8 responses to “Death Is No Bad Friend: Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

  • Ship's Cook

    Hi Geri

    One of the things that is believed to have inspired Jekyll and Hyde is the story of Deacon Brodie (1741-1788) an Edinburgh city councillor, Deacon of the Wrights guild and cabinet maker. who by day was a respectable upstanding member of Edinburgh society and by night a burgler who robbed for thrills and to finance his gambling. Stevenson even had a cabinet in his childhood bedroom made by Brodie (you can see it in the Edinburgh Writer’s Museum). When Brodie was hanged at Edinburgh’s Tolbooth Prison it’s said tat 40,000 people turned up to watch. There was a rumour that he had cheated death with a steel collar and a silver breathing tube and was later seen in Paris, but the truth is that he was buried in an unmarked grave that is now beneath a car park.

    • gegallas

      Thanks, Simon! Of course I was reading about Deacon Brodie too. 🙂 R.L.S. apparently wrote a script about him while still a teenager. This was definitely an influence on Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. –G. E.

      • Ship's Cook

        And not just Stevenson, the duality about Edinburgh, the city of the rich well to do Regency New town and the rough slums of the Old Town which is captured in the tale of Brodie and encapsulated in Jekyll and Hyde has been a great influence on Scottish (Tartan noir) crime writer Ian Rankin’s Inspector Rebus novels where Edinburgh’s interlectual and cultural elite are counterpointed with the unemployment, crime and drug abuse of the sink housing estates that surround the city, Though the corruption and murder that Rebus finds himself investigating often takes palce in the rougher areas it almost always originates with the more affluent strata of teh city’s society. They are excellent reads.

      • gegallas

        All very interesting! 🙂 Edinburgh and Brodie are subjects I’d like to explore if I have a chance to write a full-length version of Death Is No Bad Friend.

      • Ship's Cook

        Well if you want to visit Edinburgh for some research, let us know and we will see if we can meet you there

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