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Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson

Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson

 

Author: Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson

Dates: 13 November 1850 – 3 December 1894

Nationality: Scottish

Title of Book: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

That evening Mr. Utterson came home to his bachelor house in sombre spirits and sat down to dinner without relish.  It was his custom of a Sunday, when this meal was over, to sit close by the

fire, a volume of some dry divinity on his reading desk, until the clock of the neighbouring church rang out the hour of twelve, when he would go soberly and gratefully to bed.  On this night however, as soon as the cloth was taken away, he took up a candle and went into his business room.  There he opened his safe, took from the most private part of it a document endorsed on the envelope as Dr. Jekyll’s Will and sat down with a clouded brow to study its contents.  The will was holograph, for Mr. Utterson though he took charge of it now that it was made, had refused to lend the least assistance in the making of it; it provided not only that, in case of the decease of Henry Jekyll, M.D., D.C.L., L.L.D., F.R.S., etc., all his possessions were to pass into the hands of his “friend and benefactor Edward Hyde,” but that in case of Dr. Jekyll’s “disappearance or unexplained absence for any period exceeding three calendar months,” the said Edward Hyde should step into the said Henry Jekyll’s shoes without further delay and free from any burthen or obligation beyond the payment of a few small sums to the members of the doctor’s household.  This document had long been the lawyer’s eyesore.  It offended him both as a lawyer and as a lover of the sane and customary sides of life, to whom the fanciful was the immodest.  And hitherto it was his ignorance of Mr. Hyde that had swelled his indignation; now, by a sudden turn, it was his knowledge.  It was already bad enough when the name was but a name of which he could learn no more.  It was worse when it began to be clothed upon with detestable attributes; and out of the shifting, insubstantial mists that had so long baffled his eye, there leaped up the sudden, definite presentment of a fiend.

Brief Biography: Stevenson was a novelist, poet, essayist and travel writer. A literary celebrity in his own lifetime he is now ranked among the top 30 most translated authors in the world.

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