable. I never saw a man I so disliked, and yet I scarce know why. He must be deformed somewhere; he gives a strong feeling of deformity, although I couldn't specify the point. He's an extraordinary-looking man, and yet I really can name nothing out of the way. No, sir; I can make no hand of it; I can't describe him. And it's not want of memory; for I declare I can see him this moment."

Mr. Utterson again walked some way in silence and obviously under a weight of consideration. "You are sure he used a key?" he inquired at last.

"My dear sir . . ." began Enfield, surprised out of himself.

"Yes, I know," said Utterson; "I know it must seem strange. The fact is, if I do not ask you the name of the other party, it is because I know it already. You see, Richard, your tale has gone home. If you have been inexact in any point, you had better correct it."

"I think you might have warned me," returned the other with a touch of sullenness. "But I have been pedantically exact, as you call it. The fellow had a key; and what's more, he has it still. I saw him use it, not a week ago."

Mr. Utterson sighed deeply but said never a word; and the young man presently resumed. "Here is another lesson to say nothing," said he. "I am ashamed of my long tongue. Let us make a bargain never to refer to this again."

"With all my heart," said the lawyer. "I shake hands on that, Richard."


Searching for Mr.Hyde


THAT EVENING Mr. Utterson came home to his bachelor house in sombre spirits and sat down to dinner without relish. It was his custom of a Sunday, when this meal was over, to sit close by the fire, a volume of some dry divinity on his reading desk, until the clock of the neighbouring church rang out the hour of twelve, when he would go soberly and gratefully to bed. On this night, however, as soon as the cloth was taken away, he took up a candle and went into his business room. There he opened his safe, took from the most private part of it a document endorsed on the envelope as Dr. Jekyll's Will, and sat down with a clouded brow to study its contents. The will was holograph, for Mr. Utterson, though he took charge of it now that it was made, had refused to lend the least assistance in the making of it; it provided not only that, in case of the decease of Henry Jekyll, M.D., D.C.L., L.L.D., F.R.S., etc., all his possessions were to pass into the hands of his "friend and benefactor Edward Hyde," but that in case of Dr. Jekyll's "disappearance or unexplained absence for any period exceeding three calendar months," the said Edward Hyde should step into the said Henry Jekyll's shoes without further delay and free from any burthen or obligation, beyond the payment of a few small sums to the members of the doctor's household. This document had long been the lawyer's eyesore. It offended him both as a lawyer and as a lover of the sane and customary sides of life, to whom the fanciful was the immodest. And hitherto it was his ignorance of Mr. Hyde that had swelled his indignation; now, by a sudden turn, it was his knowledge. It was already bad enough when the name was but a name of which he could learn no more. It was worse when it began to be clothed upon with destestable attributes; and out of the shifting, insubstantial mists that had so long baffled his eye, there leaped up the sudden, definite presentment of a fiend.

From the Paperback edition.

Table of Contents

Forewordvii
Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde1
Notes83
Biographical note85

