Born on this day in 1850, Robert Louis Stevenson was a literary celebrity in his day, and is one of the most translated authors in the world today. Author of such classics as Treasure Island, Kidnapped, and of course, the horror classic Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde was an huge success and is to this day one of Stevenson's best-selling works. Stage adaptations followed its publication almost immediately and it has gone on to inspire multitudes of major film and stage performances. It has been called:
- Emblematic of the western cultures inner conflict of humanity's sense of good and evil.
- An example of the Freudian Theory that the thoughts and desires banished to the unconscious mind motivate the behavior of the conscious mind.
- A Victorian morality tale of unleashed sexual depravity, or an allegory for the necessarily double life of the Victorian homosexual.
- A representation of Scotland and the Scottish character, with the duality representing the national and linguistic dualities inherent in Scotland's relationship with the wider Britain and the English language respectively, and also the repressive effects of the Calvinistic church on the Scottish character.
Keep an eye out this spring, for another interpretation of the literary classic, as our dear friends at The Mammals stage The Dream Journal of Dr. Jekyll, featuring our very own Scott Barsotti.