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Subject: ‘English Literature’

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Stevenson’s Jekyll and Hyde

Posted in English Literature, Historical articles, History, Psychology, Scotland on Saturday, 9 September 2017

This edited article about English literature originally appeared in Look and Learn issue number 410 published on 22 November 1969.

Deacon Brodie and his gang, picture, image, illustration

Robert Louis Stevenson based his famous story on William Brodie, who became a legend in Edinburgh – a man who as Deacon Brodie was a city councillor by day and a burglar by night

As a schoolboy growing up in 19th century Edinburgh, Robert Louis Stevenson was fascinated by a bookcase and a chest of drawers which were in his bedroom. They had been made some ninety years earlier by the infamous Deacon Brodie – the master carpenter who was a respectable citizen by day, and the leader of a gang of burglars by night. In his walks through the old quarter of Edinburgh, Stevenson begged his parents to show him Deacon Brodie’s house, and the inns and courtyards where the criminal met with his desperate accomplices.

Brodie’s daring double life made a deep impression on the young Stevenson. And years later, when his Treasure Island had made him one of the world’s most beloved authors, he found his thoughts turning again and again to the man who wore a suit of white by daylight, and black clothes after dark. This split in Brodie’s character epitomised to Stevenson the good and the bad side of man. He felt compelled to write a novel on the subject, and for some time he wrestled with his “Brownies,” as he called the ideas which came to him in his sleep.

The author, who was always fragile in health, was then living in Bournemouth with his American wife, Fanny. She realized the mental torment he was going through, and one night his struggle with the “Brownies” woke her up and thoroughly frightened her. “My husband’s cries of horror caused me to rouse him,” she said, “much to his indignation. ‘I was dreaming a fine bogey tale,’ he said reproachfully.”

The next morning Stevenson worked feverishly on the new book, which was inspired, of course, by the career of Deacon Brodie. He completed the first draft of 30,000 words in three days. But when Fanny read the manuscript, she told him he had not done the story justice. The novelist then destroyed the draft, and rewrote it from a different point of view.

When the Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was published in 1886 it caused a sensation. Its story of a decent London doctor who, by the use of a powerful drug, is able to turn himself into another and totally different person, caught the imagination of the reading public. As Jekyll continues with his experiment, the tension rises to an almost unbearable pitch. After a while the evil Hyde is able to appear whenever he wants to, and Jeykll has to decide whether or not to destroy his depraved other self. The finale of the book mounts to a crescendo of terrifying action which has seldom been equalled in a story of this nature.

The best pictures from educational trade cards, 98

Posted in Actors, Architecture, Best pictures, Educational card, English Literature, Famous battles, Historical articles, History, Invasions, Leisure, Literature, London, Politics, Religion, Royalty, Shakespeare, Theatre, War on Thursday, 26 November 2015

We have selected three of the best pictures from our large collection of 19th and early 20th century educational trade cards.
The first picture shows Shakespeare performing before Queen Elizabeth I in 1595.

Shakespeare, picture, image, illustration

Shakespeare performing before Queen Elizabeth I in 1595

The second picture shows Hernan Cortes, Spanish conquistador, receiving gifts from the Aztec Emperor Montezuma.

Hernan Cortes, picture, image, illustration

Hernan Cortes, Spanish conquistador, receiving gifts from the Aztec Emperor Montezuma, Mexico, 1518-1519

The third picture shows Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden attending an open air service before the Battle of Lutzen, Germany, 1632.

Lutzen, picture, image, illustration

Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden attends an open air service before the Battle of Lutzen, Germany, 1632

High-resolution scans of all educational cards can be found in the Look and Learn picture library.

The best pictures from educational trade cards, 93

Posted in Ancient History, Best pictures, Educational card, English Literature, Heroes and Heroines, Historical articles, History, Legend, Literature, Oddities, Religion, Trade on Thursday, 26 November 2015

We have selected three of the best pictures from our large collection of 19th and early 20th century educational trade cards.
The first picture shows Tancredi baptising the dying Clorinda.

Tancredi, picture, image, illustration

Tancredi baptises the dying Clorinda from Torquato Tasso's epic poem Jerusalem Delivered.

The second picture shows a fakir.

A fakir, picture, image, illustration

A fakir

The third picture shows an Ancient Roman bookshop.

Roman bookshop, picture, image, illustration

Ancient Roman bookshop

High-resolution scans of all educational cards can be found in the Look and Learn picture library.

The best pictures from educational trade cards, 76

Posted in Actors, Ancient History, Architecture, Best pictures, Educational card, English Literature, Famous battles, Famous landmarks, Heroes and Heroines, Historical articles, History, Literature, Politics, Royalty, Shakespeare, Theatre, War on Wednesday, 25 November 2015

We have selected three of the best pictures from our large collection of 19th and early 20th century educational trade cards.
The first picture shows Ancient Greek stonemasons using measuring instruments.

Greece, picture, image, illustration

Ancient Greek stonemasons using measuring instruments

The second picture shows Signalling towers in the 15th Century.

Signalling towers, picture, image, illustration

Signalling towers, 15th Century

The third picture shows Prince Hal and Falstaff after the Battle of Shrewsbury.

Falstaff, picture, image, illustration

Prince Henry and Falstaff after the Battle of Shrewsbury

High-resolution scans of all educational cards can be found in the Look and Learn picture library.

The best pictures from educational trade cards, 63

Posted in Animals, Best pictures, Children, Educational card, English Literature, Fairy Tale, Historical articles, History, Legend, Literature, Magic, Music, Mystery, Oddities, Religion, Science, Wildlife on Wednesday, 25 November 2015

We have selected three of the best pictures from our large collection of 19th and early 20th century educational trade cards.
The first picture shows the Pied Piper of Hamelin.

Hamelin, picture, image, illustration

The Pied Piper of Hamelin

The second picture shows the miraculous birth of Zoroaster.

 Zoroaster, picture, image, illustration

The miraculous birth of Zoroaster

The third picture shows a demonstration of Light projection.

Light projection, picture, image, illustration

Light projection

High-resolution scans of all educational cards can be found in the Look and Learn picture library.

The best pictures from educational trade cards, 53

Posted in Best pictures, Bible, Bravery, Educational card, English Literature, Famous crimes, Heroes and Heroines, Historical articles, History, Literature, Politics, Religion, Revolution, Travel, War on Tuesday, 24 November 2015

We have selected three of the best pictures from our large collection of 19th and early 20th century educational trade cards.
The first picture shows Lord Byron in Greece.

Lord Byron, picture, image, illustration

Lord Byron, English poet

The second picture shows Jesus preparing to be nailed to the Cross.

Jesus, picture, image, illustration

Exhausted, Jesus prepares to be nailed to the Cross

The third picture shows the Tennis Court Oath, French Revolution, 20 June 1789.

Revolution, picture, image, illustration

The Tennis Court Oath, French Revolution, 20 June 1789

High-resolution scans of all educational cards can be found in the Look and Learn picture library.

The best pictures from educational trade cards, 46

Posted in Ancient History, Animals, Best pictures, Children, Customs, Educational card, English Literature, Famous battles, Heroes and Heroines, Historical articles, History, Invasions, War, Wildlife on Tuesday, 24 November 2015

We have selected three of the best pictures from our large collection of 19th and early 20th century educational trade cards.
The first picture shows the Sack of Rome by the Vandals, 455.

Vandals, picture, image, illustration

Sack of Rome by the Vandals, 455

The second picture shows a snake charmer.

snake charmer, picture, image, illustration

A snake charmer

The third picture shows the famous son of Admiral Casabianca.

Casabianca, picture, image, illustration

The son of Admiral Casabianca

High-resolution scans of all educational cards can be found in the Look and Learn picture library.

The best pictures from educational trade cards, 16

Posted in Africa, Architecture, Best pictures, Educational card, English Literature, Famous battles, Heroes and Heroines, Historical articles, History, Literature, Trade, War on Monday, 23 November 2015

We have selected three of the best pictures from our large collection of 19th and early 20th century educational trade cards.
The first picture shows a modern bookshop.

bookshop, picture, image, illustration

A modern bookshop (early 20th century)

The second picture shows General Warren and the Battle of Spion Kop, Boer War, 24 January 1900.

Boer war, picture, image, illustration

General Warren and the Battle of Spion Kop, Boer War, 24 January 1900

The third picture shows Gulliver exploring the city of Lilliput.

Gulliver, picture, image, illustration

Gulliver exploring the city of Lilliput

High-resolution scans of all educational cards can be found in the Look and Learn picture library.

The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling

Posted in Animals, English Literature, Heroes and Heroines, Historical articles, History, Literature, Nature, Wildlife on Sunday, 22 November 2015

This is a wonderfully cinematic picture of Mowgli, Shere Khan the Tiger and Baloo the Bear from The Jungle Book. The vivid colours of the jungle, the warning roar of the tiger and tense expression on both Mowgli and the bear, create an exotic atmosphere of adventure and suspense around a boy and his animal friends about whom we care very much.

Jungle Book, picture, image, illustration

Mowgli, Shere Khan the Tiger and Baloo the Bear from The Jungle Book

Many more pictures of the jungle can be found at the Look and Learn picture library.

Prester John by John Buchan

Posted in Adventure, Africa, English Literature, Historical articles, History, Superstition on Sunday, 22 November 2015

Prester John is an adventure novel by John Buchan set in Victorian Africa at the time of the Zulu Wars. Its hero, a young Scotsman named David Crawfurd, is an early version of his better known protagonist Richard Hannay. The story relates his hairy adventures in South Africa, where a Zulu uprising is for some bizarre reason linked to the mediaeval legend of Prester John, mysterious ruler of a lost kingdom in the East. This spectacular picture portrays Crawfurd’s capture by the Zulus in the grand manner of high Victorian narrative painting, and is most impressive.

Prester John, picture, image, illustration

Prester John

Many more pictures of novels can be found at the Look and Learn picture library.