The Last Man

Capa
Wordsworth Editions, 2004 - 395 páginas

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 mankind confronting inevitable destruction. Interwoven with her futuristic theme, Mary Shelley incorporates idealised portraits of Shelley and Byron, yet rejects Romanticism and its faith in art and nature.

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (1797-1851) was the only daughter of Mary Wollstonecraft, author of Vindication of the Rights of Woman, and the radical philosopher William Godwin. Her mother died ten days after her birth and the young child was educated through contact with her father's intellectual circle and her own reading. She met Percy Bysshe Shelley in 1812; they eloped in July 1814. In the summer of 1816 she began her first and most famous novel, Frankenstein. Three of her children died in early infancy and in 1822 her husband was drowned. Mary returned to England with her surviving son and wrote novels, short stories and accounts of her travels; she was the first editor of P.B.Shelley's poetry and verse.

 

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LibraryThing Review

Comentário do usuário  - JBD1 - LibraryThing

This one had a (very) few interesting elements, and the account of the plague overwhelming the world was pretty chilly ... but overall, hardly a surprise this this novel has been largely forgotten. Ler resenha completa

LibraryThing Review

Comentário do usuário  - ToddSherman - LibraryThing

Mary Shelley’s “The Last Man” showed promise near the beginning: “There is no fruition in their vacant kindness, and sharp rocks lurk beneath the smiling ripples of these shallow waters.” And then ... Ler resenha completa

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Página xix - I had a dream, which was not all a dream. The bright sun was extinguished, and the stars Did wander darkling in the eternal space, Rayless, and pathless, and the icy Earth Swung blind and blackening in the moonless air...
Página x - They say that thou wert, lovely from thy birth, Of glorious parents thou aspiring Child : I wonder not, for One then left this earth Whose life was like a setting planet mild, Which clothed thee in the radiance undefiled Of its departing glory ; still her fame Shines on thee, through the tempests dark and wild Which shake these latter days ; and thou canst claim The shelter, from thy Sire, of an immortal name.

Sobre o autor (2004)

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. She died from a brain tumor on February 1, 1851 at the age of 54.

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