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Literary Pursuits - RL Stevenson's Jekyll and Hyde

Sarah Dillon discovers the story behind the writing of RL Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Stevenson claimed it was inspired by a dream - but is this true?

Sarah Dillon discovers the story behind the writing of R.L. Stevenson's horror classic 'Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.' Written at speed in Bournemouth while Stevenson was recuperating from a serious illness, this is the book that finally made his name and fortune. He later said it was inspired by a dream, and his wife, Fanny claims that it was her influence that caused him to burn the first draft and re-write it in three days. But interviews with author and broadcaster Sir Christopher Frayling, biographer Claire Harman, author and journalist Jeremy Hodges and Professor Richard Dury reveal that the myth of the books composition can be challenged. Sarah Dillon discovers there are many other possible influences on the novel, including the death of a friend by alcoholic poisoning; a contemporary investigative journalist report who exposed child prostitution; a real life murderer who Stevenson knew in Edinburgh and a wardrobe with a disturbing history from his childhood bedroom.

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44 minutes

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