The Transforming Draught: Jekyll And Hyde, Robert Louis Stevenson And the Victorian Alcohol Debate
by Thomas L., Jr. Reed
McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 0786426489
Date: 04 August, 2006 List Price $35.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK /
From back of book: Robert Louis Stevenson's Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is viewed as the classic allegory of man's duality -- the good and evil embodied in every person. But could Jekyll's "transforming draught" have been alcohol? In the Victorian era, people endlessly deliberated the proper place of alcohol in society. Shadowed all his life by the cloud of alcoholism, Stevenson well knew the good and evil of strong drink.
This book investigates Stevenson's book as an allegory of alcoholism--an interpretation that cultural change and the story's renown have perhaps obscured. The author examines patterns of language, plot, characterization and imagery to reveal how mind-altering drink figures as the story's subtext. Other topics include the sociology of drink in Victorian Britain, the portrayal of alcohol in literature, and possible real-life models for the Jekyll's-Hyde character. Also, considered is how the temperance movement and industrial development may have influenced the story.
(Source: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers)