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BOOK REVIEWS Johnson, Juliet McLauchlan, J. Hillis Miller, Rosemarie Morgan, and Peter Widdowson. And, beyond the strengths I see in Efron's Experiencing 'Tess' that involve its extraordinary range of reference and its engagement with so many different critical points of view, there is, also, the exceptional breadth of the many critical and cultural interconnections it makes. Where else might one find considerations of theories of the textual control of reader responses jostling with a discussion of the relationship of the novel's concern with the taboo of virginity to the current U.S. government 's promotion of premarital abstinence? And there is, too, the humane clarity with which the book is written and the author's full engagement with his subject. Arthur Efron's Experiencing 'Tess' is in important respects a flawed and eccentric book but one with much that is solid and sane in it. One can only regret that it will cost $72 to have the varied "experiences" this paperback of 248 pages provides. ROBERT SCHWEIK Fredonia State University RLS's Jekyll e¿> Hyde Robert Louis Stevenson. Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Richard Dury, ed. The Collected Works of Robert Louis Stevenson. The Centenary Edition. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press; New York: Columbia University Press, 2004. lxii + 199 pp. $59.50 THE CENTENARY EDITION marches majestically and triumphantly on. This volume, beautifully printed in accordance with high standards set by the Edinburgh University Press, takes its place next to four of Stevenson's major works: Weir ofHermiston, edited by Catherine Kerrigan (1995); The Ebb-Tide, edited by Peter Hinchcliffe and Catherine Kerrigan (1995); Treasure Island, edited by Wendy R. Katz (1998); and The Collected Poems of Robert Louis Stevenson, edited by Roger Lewis (2003). Lovers of Stevenson's literary achievement, clouded for decades by patronizing biographers and critics, should rejoice at this most recent addition to the series of authoritative texts known as the Centenary Edition. Catherine Kerrigan is entirely justified in noting the problems created by the too-ready availability of corrupted versions of Stevenson's books (first editions, though prized in literary auctions, are notoriously unreliable guides to what Stevenson wrote or tried—unsuccessfully —to include). "In accuracy, authority and authenticity," she 363 ELT 48 : 3 2005 writes in her preface, "the Centenary Edition improves on all previous editions of Stevenson's works." The emphasis on a "clear text," i.e., one "free from any editorial signals ," is welcome to this reviewer, if only because the text of Stevenson's novel, running to some sixty-seven pages, is more than balanced by the scholarly apparatus, which, like some Maginot Line seeking to defy casual passers-by, occupies 163 pages. It is all the more helpful to reread this celebrated novelette as a self-contained fiction, as a story weaving a spell, before going on to study the cornucopia of aids to understanding the text supplied by Richard Dury. (He is a member of the faculty at Bergamo University in Italy, editor of the Stevenson website and the associated newsletters, author of The Annotated Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde [1993], co-convenor of the Stevenson Conference at Gargnano in 2002 and co-editor of its proceedings, Robert Louis Stevenson. Writer of Boundaries.) After a compressed chronology of Stevenson's life we are treated to an elaborate introduction, reviewing the circumstances of composition. Perhaps not surprisingly, the story's genesis does not begin with the famous moment when Fanny awoke her husband, who was "making cries in his sleep," only to be rebuked with the question, "Why did you wake me? ... I was dreaming a fine bogey tale." Stevenson, alarmed by financial pressures and ill health, had earlier expressed his interest in writing for the Christmas "ghost story" market, and elements of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde are certainly present in stories he had already written: the script of a melodrama about Deacon Brodie, the result of a collaboration with W E. Henley ("a Man who was Two men"), as well as "Markheim," "The House of Eld" (described as a "fable"), and "The Body Snatcher." Stevenson's quarrel with Fanny about his first draft (which she thought stressed sensationalism at the expense of allegory) led...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1559-2715
Print ISSN
0013-8339
Pages
pp. 363-366
Launched on MUSE
2010-05-21
Open Access
No
Archive Status
Ceased Publication
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