Published on Friday, August 3, 2012 - 9:33am
Scottish-born Robert Louis Stevenson is recognized today as one of the most popular British authors by the end of the nineteenth century. What few people realize is that this world-renowned author was somewhat of a misfit growing up.
Not only was Stevenson's father a noted lighthouse engineer who resisted him making a career of writing, as a child, he was regarded by his peers as strange-looking and eccentric. As a result he often had trouble making friends in school, but none of that stopped him from one day becoming a famous novelist praised by thousands and even Queen Victoria herself. A novelist, essayist, poet and travel writer, he is best known for his adventure novels Kidnapped and Treasure Island, as well as the darkly disturbing The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886).
Inspired by a nightmare, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde explored human nature and identity, and captivated its readers with its mixture of the medical and philosophical through the scientific examination -- and dissection -- of good and evil.
A novel where the antagonist is the protagonist, this work gives new meaning to the old saying "You are your own worst enemy." You are left to wonder if good really triumphs over evil with the gloomy fate of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and this tale is proof Stevenson was creative in mind and romantic at heart.
His dark masterpiece The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde has inspired countless interpretations in print and on film, as well as numerous dramatic adaptations on the stage in both theater and broadway musicals. And those accomplishments do not even include the hundreds of translations and adaptations of Treasure Island.
For a small child regarded by his peers as strange-looking and eccentric, the success of his novels, stories, and his artistic and scholarly journalism have proven him far too talented and creative to have spent his days as a lighthouse engineer. Perseverence allowed Stevenson to mature from a gawky outcast to a world-renowned literary craftsman with a sophisticated 'stache, which has earned him a top honor in our Motivational Moustache series.
More Motivational Moustaches: Part One