STEVENSON, Robert Louis (author). The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1886.
8vo. Sometime finely bound in full navy blue morocco, spine with 5 raised bands, panelled and lettered direct in gilt, with all edges gilt, gilt beaded bands, single gilt filet to boards, a decorative gilt roll to board edges, attractive gilt-ruled turn-ins, and Cockerell blue marbled endpapers, by Bayntun-Rivière; pp. [viii], -141 + [i], advertisement; externally fine and handsome, internally remarkably fresh throughout with one 15mm, and neatly repaired, closed scarf tear to fore-edge margin of one leaf but otherwise crisp and unmarked; scarce thus.
First UK edition, published on the 9th January, 1886, 4 days after Charles Scribner's Sons' US edition. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde is, along with Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and Bram Stoker's Dracula, one the best known horror stories in the English language. Although it missed the Christmas market, with publication delayed until the January of 1886, it was immediate bestseller, fulfilling Stevenson's intentions of making him a lot of money. It has been in print ever since. It is a retelling of the classic Gothic story of 'the double': a second personality inhabiting the true self, conveyed with all the oppressive atmosphere of a grimy industrial London, as the author gradually discloses the true identity of the "damned juggernaut", Mr. Hyde, who comes and goes through the rear entrance of the home of the respectable Dr. Jekyll. The phrase 'Jekyll and Hyde' has become a metaphor for a split personality just as, in the 1880s, the psychological phenomenon it explored was used to explain a new sort of primeval savagery seen in the urban murders by Jack the Ripper.