Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: 200 notes?

  1. #1
    Registered User kev67's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Reading, England
    Posts
    1,974

    200 notes?

    I am slightly confused after reading the first chapter of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. In that chapter, Mr Hyde tramples over a little girl. Someone goes and catches him and he is forced to pay £200 to the girl's family. 200 pounds compensation for a girl who was not hurt that much! If you multiply by 100, which is my rule for comparing Victorian prices to modern day prices, that is £20,000. She was not hurt that much. The incident occurred about 3am in the morning. What was she doing on the streets at that time? I have only finished chapter 1, but if Mr Hyde were that evil, why would he cough up that sort of money?
    According to Aldous Huxley, D.H. Lawrence once said that Balzac was 'a gigantic dwarf', and in a sense the same is true of Dickens.
    Charles Dickens, by George Orwell

  2. #2
    Registered User Jackson Richardson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Somewhere in the South East of England
    Posts
    1,190
    Is it a euphemism for sex? It is some time that I read the book, but my impression was that although sex was never mentioned, that was the aspect of clean living Dr Jekyll's life that Mr Hyde represents.

    And I don't think Victorians were so wrong to think that sexual urges can be dangerous.
    Previously JonathanB

    The more I read, the more I shall covet to read. Robert Burton The Anatomy of Melancholy Partion3, Section 1, Member 1, Subsection 1

  3. #3
    The Gnu Normal Pompey Bum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    5,364
    I've never read Stevenson so I can't address your question directly, but a Victorian reader would probably have understood the money to be a payment to avoid scandal or the appearance of scandal. Perhaps the brutal treatment of a girl followed by throwing of money at the problem was the just kind of blackguardly behavior one would expect from Hyde. But please take that with a grain of salt. I have never read the novel.
    Last edited by Pompey Bum; 10-30-2016 at 03:00 PM.
    And this from a man in a bunny suit.

  4. #4
    Registered User kev67's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Reading, England
    Posts
    1,974
    Yes, it was to avoid a scandal, but £200 was very steep. He was forced to pay this by the lawyer who caught him, the doctor who was treating the girl, and the girl's family. Seeing he was a 'gentleman', who could afford to pay, I would have said £20 was more than appropriate. How much could you buy an under age flower girl for? Much less than £1, probably more like a shilling. I dare say the incident happened in a richer part of London, the West End maybe. Therefore the girl and her family were not just some East End proles.
    According to Aldous Huxley, D.H. Lawrence once said that Balzac was 'a gigantic dwarf', and in a sense the same is true of Dickens.
    Charles Dickens, by George Orwell

  5. #5
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Beyond nowhere
    Posts
    5,009
    Victorian literature often suggests much more than it tells. I had the same idea as JR, but thought I was reading the story with eyes of today. In this case I don´t think 200 or even 1000 would be too much no matter what was the social class of the girl or her family.
    But curiously there seems to be a difference between copies as to the amount paid:
    " ‘If you choose to make capital out of this accident,’ said he, ‘I am naturally helpless. No gentleman but wishes to avoid a scene,’ says he. ‘Name your figure.’ Well, we screwed him up to a hundred pounds for the child’s family; he would have clearly liked to stick out; but there was something about the lot of us that meant mischief, and at last he struck."
    https://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/s/ste.../chapter1.html
    "You can always find something better than death."
    Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, The Bremen Town Musicians

  6. #6
    Registered User kev67's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Reading, England
    Posts
    1,974
    With regard to sex, I don't think there was any implied between Mr Hyde and the girl. Hyde just clattered into her in the street. I wonder if his C19th readers would have suspected a homosexual relationship between Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. The lawyer does not understand why his old friend has altered his will in favour of Mr Hyde, or why Dr Jekyll would instantly write out a cheque for nearly £200 for him. Mr Hyde is described as a young man although small. The lawyer finds him repellant.
    According to Aldous Huxley, D.H. Lawrence once said that Balzac was 'a gigantic dwarf', and in a sense the same is true of Dickens.
    Charles Dickens, by George Orwell

  7. #7
    The Gnu Normal Pompey Bum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    5,364
    Quote Originally Posted by kev67 View Post
    Yes, it was to avoid a scandal, but £200 was very steep. He was forced to pay this by the lawyer who caught him, the doctor who was treating the girl, and the girl's family. Seeing he was a 'gentleman', who could afford to pay, I would have said £20 was more than appropriate. How much could you buy an under age flower girl for? Much less than £1, probably more like a shilling. I dare say the incident happened in a richer part of London, the West End maybe. Therefore the girl and her family were not just some East End proles.
    Well, it never happened at all, of course, so it's just whatever point Stevenson was trying to make. But reputation was a valuable and vulnerable commodity at the time (think Vanity Fair), and maybe that was just the going rate for a wealthy gentleman.
    And this from a man in a bunny suit.

  8. #8
    Registered User kev67's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Reading, England
    Posts
    1,974
    Dr Jekyll could afford it. Mr Hyde is set to inherit £250,000 in Jekyll's will, which Mr Utterson is not very happy about. This at a time when the vast majority of households had to keep themselves on less than £100 a year.
    According to Aldous Huxley, D.H. Lawrence once said that Balzac was 'a gigantic dwarf', and in a sense the same is true of Dickens.
    Charles Dickens, by George Orwell

  9. #9
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Beyond nowhere
    Posts
    5,009
    No spoilers!
    But this information makes me still more inclined to think that the amount exacted from Hyde was 100 and not 200 pounds.
    "You can always find something better than death."
    Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, The Bremen Town Musicians

  10. #10
    The Gnu Normal Pompey Bum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    5,364
    Quote Originally Posted by kev67 View Post
    Dr Jekyll could afford it. Mr Hyde is set to inherit £250,000 in Jekyll's will, which Mr Utterson is not very happy about. This at a time when the vast majority of households had to keep themselves on less than £100 a year.
    Or .5 trampled flower girl per annum.
    And this from a man in a bunny suit.

Similar Threads

  1. York Notes/Spark Notes/Shmoop- What do you think?
    By kelby_lake in forum General Literature
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 05-05-2013, 07:10 AM
  2. Notes from underground help
    By alicia113 in forum Introductions
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 01-10-2012, 11:53 PM
  3. C & P or Notes
    By Illini88228 in forum General Literature
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 05-27-2010, 01:57 AM
  4. My notes?
    By Daniel R. III in forum Notes from the Underground
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 05-24-2005, 06:07 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •