The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde was written by Robert Louis Stevenson and is about Mr Jekyll, a man with a split personality. Since its release, this seminal work has proven influential even down through this day and many a movie, music and artwork have been based on it.
In case you didn’t find the story strange enough, here are the top 10 strange facts about Mr Jekyll and his story that you would like to know:
1. Dreams Die First!- Stevenson was an unusual man and a mighty fine storyteller who had always been fascinated by split personalities. However, he lacked an inspiration as to how to flesh out a story about such a theme. One day while deep in dreamland the whole plot and characters were revealed to him. The rest, as they say, is history!
2. Success Is Booked!- The decidedly unusual tale of good versus bad proved to be a roaring success. 40,000 copies were sold in a mere six months and soon after, book pirates had drowned the North American continent in 250,000 copies of the book. It proved to be the most successful novel by Stevenson and was widely debated, circulated, sermonized, philosophized and more.
3. Fast Writing- Stevenson was seldom in good health and was under strict doctors’ orders to avoid excitement and rest up. But following his dream, he feverishly wrote a first draft of what came to be his famous novel in from three to six days. A second, corrected draft was cranked out in just three days.
4. Drafted In Smoke- Shortly after writing his masterpiece, Stevenson showed it to his wife who criticized it. A short while later it was ostensibly willfully destroyed by Stevenson himself by throwing it into a fireplace.
5. Fanny Mischief!- For a long while, it was an accepted fact that Stevenson himself destroyed the first draft of his book. But according to new evidence, it might have been his wife Fanny who destroyed it. Apparently, she failed to see any merits whatsoever in it and so burnt it to ashes.
6. No Sex Please!- back then, most people were of the opinion that Mr Hyde got corrupted from engaging in sexual immorality or even homosexuality. Stevenson however vehemently denied this.
7. Coke Is Life!- If you might remember, the good Mr Jekyll takes a drug that transforms him into the villainous Mr Hyde. The drugs do wonders for him until it has mastered and controls all aspects of him with disastrous consequences. This appears to be what happened with Stevenson. He was a profoundly sick man who was prescribed medicinal cocaine for his medical condition. Soon, he was dependent on it and it is now widely accepted that he wrote the book while in a cocaine-fueled sleep.
8. Murder He Wrote!- In the year 1988, a stage play was made based on the book, starring Richard Mansfield as Mr Jekyll/Hyde. His performance was praised to the skies. However, trouble soon followed, as a couple of days after the opening of the play, Jack The Ripper began his infamous murderous spree. Soon, people were suggesting that Jack might have been influenced by the play and or book. Others were of the opinion that since Mansfield played his role as Mr Jekyll/Hyde so well he had to be Jack the Ripper!
9. Influence Is The Game!- few books have proven to be more enduring or popular than the tale of Mr Jekyll and his other debased self. It has influenced everything and everyone and plenty of movies, cartoons, musicals, video games, comedies, and even porn have been made based on it.
10. Film The Trick!- by the year 1931, more than a score movies based on the hideous tale had been produced. However, in 1931 yet another was made starring Frederic March. Mr March won an Oscar for his sterling performance, but what particularly fascinated filmgoers everywhere was how he transformed from Mr Jekyll to Hyde. The secret to this was revealed in the 1970’s and it was said to be due to the clever use of makeup and filters.