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English Literature

Context

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To understand the context [context: The social, political and historical circumstances surrounding a text. ] of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, you need to know something about the author's background and the times in which he wrote.

Robert Louis Stevenson

The author was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1850. His family included engineers, scientists, a professor of philosophy, and a religious minister. We can see the scientific and religious sides of Stevenson's family reflected in both his life and Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

Stevenson was a sickly child (he had serious lung problems) who read a great deal about travel and adventure. A combination of his love of adventure and ill health led him to spend many years as a writer travelling the world in search of a climate that was healthier than Britain's.

In 1890, he went to live in the remote Samoan Islands in the South Pacific. He died there in 1894 at the age of 44.

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