Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is the original title of a novella written by the Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson and first published in 1886. The work is commonly known today as The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde or Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. It is about a London lawyer named Gabriel John Utterson 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 a split personality, split in the sense that within the same person there is both an apparently good and an evil personality each being quite distinct from the other. The novella's impact is such that it has become a part of the language, with the phrase "Jekyll and Hyde" coming to mean a person who is vastly different in moral character from one situation to the next.
Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde was an immediate success and is 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.
Stevenson had long been intrigued in the idea of the duality of human nature and how to incorporate the interplay of good and evil into a story. While still a teenager, he developed a script for a play on Deacon Brodie, which he later reworked with the help of W. E. Henley and saw produced for the first time in 1882. In early 1884 he wrote the short story "Markheim", which he revised in 1884 for publication in a Christmas annual. One night in late September or early October 1885, possibly while he was still revising "Markheim," Stevenson had a dream, and on wakening had the intuition for two or three scenes that would appear in the story. "In the small hours of one afternoon," says Mrs Stevenson, "I was awakened by cries of horror from Louis. Thinking he had a nightmare, I woke him. He said angrily, 'Why did you wake me? I was dreaming a fine bogey tale.' I had awakened him at the first transformation scene ..."
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