Robert Louis Stevenson (1850–94), illustrated by S. G. Hulme Beaman
The strange case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde

London: John Lane, 1930

Stevenson used this novel (originally published 1886) to explore issues of duality in human nature which has such a capacity for extreme vice or virtue. Dr Jekyll experimented with the idea that he could isolate his own evil nature in a separate being, Mr Hyde. As Hyde he changes his physical appearance as well as his moral attitude, becoming shrunken and deformed – a physical ‘monster’ with no sense of guilt. During the 1860s and 1870s, autopsies revealed that different sections of the brain were responsible for particular mental functions, raising the possibility that morality was based in a physical area of the brain and not God-given.

S727.c.93.14, plate opposite p. 100

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