Sunday 14 October 2012, 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
At: The Counting House, ,
It’s Halloween, it’s Edinburgh, what better book to read than The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr
The history of the writing of Jekyll (Stevenson would have pronounced it ‘Jee-kill’) is a long-drawn out one since RLS left different versions of how it came to him – but it’s believed to have been from a dream which he then worked up over several weeks, changing his mind and enlarging the original version. No doubt some of it came from a nightmare. It’s been reported that RLS’s wife, Fanny Stevenson, got him to burn the first draft of the story, perhaps to keep him from tainting his recently established reputation as a bestselling children’s author, having published Treasure Island just a few years earlier.
The story is still working powerfully with modern critics, including those interested in RLS’s treatment of the unconscious and the subconscious, and his depiction of a society where women play so small a part as they do here – a few servants, an appalling housekeeper, harpies in the street avenging the little girl. There has been a good deal of writing about the possible readings of this story as homoerotic and that debate continues.
Buy the book (above) or the Kindle Edition (below) and help Edinburgh Skeptics.