The Last Man by Mary Shelley

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 4 Critic Reviews

unrated

Synopsis

`The last man! I may well describe that solitary being's feelings, feeling myself as the last relic of a beloved race, my companions extinct before me.' Mary Shelley, Journal (May 1824).

Best remembered as the author of Frankenstein, Mary Shelley wrote The Last Man eight years later, on returning to England from Italy after her husband's death.

It is the twenty-first century, and England is a republic governed by a ruling elite, one of whom, Adrian, Earl of Windsor, has introduced a Cumbrian boy to the circle. This outsider, Lionel Verney, narrates the story, a tale of complicated, tragic love, and of the gradual extermination of the human race by plague.

The Last Man also functions as an intriguing roman --agrave--; clef, for the saintly Adrian is a monument to Percy Bysshe Shelley, and his friend Lord Raymond is a portrait of Byron. The novel offers a vision of the future that expresses a reaction against Romanticism, as Shelley demonstrates the failure of the imagination and of art to redeem her doomed characters. - ;'The last man! I may well describe that solitary being's feelings, feeling myself as the last relic of a beloved race, my companions extinct before me.' Mary Shelley, Journal (May 1824).

Best remembered as the author of Frankenstein, Mary Shelley wrote The Last Man eight years later, on returning to England from Italy after her husband's death.

It is the twenty-first century, and England is a republic governed by a ruling elite, one of whom, Adrian, Earl of Windsor, has introduced a Cumbrian boy to the circle. This outsider, Lionel Verney, narrates the story, a tale of complicated, tragic love, and of the gradual extermination of the human race by plague.

The Last Man also functions as an intriguing roman --agrave--; clef, for the saintly Adrian is a monument to Percy Bysshe Shelley, and his friend Lord Raymond is a portrait of Byron. The novel offers a vision of the future that expresses a reaction against Romanticism, as Shelley demonstrates the failure of the imagination and of art to redeem her doomed characters. -
 

About Mary Shelley

See more books from this Author
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley was born in England on August 30, 1797. Her parents were two celebrated liberal thinkers, William Godwin, a social philosopher, and Mary Wollstonecraft, a women's rights advocate. Eleven days after Mary's birth, her mother died of puerperal fever. Four motherless years later, Godwin married Mary Jane Clairmont, bringing her and her two children into the same household with Mary and her half-sister, Fanny. Mary's idolization of her father, his detached and rational treatment of their bond, and her step-mother's preference for her own children created a tense and awkward home. Mary's education and free-thinking were encouraged, so it should not surprise us today that at the age of sixteen she ran off with the brilliant, nineteen-year old and unhappily married Percy Bysshe Shelley. Shelley became her ideal, but their life together was a difficult one. Traumas plagued them: Shelley's wife and Mary's half-sister both committed suicide; Mary and Shelley wed shortly after he was widowed but social disapproval forced them from England; three of their children died in infancy or childhood; and while Shelley was an aristocrat and a genius, he was also moody and had little money. Mary conceived of her magnum opus, Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus, when she was only nineteen when Lord Byron suggested they tell ghost stories at a house party. The resulting book took over two years to write and can be seen as the brilliant creation of a powerful but tormented mind. The story of Frankenstein has endured nearly two centuries and countless variations because of its timeless exploration of the tension between our quest for knowledge and our thirst for good. Shelley drowned when Mary was only 24, leaving her with an infant and debts. Mary died in 1851 at the age of 54 from a brain tumor.
 
Published April 25, 2014 by Oxford University Press, UK. 1 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Crafts, Hobbies & Home, Horror, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Education & Reference, Action & Adventure, History, Political & Social Sciences, Romance, War. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Last Man

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

Set in an apocalyptic future ending in the year 2100, Shelley's 1826 novel concerns a plague that destroys almost all of humankind. (June)

Jan 04 1993 | Read Full Review of The Last Man

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

Set in an apocalyptic future ending in the year 2100, Shelley's 1826 novel concerns a plague that destroys almost all of humankind.

| Read Full Review of The Last Man

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

Set in an apocalyptic future ending in the year 2100, Shelley's 1826 novel concerns a plague that destroys almost all of humankind. (June)

Jan 04 1993 | Read Full Review of The Last Man

Boomtron

I had not read any of his stories (nor those of many of the other newer authors) before this one, but I really liked this short story about a little girl and her beloved teddy bear left all alone in the girl’s partially destroyed house.

Dec 30 2010 | Read Full Review of The Last Man

Reader Rating for The Last Man
55%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 28 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review
×