Introduced by John Hampden
Illustrated by Mervyn Peake
The darker side of human nature is revealed in this hugely influential horror classic, illustrated by a fellow master of the gothic.
Fascinated by the mixture of good and evil in his own character, Dr Jekyll works day and night in his laboratory to create a drug which will separate the two. The result is Mr Hyde, a being as repulsive in appearance as he is in character. Soon there comes a day when Jekyll can no longer curb Hyde’s loathsome excesses, and events spiral out of his control … Stevenson took the idea for his most chilling of tales from one of his extraordinarily vivid dreams, and worked at it like a man possessed for three days without stopping. The result brought him instant fame – sermons were preached about it, the public rushed to buy it – and this hypnotic doppelgänger story has captured the imagination of readers ever since with its depiction of the dark side of humanity.
Mervyn Peake, best known for his own gothic masterpiece Gormenghast, was also an extraordinarily talented illustrator, and he provides exquisite drawings for this edition. The split black and cream binding, with the shambling figure of Mr Hyde at its centre, is a striking representation of the dual nature of the main character. In his fond introduction, John Hampden creates a picture of the author almost as vivid as the characters that haunt the novel; he was ‘an emaciated figure in slovenly clothes, incessantly smoking cigarettes, his brown eyes shining in a haggard white face, his restless movements full of grace’.
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Review by anon on 22nd May 2016
"The black and white cover captures simply yet brilliantly the crux of Stevenson's iconic work. The illustrations are as superb as the words they accompany. Sheer beauty, thank you Folio! "