Hunting Mr Hyde [Radio Scotland]



Drink, drugs, prostitution and religion. Writer Louise Welsh delves into the 1880s origins of Robert Louis Stevenson's timeless villain - Mr Hyde. Born in Bournemouth in 1886, Mr Edward Hyde loved children - never missing an opportunity to trample them in the street while making a bee-line for his decadent lodgings among the brothels of Soho. The misbegotten offspring of Edinburgh's dark Calvinist folklore and spanking new medical theories about addiction releasing 'the degenerate' lurking within, Mr Hyde liked luxury goods, nice carpets, and murdering elderly MPs. Looking at the places and ideas that helped spawn Hyde, Louise Welsh travels from the Thames and Soho into the Old Town of Edinburgh exploring the real transformations and addictions which lay behind the mysterious potion of Dr Jekyll. With retired bishop, Richard Holloway, she finally tracks Hyde's soul to an unlikely lair down a seedy close.

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