Saturday, September 3, 2022

Article: Strange Case of Dr Jekyll, his English Wills and Scottish Law

Leslie Katz recently published an article entitled, Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll, his English Wills and Scottish Law. Provided below is an abstract:

In Robert Louis Stevenson’s Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, much of the action of the story is driven by the belief of Mr Utterson the lawyer that a will made by Jekyll leaving everything to Hyde was a valid will. That belief was caused in turn by Stevenson’s belief that, on a certain point, English and Scottish wills law were the same. Stevenson was mistaken; they weren’t. Although the will would have been valid under Scottish law, it wasn’t under English law. Much of Utterson’s conduct in the story is thus seen to have been unnecessary.

The paper also includes background information about Mr Utterson, Dr Lanyon and Dr Jekyll, as well as a chronology of events in the story.

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