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The Last Man

The Last Man is an apocalyptic science-fiction novel by Mary Shelley, first published in 1826. At the time, it was critically savaged and remained largely obscure until the 1960s, when it was republished and subjected to modern critical scholarship. The novel, set in a future world ravaged by a plague, is noted for its semi-autobiographical portraits of Mary Shelley’s inner circle, including Percy Bysshe Shelley and Lord Byron.

The Last Man

The three-volume plot tells the story of Lionel Verney, the impoverished son of a nobleman, who becomes the last man following a plague in the year 2092. In Volume one, Lionel and his sister Perdita are living in the last days of the English monarchy. Perdita falls in love with Raymond, a military hero who becomes Lord Protector. However, a love triangle between the two and Evandne, a Greek princess, forces Raymond to resign and return to the war.

In Volume two, the characters attempt to return to normal lives following the war, but a plague breaks out. Survivors from America invade England, attempting to plunder. By Volume three, only four survivors (Lionel, Adrian, Clara, and Evelyn) have survived, fleeing England, but Evelyn dies in Switzerland. The remaining three attempt to flee to Greece, but Clara and Adrian drown en route, leaving only Lionel as the last man in the year 2100.

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