The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is set in Victorian England. More specifically, it is set in London around 1886, which is also when the novel was first published. This era was marked by prosperity and the intellectual growth of British society. As such, many men of status and influence were concerned with presenting themselves as the ‘perfect gentleman’ – especially the middle and upper middle classes, who saw this as a chance to move up in society. Reputation was everything in Victorian England, and to have one’s reputation besmirched was often equivalent to death, if not worse than it. It is also in this era that science and religion began to conflict, with scientists beginning to strive to reach outside the confines of religion. This was, of course, considered blasphemy by the Church and heavily opposed.
For those who want to know more about Victorian England, here are some useful links:
- Victorian Web (for literally anything and everything related to this era)
For those of you interested in delving into the mysterious and thrilling world of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the Norton Critical Edition of the book provides excellent context:
- Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. The table of contents provides useful references in case there’s anything you need to know about this text, how it came to light, and other fascinating elements related to it.
This novel has been adapted for many different platforms. We’re sure many of you have heard of at least one example of a work or character being based on Jekyll and Hyde. Below we provide a link to the Broadway musical and suggest a few others that have appeared in the past 60 years; we encourage you to enjoy them as well!
- Broadway Musical
- Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1953 film)
- Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1988 video game)
- Mary Reilly (1996 film)
- Do No Harm (2013 TV show)
- Jekyll and Hyde (2015 TV show)
Click the arrow on the right to proceed to the text. Have fun!