The Writing that Made Robert Louis Stevenson Famous
Robert Louis Stevenson has always been one of the most familiar names in the history of literature. People might not know exactly what his life is like and who he really is. However, his most famous work, Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, never fails to be ignored or forgotten that easily. Those who are averagely familiar with the literary world are most likely to automatically attach Stevenson’s name upon mentioning the Strange Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The impact of the story gave light to the life and works of Stevenson as patterns manifested in his works.
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Robert Louis Stevenson
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde talks about the story of a lawyer investigating the case of a strange evil man named Mr. Hyde who is allegedly connected with the doctor Dr. Jekyll. The short novel deals with the concept of duality of the nature of human beings. It talks about how each person in the world, as a human being, has a good and evil side. According to an introduction from Vladimir Nabokov, a Russian author who is inspired by Stevenson’s works, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is not a detective story despite the fact that it is one of the pioneers of mystery genre in novel writing (Stevenson 8).
The publication of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde gave Stevenson the privilege of gaining critical acclaim and success while he was still living (Raleigh 1). This scenario is rare with other famous writers and artists who only gained fame and appreciation after their death. During the writing of the novella, Stevenson is described to be very indulged in the story that Mr. Osbourne tells in the biography of Stevenson that, I remember the first reading as though it were yesterday, Louis came downstairs in a fever; read nearly half the book aloud; and then, while we were still gasping, he was away again, and busy writing” (Balfour 229).
Stevenson is also known to be a travel writer who is fond of going from one place to another to write essays, stories, and poems (Robert Louis Stevenson). His being friendly with people and nature is probably the initiator of his curiosity with human nature which is present in the novel Dr. Jekytll and Mr. Hyde. Despite his health issues, he continues to write like a writer who has no time to lose. However, another reason for his traveling is to find a fitting place where he can regain his health (Balbach). His continuous interaction with people was most likely have helped him write stories which are somewhat related to the nature of human beings whether psychological, mental or emotional. His works such as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Treasure Island gained more recognition even after a century since his death.
Several adaptations have been made out of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde together with others of Stevenson’s works. Clearly, the impact of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde popularity was able to send Stevenson on the peak of his success. His curiosity with the psychological, mental, and emotional nature of human beings motivated him to write more as his health deteriorates. Truly, Stevenson is a great writer who contributed a lot in the literary world where his writings and own artistry are the reasons behind it.
Stevenson, Robert Louis. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. With introductory essay by Vladimir Nabokov. Signet Classic, 2003.
Raleigh, Walter Alexander and Walter Raleigh. Robert Louis Stevenson. Kessinger Publishing, 2004.
Balfour, Graham. The Life of Robert Louis Stevenson. Kessinger Publishing, 2005.
“Robert Louis Stevenson.” 13 April 2009. <http://people.brandeis.edu/~teuber/stevensonbio.html#_aninlandvoyage>
Balbach, Stephen. “Robert Louis Stevenson.” 13 April 2009. <http://www.luminarium.org/nineteenth/stevenson/>