Book Report - Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

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A. Title of the Book: “ The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” B. Author: Robert Louis Stevenson
(1850 -1894)
* As a novelist, he is often noted for the powers of invention and depth of psychological insights found in his work; a skill defined by G. K. Chesterton as being able ‘to pick up the right word up on the point of his pen’. * Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson was a Scottish novelist, poet, essayist, and travel writer. * A literary celebrity during his lifetime, Stevenson now ranks among the 26 most translated authors in the world. * Stevenson was born Robert Lewis Balfour Stevenson at 8 Howard Place, Edinburgh, Scotland, on 13 November 1850 to Margaret Isabella Balfour and Thomas Stevenson, a leading lighthouse engineer. * His father had plans for Stevenson to follow his profession but his son’s ill-health and weak disposition meant that an alternative career had to be decided upon. * An only child, strange-looking and eccentric, Stevenson found it hard to fit in when he was sent to a nearby school at age six, a problem repeated at age eleven when he went on to the Edinburgh Academy; but he mixed well in lively games with his cousins in summer holidays at Colinton. * Stevenson recalled this time of sickness in "The Land of Counterpane" in “A Child's Garden of Verses” (1885), and dedicated the book to his nurse. * The canoe voyage with Simpson brought Stevenson to Grez in September 1876, and here he first met Fanny Van de Grift Osbourne. * Although Stevenson returned to Britain shortly after this first meeting, Fanny apparently remained in his thoughts, and he wrote an essay, "On falling in love," for the Cornhill Magazine. * Fanny and Robert were married in May 1880, although, as he said, he was "a mere complication of cough and bones, much fitter for an emblem of mortality than a bridegroom." * He later wrote about the experience in “The Amateur Emigrant.” * During his time in Bournemouth, he wrote the story “Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde”, naming one of the characters “Mr.Poole” after the town of Poole which is situated next to Bournemouth. * In spite of his ill health, he produced the bulk of his best-known work during these years: “Treasure Island”, his first widely popular book; “Kidnapped”; “Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde”, the story which established his wider reputation; The Black Arrow; and two volumes of verse, “A Child's Garden of Verses” and “Underwoods.” *  When his father died in 1887, Stevenson felt free to follow the advice of his physician to try a complete change of climate, and he started with his mother and family for Colorado. *  During the intensely cold winter Stevenson wrote some of his best essays, including Pulvis et Umbra, began The Master of Ballantrae, and lightheartedly planned, for the following summer, a cruise to the southern Pacific Ocean. * He did qualify for the Scottish bar in July 1875, and his father added a brass plate with "R.L. Stevenson, Advocate" to the Heriot Row house. * One of his journeys, a canoe voyage in Belgium and France with Sir Walter Simpson, a friend from the Speculative Society and frequent travel companion, was the basis of his first real book, “An Inland Voyage” (1878). * Henley is often seen as the model for Long John Silver in “Treasure Island.” *  His cousin and biographer, Sir Graham Balfour, said that "he probably throughout life would, if compelled to vote, have always supported the Conservative candidate." * While Stevenson intended to write another book of travel writing to follow his earlier book “In the South Seas”, it was his wife who eventually published her journal of their third voyage. *  His influence spread to the Samoans, who consulted him for advice, and he soon became involved in local politics. * He was convinced the European officials appointed to rule the Samoans were incompetent, and after many futile attempts to...
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