Plague Dystopias Volume Two: The Last Man - Mary Shelley

Plague Dystopias Volume Two: The Last Man

By Mary Shelley

  • Release Date - Published: 2020-04-13
  • Book Genre: Sci-Fi & Fantasy
  • Author: Mary Shelley
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Plague Dystopias Volume Two: The Last Man Mary Shelley read online review & book description:

“The world teeters in collective anxiety in the midst of a pandemic. A novel and lethal plague spreads its tentacles around the earth. It ravages human populations and simultaneously undermines their interconnected economic and political systems. … This story line should sound familiar. But I am not summarizing the news headlines about Covid-19. I am recalling the plot of a great work of literature. It is Mary Shelley’s futuristic novel about a global plague, The Last Man.” – Eileen Hunt Botting, The New York Times, 13 March 2020..........

Now regarded as Mary Shelley’s most important novel after Frankenstein, The Last Man portrays an apocalyptic world at the end of the 21st Century ravaged by plague. The dystopian novel not only will appeal to fans of science fiction literature but also fans of Romanticism and its champions, Percy Blythe Shelley and Lord Byron. Indeed, Mary Shelley used the novel as a vehicle to present a tribute to her late husband Percy, for whom she had wished to write a proper biography, but had been forbidden from doing so by her father-in-law. Percy is represented in the novel Adrian, Earl of Windsor, a utopian philosopher figure, and also by minor characters such as Merrival, an astronomer, who is oblivious to the plague until his family dies. Lord Byron is presented as the passionate and ambitious Lord Raymond, who fights for Greece against the Turks and in the end chooses romance over the chance to become King of England. Lionel Verney, the “Last Man,” is an autobiographical representation of Mary herself. The metaphorical and political implications of the novel are best left undescribed in this introduction as detailing them would give away too much of the plot. Suffice it to say these elements are thought-provoking, as good science fiction should be.

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