Reading Notes - page 4 of 6
Is it a classic?
There are lots of authors who credit RLS and this book as having influenced their own writing. Ian Rankin has stated that in his book Hide and Seek, he wanted to update Robert Louis Stevenson's Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde for the modern age.
There have been various theatrical and radio adaptations of the story, even musicals, and over 100 films versions, or ones closely related to the story. Hyde has appeared as a primary character in Alan Moore's comic series, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and in the movie Van Helsing. He even appears in Scooby-Doo and the Reluctant Werewolf. The movie Mary Reilly was based on a novel by Valerie Martin, a re-working of Stevenson’s plot centred around a maid in Jekyll’s household.
Most recently, in 2007, the story was re-invented in a TV serial in the UK called Jekyll. James Nesbitt played a modern Jekyll whose Hyde wreaks havoc in twenty-first century London. This serial was not an adaptation of Stevenson's book, but rather a continuation taking place in the present day: the original book and both Dr Jekyll and Stevenson are prominently featured within the story.
The story of Jekyll and Hyde is so steeped in our culture, the idea of a ‘jekyll and hyde’ character is common place; this is the book everyone thinks they know, even if they actually haven’t read it.
Book group reading notes are © Edinburgh City of Literature Trust and were provided by Professor Ian Campbell.