Thomas Russell Sullivan

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Thomas Russell Sullivan
Thomas Russell Sullivan (1849-1916).jpg
Born(1849-11-21)November 21, 1849
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Died June 28, 1916(1916-06-28) (aged 66)
Boston, Massachusetts
Occupation Writer
Language English
Period 1885–1913
Notable works Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
SpouseLucy Wadsworth(m. 1899–1916)

Thomas Russell Sullivan (November 21, 1849 – June 28, 1916) was an American writer. He is best known for Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde , an 1887 stage adaptation of Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson. He also wrote novels and short stories, often with Gothic motifs. His posthumously published journals have been used as a historical source about the literary culture of Boston in the late 19th and early 20th century.

<i>Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde</i> (1887 play) 1887 stage play

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a four-act play written by Thomas Russell Sullivan in collaboration with the actor Richard Mansfield. It is an adaptation of Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, an 1886 novella by the Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson. The story focuses on the respected London doctor Henry Jekyll and his involvement with Edward Hyde, a loathsome criminal. After Hyde murders the father of Jekyll's fiancée, Jekyll's friends discover that he and Jekyll are the same person; Jekyll has developed a potion that allows him to transform himself into Hyde and back again. When he runs out of the potion, he is trapped as Hyde and commits suicide before he can be arrested.

<i>Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde</i> novella by Robert Louis Stevenson

Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is a gothic novella by Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson, first published in 1886. The work is also known as The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, or simply Jekyll & Hyde. It is about a London legal practitioner named Gabriel John Utterson who investigates strange occurrences between his old friend, Dr Henry Jekyll, and the evil Edward Hyde. The novella's impact is such that it has become a part of the language, with the phrase "Jekyll and Hyde" entering the vernacular to refer to people with an unpredictably dual nature: usually very good, but sometimes shockingly evil.

Robert Louis Stevenson Scottish novelist, poet, essayist, and travel writer

Robert Louis Stevenson was a Scottish novelist and travel writer, most noted for Treasure Island, Kidnapped, Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, and A Child's Garden of Verses.

Contents

Early life

Sullivan was born on November 21, 1849, in a log cabin house on Charles Street in Boston, Massachusetts. He was the son of Thomas Russell Sullivan, a schoolmaster and former Unitarian minister, and Charlotte Caldwell Sullivan (née Blake). His paternal great-grandfather was Massachusetts Governor James Sullivan. Sullivan attended the Boston Latin School and expected to go to Harvard University as his father did, but both his parents died by the time he was 14, forcing him to find work instead.

Log cabin dwelling constructed of logs; mostly used in a log house

A log cabin is a small log house, especially a less finished or architecturally sophisticated structure. Log cabins have an ancient history in Europe, and in America are often associated with first generation home building by settlers.

Charles Street (Boston) street in Massachusetts, USA

Charles Street is the name of a north-south street in the city center of Boston, Massachusetts. It begins in the north at Leverett Circle, where it connects with Nashua Street and Monsignor O'Brien Highway. Science Park station on the MBTA Green Line is located there. Charles Street runs south and gives its name to the Charles/MGH station on the MBTA Red Line, connecting via the Charles Circle rotary to Cambridge Street and the Longfellow Bridge which leads to Cambridge. This segment is a one-way street, with traffic heading northwards.

Boston Capital city of Massachusetts, United States

Boston is the capital and most populous city of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the United States. The city proper covers 48 square miles (124 km2) with an estimated population of 685,094 in 2017, making it also the most populous city in New England. Boston is the seat of Suffolk County as well, although the county government was disbanded on July 1, 1999. The city is the economic and cultural anchor of a substantially larger metropolitan area known as Greater Boston, a metropolitan statistical area (MSA) home to a census-estimated 4.8 million people in 2016 and ranking as the tenth-largest such area in the country. As a combined statistical area (CSA), this wider commuting region is home to some 8.2 million people, making it the sixth-largest in the United States.

From 1866 to 1870, Sullivan worked as a clerk in Boston. He then took a job with Bowles Brothers, working in Paris and London from 1870 to 1873. When Bowles Brothers went out of business in 1873, he returned to Boston and found work at Lee, Higginson & Co., a Boston investment bank. [1]

Lee, Higginson & Co. was a Boston-based investment bank during the 1840s to 1932, home of many members of the Boston Brahmin establishment. The bank collapsed in the Swedish match scandal in 1932 while under the leadership of Jerome Davis Greene. Also known for financing the growth of General Motors. The headquarters building of Lee, Higginson in lower Manhattan, built 1928, is now the private Léman Manhattan Preparatory School.

