This essay examines the proliferation of visual representations of Robert Louis Stevenson‘s Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1886), considering the question of what links contemporary (Scottish?) Gothic to its problematic origins. After a survey of cinematic and graphic adaptations, the essay focuses on Steven Moffatt‘s Jekyll (BBC, 2007), which combines the post-Darwinian anxieties surrounding Stevensons tale of human regression with a much more contemporary interrogation of the ‘human’ against the backdrop of complex globalised scientific conspiracies. Significantly, the production draws on the Scottish origin of the text, re-proposing the question of (national) identity and authenticity against the threat of globalisation.
Money, Commerce, Language, and the Horror of Modernity in ‘The Isle of Voices’
Money, not merely as subject in literature but also in its very form and function, exhibits qualities of spectral evanescence, fetishised power over the imagination, and the uncontrollable transgression of boundaries and limits, which closely parallel the concerns and anxieties of Gothic literature. Yet it is in the writings of economic theorists and commentators on market society like Adam Smith and Karl Marx that these Gothic anxieties about money are most clearly articulated. Stevensons short story ‘The Isle of Voices’, read in the context of his comments on money in his other writings, is one of the few fictional texts which uses these properties of money to create what might be called a ‘financial Gothic’ narrative, which nevertheless has insights and implications for the narratives of capitalist modernity in general.
Professional Integrity in Peril at the Fin de Siècle
This essay positions the drug-using doctor at the intersection between traditional Gothic horror and a new fin-de-siècle medical realism, embedding the cultural anxieties at the fin de siècle in relation to the ethical and theological boundaries of scientific knowledge. The objective is to provide a framework for reading and interpreting the medico-gothic narrative of addiction. The essay examines the writings of three pioneering physician-scientists: one historical – Sigmund Freud – and two fictional – Dr Jekyll, in Robert Louis Stevenson‘s Strange Case of DrJekyll and Mr Hyde (1886), and Dr Seward in Bram Stoker‘s Dracula (1897).
The Urban Gothic of Fin-de-Siècle London and Gotham
Gothic literature set in fin-de-siècle London has often been argued to highlight
duality. However, the urban Gothic truly flourishes through its liminality,
which allows chaos and order to coexist. Texts such as Robert Louis Stevenson’s
The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of
Dorian Gray offer versions of a Gothic London that have the appearance of
structure but are difficult to navigate. Likewise, the Batman franchise has
embraced Gotham City as a setting that provides tensions between order and
chaos. In Gotham, as in fin-de-siècle London, liminality puts pressures on
apparent boundaries. While the urban Gothic initially developed through
nineteenth century British texts, modern-day comics and films within the Batman
franchise have allowed us to see how a multiverse normalises liminality and
embraces multiple works to speak collectively about Gothic tensions. This
article analyses the liminal nature of the urban Gothic in both cities side by
side to argue that the urban Gothic’s liminal nature allows instability to
which dovetail with theories of degeneration and sexological
accounts of subjectivity. All of these narratives underline just how
important it is to put the history back into theories of the self and so
avoid the essentialist trap.
RobertLouisStevenson, The Strange Case of
Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1886) in
make the later text itself an uncanny double, the shadow of the
more celebrated Justified Sinner .
In a novel which strongly echoes Justified Sinner ,
The Master of Ballantrae (1889) by RobertLouisStevenson
offers yet another story of two rival brothers, Henry and James Durie,
one the evil genius of the other. 15 A possible relationship with Hogg is hinted
at in his fictional editor’s brief
a passing likeness to
the young Audrey Hepburn.
Stevenson redux: The Black Arrow (1972–74), Kidnapped (1979),
The Master of Ballantrae (1984)
RobertLouisStevenson had been a popular source of television drama
since the early history of the medium. The BBC had produced live versions of Treasure Island in 1951, The Black Arrow in 1951 and 1956,
and Kidnapped in 1952 and 1958, and in the 1950s there had been an
Australian telefilm series, The Adventures of Long John Silver, in which
Robert Newton reprised his role from the 1950 Walt Disney film of
Thomas Edison’s Frankenstein and John Barrymore’s Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
Richard J. Hand
Two great works of fiction at
opposite ends of the nineteenth century continue to be paradigms of
horror with the concept of ‘adaptation’ at their heart: Mary
Shelley’s Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus ( 1818 ) and RobertLouisStevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
(1886). Both present mad scientists who experiment with adaptation in
the sense of
In considering English culture of the long
nineteenth century, we may immediately think of giants of fiction: the witty and delicate
satire of Jane Austen; the Gothic achievement of Mary Shelley; the enigmatic Charlotte and
Emily Brontë; the social commentary of Charles Dickens; the panoramic narrative of George
Eliot; the thrilling narratives of RobertLouisStevenson; the universal tragic force within
the meticulous regionalism of Thomas Hardy; the forging of a national identity in Sir Walter
: 161). While gardens cultivated nature, they also tamed fairies, who still stand as miniaturised wild elements in the garden.
However, Cottingley exposes the absent presences in gardens, as explored by RobertLouisStevenson in his anthology A Child's Garden of Verses . The title, as Anne Colley highlights, draws strongly on Stevenson's nostalgia for the ‘landscape of his childhood’ ( 1997 : 304). The garden for him represents the ‘topography’ of a child's world, their own play kingdom in which adults are ‘outsiders’ (307). ‘To Any Reader