Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic horror Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde reveals the darker side of human nature and this striking Folio Society edition is illustrated by fellow master of the gothic Mervyn Peake.
‘Good and evil are so close as to be chained together in the soul.’
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. Robert Louis Stevenson’s hugely influential gothic novel is a must-have for classic fiction connoisseurs, and this is the ultimate collector’s edition. Introduced by John Hampden and illustrated by celebrated writer and artist Mervyn Peake, this sumptuous volume also features a gold-blocked cloth binding with a design by Peake.
Bound in 2 cloths blocked in gold
Set in Imprint
Frontispiece and 11 duotone illustrations
8¾˝ x 5½˝
Mervyn Peake, best known for his own gothic masterpiece Gormenghast, was also an extraordinarily talented illustrator and he provided 12 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, which is almost as vivid as the characters that haunt the novel, describing Robert Louis Stevenson as ’an emaciated figure in slovenly clothes, incessantly smoking cigarettes, his brown eyes shining in a haggard white face, his restless movements full of grace’.
Stevenson took the idea for Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde from an extraordinarily vivid dream and worked at it like a man possessed for three days without stopping. The end result brought him instant fame; sermons were preached about it, the public rushed to buy a copy. Ever since, this hypnotic doppelgänger story has captured the imagination of readers with its exploration of the dark side of humanity.
Robert Louis Stevenson was born in Edinburgh in 1850. He studied at Edinburgh University, changing course from Engineering to Law, and became an advocate in 1875. However, writing was his true calling and his output was prolific, including novels, plays, poetry, short stories and essays. His most celebrated work includes Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes (1879), Treasure Island (1883), Dr Jeyll and Mr Hyde (1887; Folio 1994, 2022) and Kidnapped (1893). Stevenson and his family moved to Samoa in 1889 due to his ill health and he died in Vailima in 1893.
Mervyn Peake (1911-1968) was born to Christian missionaries in the Kiang-Hsi Province of China. He returned to England at the age of twelve, and later trained at the Royal Academy of Arts. Joining the Royal Artillery in 1940, Peake received a special dispensation to continue writing his first novel, Titus Groan. Having served as a war artist for the Ministry of Information, he moved to the island of Sark and lived in an artist’s colony with his family. A prolific and well-regarded illustrator, Peake provided extraordinary images for all his own works, including the children’s book Captain Slaughterboard Drops Anchor (1939), and his novels Titus Groan (1946), Gormenghast (1950), Mr Pye (1953) and Titus Alone (1959). He also illustrated several classics including Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Treasure Island, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, as well as publishing several of his own plays and volumes of poetry. Regarded as one of Britain’s greatest literary fabulists, Peake continues to influence generations of authors and filmmakers including Michael Moorcock, Neil Gaiman and Terry Gilliam.
Wuthering Heights defies easy classification and stands alone as a uniquely powerful novel that transcends genre. Patti Smith, the singer-songwriter and poet, has written a new, lyrical introduction to this edition, in which she sums up Emily Brontë’s complex gifts.
The sci-fi adventure that launched a global franchise, Planet of the Apes is given a timely Folio release with David de las Heras’s spectacular artwork and a thought-provoking introduction by primatologist Frans de Waal.