Welcome to SPACE, our adult continuing education program which offers interactive monthly courses for personal enrichment! Learn more here.

October 2023 Confirmed
Two classics of Gothic literature wrestle with the problem of good and evil: Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886) and Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890). The former, a work of early science fiction, and the latter, a Faustian fantasy, both imagine a human psyche divided in two. In Stevenson’s tale, Dr. Jekyll attempts to isolate and contain the evil side of his nature, but creates a monster he cannot control. In Wilde’s “poisonous book,” Dorian enjoys seemingly eternal youth while his portrait suffers the physical and moral consequences of his wickedness—only to learn that (as the saying goes), sooner or later, we all get the face we deserve.

In examining this sinister pair of pairs, this course looks first at the text of each novel. Next, we survey the shock and alarm these books inspired among the Victorian public, as captured by a range of early reader responses. In their contrasting approach to the same theme, both works reveal insights into the fragility of human identity, the limits of scientific understanding, and the dark power of artistic creation.

Required Texts


Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (any edition), and Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray (any edition).

Note: Digital copies of both required texts are available at Project Gutenberg:
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Check out Current and Upcoming offerings from:

Days and Times

Meeting Mondays & Wednesdays at 6:00 PM Eastern for eight 1-hour sessions on October 2, 4, 9, 11, 16, 18, 23, 25

Discord Details

#gothic-lit
Log in or Sign up to ENROLL!
If you have any questions about the SPACE program, please reach out to [email protected].