Steven Padnick over at Tor.com wrote up a fascinating bit of misunderstood history. Like many I’ve grown up with such a large number of reinterpretations of Dr. Jekyll and Mister Hyde that I can’t remember what the original story was like (and I have a copy buried away on my bookshelf!)
Padnick reveals that history has grossly misinterpreted the original story. In fact, if Padnick’s assertions are true, there was no Jekyll and Hyde, but instead just Jekyll in a new body. The physical transformation into Hyde essentially allowed Jekyll to act out his repressed fantasies without punishment. After all, Jekyll looked like a distinguished older man of the well-to-do class and Hyde looked like a young and hideous thug of the lower classes.
I’ve heard the book described as a “werewolf story without the werewolf” and all the reinterpretations of this tale follow that line. It will be interesting to dig my copy of the book out of hiding and read it with a new (or original?) perspective!
You can read the original article here:
What Everyone Gets Wrong About Jekyll and Hyde