Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
Atavism & Degeneracy
The notion of degeneracy – or atavism – is central to much late-Victorian fiction, including Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and and his short stories ”The Body Snatcher” (1884) and ”Olalla” (1887), a tale of vampires.
There are also thematic continuities between Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Oscar Wilde‘s The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890), which was partly inspired by Stevenson’s novella, and H.G. Wells‘ The Invisible Man (1897) in that all three imagine situations in which the protagonist can live out atavistic impulses beyond the scrutiny of the public eye.
- Darwin, Charles (1859) On the origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life (pdf)
- Stevenson, Robert Louis (1884) ”The Body Snatcher”
- — (1886) Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
- — (1887) ”Olalla”
- Stoker, Bram (1897) Dracula
- Wells, H.G. (1897) The Invisible Man
- Wilde, Oscar (1890) The Picture of Dorian Gray