Robert Louis Stevenson's supernatural story The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (most commonly known by the shortened title Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde) became an immediate best-seller in Great Britain and America when it was published in 1886. The novel has also earned accolades from the academic community for its artistic style and penetrating psychological themes. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is based on the story of Edinburgh's infamous Deacon Brodie, who was discovered to have been living a double life, coupled with a dream Stevenson had one night, what he called "a fine bogey tale," about a man who drinks a potion made from a white powder and subsequently transforms into a devilish creature. The next morning, Stevenson started to write a detective/horror story in the style of those written by Edgar Allan Poe, and three days later his draft was complete. After a critical response from his wife, Stevenson threw the draft in the fire and started a new one that he completed in another three days and revised during the next six weeks. This version became, with minor alterations, the published version of the text, with its compelling illustration of one man's futile attempts to weed out the evil inclinations of his soul. Most of Stevenson's readers would agree with Stewart F. Sanderson's judgment that the complex characterization of the tortured Dr. Henry Jekyll creates "a work of extraordinary psychological depth and powerful impact."
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