STRANGE CASE OF DR JEKYLL AND MR HYDE. Robert Louis Stevenson.
STRANGE CASE OF DR JEKYLL AND MR HYDE.
STRANGE CASE OF DR JEKYLL AND MR HYDE.

STRANGE CASE OF DR JEKYLL AND MR HYDE.

London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1886. One page undated ads. Original salmon cloth.

First English Edition, which according to McKay was published on 9 January 1886 -- four days after the American one (Longmans had intended to publish it in December 1885, but the bookstalls were already so full of Christmas numbers that the trade "would not look at it"). The story of how RLS came to write this classic tale is by now well known:

He was one night in the middle of a nightmare when Fanny, alarmed by his disturbance, woke him. Louis complained with irritation that she had interrupted a 'fine bogy tale.' Seizing his pen the following day he began to write down the story he had dreamed. Initially it was the Gothic horror of the story that excited him, and he produced a first draft at great speed, reading the story triumphantly to Fanny when he finished. But Fanny wasn't happy with the story. She felt that it could be more than a Poe-like crawler, that it could be more morally pointed than Louis had fashioned it. Certainly in this case it can only be said that her comments did the story and Louis considerable good. Angrily the first draft was cast into the fire and he started again, this time producing the version of STRANGE CASE OF DR JEKYLL AND MR HYDE that we know. [Calder]

What an imagination! -- hard to believe that this is the same writer who came up with another book published by Longmans Green, just one year earlier, and here promoted on the ad leaf: A CHILD'S GARDEN OF VERSES.

This is a very good-plus copy of what was a very cheaply-produced book: there is minor soil as usual for this light salmon cloth, and slight bubbling of the cloth due to the semi-flexible nature of the boards. The original patterned endpapers are fine, and there is no foxing on the leaves within. McKay (Beinecke/Yale) 348; Princeton 30A (copy 1). Housed in a handsome calf-backed slipcase with leather label, with inner chemise. Item #14556

Price: $2,950.00