The Last Man

By Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley,

Book cover of The Last Man

Book description

With an Introduction and Notes by Dr Pamela Bickley, The Godolphin and Latymer School, formerly of Royal Holloway, University of London.

The Last Man is Mary Shelley's apocalyptic fantasy of the end of human civilisation. Set in the late twenty-first century, the novel unfolds a sombre and pessimistic vision of…

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Why read it?

1 author picked The Last Man as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

And this choice is a sneaky one: it was published in 1826, but it’s actually set in the late 21st century. I couldn’t resist including it for three reasons: it’s a product of the 1820s (and deals with several social concerns of the time, such as republicanism), it’s written by a woman (and my other four choices aren’t), and its rather apposite storyline concerns a mysterious pandemic that rapidly sweeps across the entire globe, ultimately resulting in the near-extinction of humanity (leaving just the last man)… It wasn’t popular at the time – widely considered to be Shelley’s weakest work…

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