Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/8495
This paper examines Robert Louis Stevenson’s novella the Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde as it pertains to the crime fiction genre. It strives to find the place of the novella within the genre, first by comparing Jekyll and Hyde with the classic detective story, which emerged around the same time as Stevenson’s story and is traditionally seen as the precursor of modern crime fiction. While prominent features of the novella suggest that it belongs to the detective story genre, it also deviates from the genre in many significant ways, leaving its place in the lineage of the crime fiction genre uncertain. Re-examination of the crime fiction genre and previously overlooked predecessors clarifies the novella’s place in this history. The duality of the character Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is examined in the context of the then emerging field of psychoanalysis, as well as its connection to the historical Whitechapel murders of 1888. Finally, this paper shows how Jekyll and Hyde has helped shape our very notion of the serial killer as a character and how it continues to inspire numerous characters in crime fiction and popular culture to this day.