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Stevenson's famous novel Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is set in London, but some critics have claimed that it would seem to fit better in Stevenson's native Edinburgh, almost as if he wrote a story set in Edinburgh and then just changed the names to London ones. For example, as quoted in this answer:

I have often wondered why the Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was set in London instead of Edinburgh. Utterson is a very Scottish sort of lawyer; Lanyon is a very Scottish sort of doctor; and the metaphysical speculation that allures Dr. Jekyll to his doom is decidedly more Scottish than English. Furthermore, the tale might most appropriately be conceived as happening among the gloomy doorways and mysterious wynds that undermine the tall, decaying lands which darkly overhang the High Street of Edinburgh. Possibly Louis may have felt that Mr. Hyde could lose himself more easily among the shifting crowds of a vaster and less centred city. It is more difficult to hunt a villain down in London than in Edinburgh.

-- Clayton Hamilton, On the Trail of Stevenson (1915), New York: Doubleday, Page & Co.; p. 61

This quote, for example, says that the story seems like one set in Scotland, but doesn't really provide any edivence for its claims. (How are Utterson and Lanyon "very Scottish", or the metaphysical speculation? Why is it more "appropriate" to imagine it in Edinburgh than London?)

What evidence in the story supports an Edinburgh setting as more apt than a London one?

  • Basic internet searches suggest the name "Utterson" might originate in the Scottish borders and "Lanyon" in Cornwall. Obviously, both are quite rare names. – mikado May 12 at 19:16

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