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Seeking Mr Hyde

Studies in Robert Louis Stevenson, Symbolism, Myth and the Pre-Modern


Tom Hubbard

From Edinburgh to Samoa, Robert Louis Stevenson was a Scot who became a world citizen; as a writer he has a large following in many countries. The interlinked studies in this volume deploy his work as the base for an exploration of cultural crosscurrents in the late 19th century and beyond, suggesting relationships with such European figures as Dostoyevsky, Rilke and Jung. Particular attention is paid to Stevenson's bearings on the Symbolist movement, as evident in his association with the French writer Marcel Schwob. Concentrating initially on Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, and on puritan repression versus unbridled energy, the book points to the deeper universal significance of the Hyde figure and its related archetypes in other works by Stevenson and throughout Scottish, English, European, American and Third World literatures and cultures. With chapters entitled 'Hellish Energy', 'Masks and Mirrors', 'The Damnation of Faust' and 'Underground and Labyrinth', this book is for those who are fascinated by a writer at once approachable and enigmatic.
Contents: In four interlinked studies, Stevenson the writer is placed in both Scottish and international contexts. There is discussion of his bearings on the Symbolist movement, and of the archetypal significance of the figure of Mr Hyde throughout the Stevenson oeuvre and in other literatures and cultures. Chapter headings: 'Hellish Energy', 'Masks and Mirrors', 'The Damnation of Faust', 'Underground and Labyrinth'.