The Transformation: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Why we decided to put Jekyll and Hyde on a double-sided mug

In 1886, the gothic novella Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was first published. Author Robert Louis Stevenson was very interested in human personalities and how they can be incorporated into a story to accent the themes of good and evil.

A green drawn poster from 1880 of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
PPhoto: 1880s poster of Jekyll and Hyde

Stevenson might also have been inspired by the true account of his friendship with Eugene Chantrelle, a seemingly normal teacher from Edinburgh, who was found to have murdered his wife and possibly others by poisoning them with opium.

The story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde first came to Stevenson in a dream, having a nightmare about the transformation from man to monster. Accounts from Stevenson's wife and stepson say he wrote the first draft in three days and refined the finished story in just six weeks after. It paints a gothic narrative that deals heavily with the theme of duality, and the Freudian theory of banishing evil thoughts to the unconscious mind could one day create a monstrous effect in a person.

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde has become part of popular culture and a timeless literary classic. The theme of secret identities and split personalities has been updated throughout movies and plays, and even the term "Jekyll and Hyde" refers to someone with a dual personality. Even the popular comic book character, The Incredible Hulk, created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, was directly influenced by Stevenson's novel. 

Now, the ill-fated Dr. Henry Jekyll and the monstrous Mr. Edward Hyde have been immortalized once again, fully realized by our art director Thomas Dragonette, on the first-ever double-sided mug from Deneen Pottery and Death Wish Coffee to celebrate the Halloween season of 2019.

Thanks to voice actor Brock Powell for playing both Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in our video!