Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

“It is one thing to mortify curiosity, another to conquer it": First Edition, First Issue of Robert Louis Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

STEVENSON, Robert Louis.


Item Number: 107326

London: Longman, Green, and Co, 1886.

First edition, first issue with the publication date on the upper wrapper altered by hand of Stevenson’s classic book. Octavo, original wrappers, advertisements. In very good condition without the usual restoration seen on most examples. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. First editions in the original wrappers are rare.

"If [Bram Stoker's] Dracula leaves one with the sensation of having been struck down by a massive, 400-page wall of horror, then Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is like the sudden, mortal jab of an ice pick" (Stephen King). Leaping to life out of a "fine bogey dream" from which the author's wife abruptly awakened him, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde proved "immediately and lastingly Stevenson's most famous story" (Baugh et al., 1499). "Published as a 'shilling shocker,' a form at that time in fashion, it became instantly popular; was quoted from a thousand pulpits; was translated into German, French and Danish; and the names of its two chief characters have passed into the common stock of proverbial allusion" (DNB). "It is a Faustian moral fable which takes the form of a tale of mystery and horror… [It] is the prototype of all stories of multiple personality, transformation and possession… The psychological power of the writing, including Jekyll's agonies, is patent" (Clute & Nicholls, 1165). "When we thrill to the shock and horror of the story, I think it is because we all, at least to some degree, have been torn by [Jekyll's] internal conflict. When we recoil in terror from the selfish savagery of Mr. Hyde, I think it is because we fear our own secret selves" (Jack Williamson). It is the basis for many adaptations to the screen, most notably in 1931 starring Fredric March and in 1941 featuring Spencer Tracy, Ingrid Bergman, and Lana Turner.

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