The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a novella written by Robert Louis Stevenson in 1886. It features the double lives of Dr. Jekyll, a well respected chemist, and Mr. Hyde, a criminal who... More > is wanted for murder. Mr. Utterson, the story's protagonist, finds it curious that Dr. Jekyll has named Mr. Hyde his beneficiary. Perhaps there's some blackmailing going on? This swift and delightful thriller has enshrined the image of a character with "split personalities" as representing good and evil, and the name Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde has become a pseudonym for anyone with such a temperament.
The idea for this story supposedly came to Stevenson during a nightmare, and the original manuscript was apparently burned by a family member. He then set about rewriting it over the course of six days, supposedly assisted by cocaine. A friend of the author noted: "The mere physical feat was tremendous; and instead of harming him, it roused and cheered him inexpressibly."< Less
Being memoirs of the adventures of David Balfour in the year 1751: how he was kidnapped and cast away; his sufferings in a desert isle; his journey in the wild highlands; his acquaintance with Alan... More > Breck Stewart and other notorious highland Jacobites; with all that he suffered at the hands of his uncle, Ebenezer Balfour of Shaws, falsely so called.< Less
In fifteenth-century England, when his father's murderer is revealed to be his guardian, seventeen-year-old Richard Shelton joins the fellowship of the Black Arrow in avenging the death, rescuing the... More > woman he loves, and participating in the struggle between the Yorks and Lancasters in the War of the Roses.< Less
Robert Louis Stevenson's short story The Body-Snatcher (1884) is the tale of MacFarlane and Fettes, a pair of "resurrection men," or body-snatchers - unsavory types who secretly disinter... More > fresh corpses from graveyards to sell as anatomy subjects. This grim little tale is based on reality, as in Edinburgh - Stevenson's home town - body-snatching was so common they built high walls and guard towers around the graveyards. Sometimes, for want of a corpse, an even less scrupulous body-snatcher might just off someone in the night instead of risking a trip to a rural graveyard…but I don't want to give away too much.< Less