Robert Louis Stevenson
is best known as the author of the children’s classic Treasure Island (1883),and the mystery story,The Strange
Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886) which deals with the theme of man torn between good and evil forces in his soul.
The only son of a wealthy civil engineer, he was born in Edinburgh in 1850. He belonged to a very conservative, authoritarian and Calvinist household and was destined to follow his father's career. At the age of 17 he rebelled against the family and entered university to study law, led a Bohemian way of life, became an atheist and took up a critical attitude to the hypocrisy of bourgeois respectability. At the age of 23 he started to travel to attempt to recover from a respiratory illness. In 1876 he met and fell in love with an American divorced lady, followed her to America and married her in 1880. In the same year he reconciled with his father, went back to Scotland and began writing stories. He soon had to move to milder climates to cure his bad health. In 1887 he went to America again and then to Samoa where he spent his last years. Native Samoans called him Tusitala, which means storyteller. On 3 December 1894, at forty-four years of age, Stevenson died of a cerebral haemorrhage.
Here you can read The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, which is
considered "one of the best guidebooks
of the Victorian era" because of its description of the
fundamental dichotomy of the 19th century "outward respectability and
inward lust (=concupiscence, self-indulgence and moral corruption)" as that period had a tendency for social hypocrisy and self-possession (=reliance on one's own abilities, decisions).