In 1886, Robert Louis Stevenson wrote what seemed an uncharacteristic book, Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde. That the writer of Treasure Island (1883) and A Child's Garden of Verses (1885) would explore the power of addiction and expose the monsters that dwell in us all was disconcerting to Victorian society. There have been many conjectures on the origin of this book, but the primary source for the inner struggle with substances that release the inner demon was Stevenson's own life. As a sickly child plagued with lung disease, Stevenson was treated with morphine and later added alcohol and cocaine to a potent cocktail to which he became dependent on and off for the rest of his life - at one time he remarked, "Wine is bottled poetry." His marriage in 1880 to Fanny Osborne, an American divorcee nine years his senior, exacerbated his condition as she willingly joined him in smoking hashish ...
About J. Maarten Troost
Travel writer J. Maarten Troost was born in 1969 in the Netherlands and is of Dutch-Czech descent. He grew up in Canada and presently lives in Washington DC with his wife and two sons. He is the author of three books which are about his experiences in the Pacific Islands (The Sex Lives of Cannibals, Getting Stoned With Savages and Headhunters on My Doorstep) and one book about his 3-month trip to China (Lost on Planet China). He has also written many essays for The Atlantic Monthly and The Washington Post. While he was a student, he wrote essays for the Prague Post.
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