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The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 60 reviews.
Iowachild More than 1 year ago
I had an invitation to see Jeckyl and Hyde the musical production that is on its way to Broadway. I wanted to review the story before I went. I was really happy that I read the book as it gave me great insight into the plot of the production. The production was quite different that the synopsis of the book. The Nook book was easy to navigate and I enjoyed reading the Old English literary style.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love the story, but for some reason a lot of the words are gibberish. Like the word "protege" is spelled "prot^g^." D
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The original is good. This isjt. Its abridged
LisaMaria_C on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This story of a doctor who splits off his dark side with a potion might have been much more impressive in its psychology of duality when published in 1886. The novella kept me reading from start to finish, without really moving me--the story is kept at one remove until it's last few chapters by being seen through the perspective of Utterson, Dr Jekyll's friend and lawyer, a rather bland figure. The last two chapters are letters from a friend and colleague of Jekyll, then finally Jekyll himself, but it feels like an abrupt end because we never get Utterson's reaction to the revelations in those letters. A novel that did actually impress was a modern retelling, Mary Reilly by Valerie Martin, telling the story from the perspective of Jekyll's maid, who is unnamed and only briefly mentioned in the original.
mesmericrevelation on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I could not put this book down. I love it and I can't believe it took me this long to read it. I will definitely be re-reading this one next month and every October from now on.It is such an incredible story. Like me, you may know it from movies but, as always, the book is so much better. I cannot say enough good stuff about this it.Since it is so good and such a fast read, I will be making everyone I know read this. If you haven't read it yet, go read it right now. You wont regret it. Seriously, go! Right now!
Voise15 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A Victorian novel, both of its time and ground breaking - a gothic tale set in a London contemporary to the author.It touches on a range of taboo issues, from sexuality, to the link between class and morals and by extension eugenics.The introduction and background essay by Mighall are insightful and give the modern reader a sense of the impact this book had at the time of writing.I did find it slightly distasteful that the updstanding Dr Jekyll is perceived as the moral opposite of the base Hyde character - described as "pure evil".
GrazianoRonca on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: And Other Tales of Terror by Robert Louis StevensonPenguin Classics (2003), Paperback, 224 pages`I can¿t describe him. And it¿s not want of memory; for I declare I can see him this moment.¿ (p.10)Robert Mighall, editor of this edition of The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, writes that the statement of Dr Jekyll (last chapter of the book) is the best known part of the story written by Robert Louis Stevenson. Mighall advises to read the book completely: ¿They would find there something different from what they imagined: a more complex, rewarding and disturbing story than the version that has been handed down in popular culture form.¿ (p.ix)As Mighall writes in the introduction, following the path of Gothic novelist Stevenson changes the set of his stories: abandoned ruined castles and woods, Stevenson set the horror in the mind of individuals. The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe is the past, the good and the evil are inside the mind.`I saw that, of the two natures that contended in the field of my consciousness, even if I could rightly be said to be either, it was only because I was radically both; ¿ I had learned to dwell with pleasure, ¿ on the thought of the separation of these elements. If each ¿ could but be housed in separate identities, life would be relieved of all that was unbearable; the injust might go his way ¿ and the just could walk steadfastly and securely on his upward path.¿ (p.56)This edition contains a brief dissertation of Robert Mighall: Diagnosing Jekyll: the Scientific Context to Dr Jekyll¿s Experiment and Mr Hyde¿s Embodiment; although very useful, I prefer a different point of view `diagnosing¿ Stevenson and his book. Cesare Lombroso¿ s idea about the connection between head¿s shape and criminality (drawn from physiognomy): ugly means crime, handsome means honest person; is only an easy and popular connection. In my opinion, on the other hand, Stevenson writes about the dichotomy between good and evil. Good or just has always tried to keep a distance from evil or unjust, but Stevenson wants to find another solution: both just and unjust living in the same person. But morality liked, from biblical times, dichotomy; so Stevenson doesn¿t solve the problem with Dr Jekyll: his friend `can¿t describe him¿ (p.10) The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde was first published in 1885; the next year, 1886, Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche wrote Beyond Good and Evil (Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future). Nietzsche `screaming¿ his `Affirmative Philosophy¿ or `Philosophy of Yes¿ preludes how to build a bridge towards / beyond just and unjust.Stevenson and Nietzsche: same times, same ideas, different solutions.
Hamburgerclan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The introduction to this book has a great quote: "...Stevenson's story is more known about than actually known..." This was certainly true for me, and ever since enjoying The League of Extra-ordinary Gentlemen*, I had a desire to change that. I finally managed to snag a copy of the tale and read it. As you probably know, it's the tale of a Doctor Henry Jekyll, who concocts a potion that transforms him into Mr. Edward Hyde, an amoral man without restraint. Or perhaps you can say that the potion releases Hyde from the restraint that is Henry Jekyll. At this point I'm supposed to say that it's a classic tale of suppressed desire and social façades--a masterpiece for all times. Or something like that. The truth is, while I enjoyed reading the story, I wasn't overly impressed. Like most people, I imagine, I share Dr. Jekyll's struggle with the darker part of my soul. But it seems that the better solution is just to fess up and ask the good Lord for forgiveness rather than try to cover it up or seek ways to secretly indulge it. Of course, if Dr. Jekyll had done that, it would have made for an even shorter tale. Ah, well....--J.______*A work that takes great liberties with the character, I discovered.
whirled on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Like most people, I've been aware of Jekyll and Hyde most of my life, chiefly as a common descriptor for the contradictions and duality of human nature. I mean, even Eddie Murphy took up the theme in The Nutty Professor. Reading the classic short story filled in a lot of intriguing details left out of later reinterpretations. Stevenson evokes the fog-shrouded streets of London so convincingly I could almost hear the clip-clopping of horse's hooves on damp cobble-stoned streets. Not as frightening as it must have been to uninitiated 19th century readers, but still a deserving classic of the horror genre.
marek2009 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another book I started for the Edinburgh trip, having never read it before. It's a wonderful tale & a great edition, with 'The Bodysnatcher', a retelling of Burke & Hare, & Olalla, a story about a Spanish vampire, & extract from 'Chapter on Dreaming'. The notes & accompanying essays are also very good.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The real story isn't the same as what is proliferated by popular culture. There is no big, green ugly monster. While it's fun to watch Bugs Bunny turn into a green monster after drinking a potion, or a small man turn into a giant monster in the movies, the real story is more subdued but also more personal, tragic, and interesting. I recommend this book to anyone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This ebook was clearly not created by a human. The text is garbled.
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This is an amazing book about the good and evil sides in a man. It was wonderfully creepy and made me think.
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