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American Poems: Books: Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Norton Critical Editions)
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Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Norton Critical Editions)

Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Norton Critical Editions)
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  • Seller:the_book_depository_
  • Sales Rank:48,171
  • Languages:English (Unknown), English (Original Language), English (Published)
  • Media:Paperback
  • Number Of Items:1
  • Pages:240
  • Shipping Weight (lbs):0
  • Dimensions (in):8.4 x 5.1 x 0.5
  • Publication Date:January 7, 2003
  • ISBN:0393974650
  • EAN:9780393974652
  • ASIN:0393974650
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Editorial Reviews:
Synopsis

This Norton Critical Edition of Stevenson's enduringly popular and chilling tale is based on the 1886 First British Edition, the only edition set directly from Stevenson's manuscript and for which he read proofs. The text has been rigorously annotated for student readers and is accompanied by a textual appendix.

"Backgrounds and Contexts" includes a wealth of materials on the tale's publication history as well as its relevance to Victorian culture. Twelve of Stevenson's letters from the years 1885-87 are excerpted, along with his essay "A Chapter on Dreams," in which he comments on the plot's origin. Ten contemporary responses--including those by Julia Wedgwood, Gerard Manley Hopkins, and Henry James--illustrate Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde's initial reception. Stevenson's 1885 tale "Markheim," a precursor to Jekyll and Hyde and a window onto the Victorian sensation market, is reprinted in its entirety in this Norton Critical Edition. Karl Miller, Jenni Calder, and Judith Halberstam discuss literary genres central to Jekyll and Hyde. Four scientific essays--including one by Stephen Jay Gould--elucidate Victorian conceptions of atavism, multiple-personality disorder, narcotics addiction, and sexual aberration. Judith R. Walkowitz and Walter Houghton consider the implications of Victorian moral conformity and political disunity for society at large.

"Performance Adaptations" addresses--in writings by C. Alex Pinkston, Jr., Charles King, and Scott Allen Nollen--the many ways in which Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde has been dramatized over more than a century and explores its status as a perpetually effective vehicle for changing psychological and social concerns. A checklist of major performance adaptions is provided, along with a sampler of publicity photos.

"Criticism" includes essays by G. K. Chesterton, Vladimir Nabokov, Peter K. Garrett, Patrick Brantlinger, and Katherine Linehan that center on the tale's major themes of morality, allegory, and self-alienation.

A Chronology and Selected Bibliography are also included.
Amazon.com Review
The young Robert Louis Stevenson suffered from repeated nightmares of living a double life, in which by day he worked as a respectable doctor and by night he roamed the back alleys of old-town Edinburgh. In three days of furious writing, he produced a story about his dream existence. His wife found it too gruesome, so he promptly burned the manuscript. In another three days, he wrote it again. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was published as a "shilling shocker" in 1886, and became an instant classic. In the first six months, 40,000 copies were sold. Queen Victoria read it. Sermons and editorials were written about it. When Stevenson and his family visited America a year later, they were mobbed by reporters at the dock in New York City. Compulsively readable from its opening pages, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is still one of the best tales ever written about the divided self.

This University of Nebraska Press edition is a small, exquisitely produced paperback. The book design, based on the original first edition of 1886, includes wide margins, decorative capitals on the title page and first page of each chapter, and a clean, readable font that is 19th-century in style. Joyce Carol Oates contributes a foreword in which she calls Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde a "mythopoetic figure" like Frankenstein, Dracula, and Alice in Wonderland, and compares Stevenson's creation to doubled selves in the works of Plato, Poe, Wilde, and Dickens.

This edition also features 12 full-page wood engravings by renowned illustrator Barry Moser. Moser is a skillful reader and interpreter as well as artist, and his afterword to the book, in which he explains the process by which he chose a self-portrait motif for the suite of engravings, is fascinating. For the image of Edward Hyde, he writes, "I went so far as to have my dentist fit me out with a carefully sculpted prosthetic of evil-looking teeth. But in the final moments I had to abandon the idea as being inappropriate. It was more important to stay in keeping with the text and, like Stevenson, not show Hyde's face." (Also recommended: the edition of Frankenstein illustrated by Barry Moser) --Fiona Webster


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