Miller, Renata Kobetts Books
Renata Kobetts Miller is Assistant Professor of English at The City College of the City University of New York. She has published articles on Victorian literature and theater in MLQ and The George Eliot Review, among other places.2005 0-7734-5991-X
This examination of Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
(1886) and its reinterpretations presents original interviews with novelists Emma Tennant and Valerie Martin, and playwright David Edgar, framed by analysis of their works. In so doing, it moves away from common division between those who write literature and those who write about literature. Its examination of Stevenson’s original novel and its comprehensive survey of the history of Jekyll and Hyde
reveals that these three late twentieth-century writers react against the tradition of reinterpretations and recover Stevenson’s structure. Arguing that their returns to a Victorian text are motivated by contemporary concerns about class and gender politics that find an apt vehicle for exploration in Stevenson’s story, this book identifies a trend of neo-Victorianism – an attraction to cultural products of the Victorian period that results, not from a desire for a time of greater elegance and leisure, but from perceived similarities between our time and that of over one hundred years ago. The interviews in this book foreground the authors’ own political concerns, their views on why Stevenson’s story lends itself to reinterpretation over one hundred years after it first appeared, the research that they performed to prepare for writing their adaptations, and the choices that they made while writing.