Monday, October 17, 2011

Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde

This is another case of slim novel (Novella, in fact), but perfect execution. Robert Louis Stevenson who was famous for Treasure Island and Kidnapped first penned this forever immortalized classic in just three days. Three days. That's when he had entered a period so few writers are familiar with: a white-hot fury of words. When he showed the manuscript to his wife, she suggested that it be written as an allegorical story. Stevenson thought about it then burned his manuscript, showing her the ashes and forcing himself to write the whole thing over which took another three days.

Upon its publication in 1886, it was sold for one U.S. dollar to people, the book was slowly building it's success. By 1901 it had sold 250,000 copies. Not bad for a rewrite.

Today, the story still fascinates us. It's been rewritten by other authors, parodied and played by several actors and ranks up there with the likes of Frankenstein and The Invisible Man.

Quite recently it was adapted as a mini series by the BBC and written by Steven Moffat, the creator of Sherlock, updating the tale and bringing a new face of horror to the already classic tale of dual personalities.

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