Writing career

While working at Lee, Higginson & Co., Sullivan began writing in his spare time. In the 1870s and early 1880s, he worked on several plays performed at the Boston Museum. His first novel, Roses of Shadow, was published in 1885. He became friends with the actor Richard Mansfield, who in 1887 acquired the theatrical rights to Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde , an 1886 novella by Robert Louis Stevenson. Mansfield asked Sullivan to write the adaptation. Sullivan doubted whether the story would make a good play, but he agreed to help with the project. [2] The play, titled Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, debuted at the Boston Museum on May 9, 1887, to a very positive reception. It went to the Madison Square Theatre on Broadway on September 12, 1887, and was a hit. Mansfield's company continued to perform the play for the next 20 years, across the United States and in England.

Boston Museum (theatre) theatre, wax museum, natural history museum, zoo, and art museum in 19th-century Boston, Massachusetts

The Boston Museum (1841–1903), also called the Boston Museum and Gallery of Fine Arts, was a theatre, wax museum, natural history museum, zoo, and art museum in 19th-century Boston, Massachusetts. Moses Kimball established the enterprise in 1841.

Richard Mansfield English actor-manager

Richard Mansfield was an English actor-manager best known for his performances in Shakespeare plays, Gilbert and Sullivan operas, and the play Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

Novella written, fictional, prose narrative normally longer than a short story but shorter than a novel

A novella is a text of written, fictional, narrative prose normally longer than a short story but shorter than a novel, somewhere between 17,500 and 40,000 words.

The success of the play convinced Sullivan to quit his banking job and write full-time. He wrote three more plays, although none were successful. He also wrote several novels and a two-volume collection of short stories, many of which have Gothic elements. He attempted one more stage collaboration with Mansfield, a drama about the Roman emperor Nero, but after its failure the two became estranged. [3]

Gothic fiction, which is largely known by the subgenre of Gothic horror, is a genre or mode of literature and film that combines fiction and horror, death, and at times romance. Its origin is attributed to English author Horace Walpole, with his 1764 novel The Castle of Otranto, subtitled "A Gothic Story". The effect of Gothic fiction feeds on a pleasing sort of terror, an extension of Romantic literary pleasures that were relatively new at the time of Walpole's novel. It originated in England in the second half of the 18th century where, following Walpole, it was further developed by Clara Reeve, Ann Radcliffe, William Thomas Beckford and Matthew Lewis. The genre had much success in the 19th century, as witnessed in prose by Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and the works of Edgar Allan Poe as well as Charles Dickens with his novella, A Christmas Carol, and in poetry in the work of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and Lord Byron. Another well known novel in this genre, dating from the late Victorian era, is Bram Stoker's Dracula. The name Gothic, which originally referred to the Goths, and then came to mean "German", refers to the medieval Gothic architecture, in which many of these stories take place. This extreme form of Romanticism was very popular throughout Europe, especially among English- and German-language writers and artists. The English Gothic novel also led to new novel types such as the German Schauerroman and the French Roman Noir.

Roman emperor ruler of the Roman Empire

The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the imperial period. The emperors used a variety of different titles throughout history. Often when a given Roman is described as becoming "emperor" in English, it reflects his taking of the title Augustus or Caesar. Another title often used was imperator, originally a military honorific. Early Emperors also used the title princeps. Emperors frequently amassed republican titles, notably princeps senatus, consul and pontifex maximus.

Nero 1st-century Emperor of Ancient Rome

Nero was the last Roman emperor of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. He was adopted by his great-uncle Claudius and became Claudius' heir and successor. Like Claudius, Nero became emperor with the consent of the Praetorian Guard. Nero's mother, Agrippina the Younger, was likely implicated in Claudius' death and Nero's nomination as emperor. She dominated Nero's early life and decisions until he cast her off. Five years into his reign, he had her murdered.

Works

Notes

Related Research Articles

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<i>Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Or a Mis-Spent Life</i> play

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Or a Mis-Spent Life is a four-act play written in 1897 by Luella Forepaugh and George F. Fish. It is an adaptation of Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, an 1886 novella written by the Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson. The story focuses on Henry Jekyll, a respected London doctor, and his involvement with Edward Hyde, a loathsome criminal. After Hyde murders a vicar, Jekyll's friends suspect he is helping the killer, but the truth is that Jekyll and Hyde are the same person. Jekyll has developed a potion that allows him to transform himself into Hyde and back again. When he runs out of the potion, he is trapped in his Hyde form and commits suicide.

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References