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The Last Man (1826)

por Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

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Classic Literature. Fiction. Science Fiction. HTML:

Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein, wrote the apocalyptic novel The Last Man in 1826. Its first person narrative tells the story of our world standing at the end of the twenty-first century and - after the devastating effects of a plague - at the end of humanity. In the book Shelley writes of weaving this story from a discovery of prophetic writings uncovered in a cave near Naples. The Last Man was made into a 2008 film.

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Inglês (39)  Árabe (1)  Italiano (1)  Espanhol (1)  Todas as línguas (42)
Mostrando 1-5 de 42 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
Finally managed to get my hands on this book after having wanted to read it for years - a pioneer of the post-apocalyptic genre.
Set in the late 21st century, the novel follows Lionel Verney from his early childhood as a rural shepherd, as he gets involved in the politics of now-republican England, makes friends, marries, fights in a war, and finally faces humanity's doom at the hands of a plague.
I found it was easier to approach this book as an alternative past than a possible future, since my imagination couldn't quite handle the very antiquated future presented here. Writing in the 1820s, Mary Shelley could not have anticipated that the people of 2097 would not likely be fighting wars on horseback, travelling by carriage or having to gather tools to "make a light" upon entering a room.
The narrative was also very heavy on exposition, with lots of angsty internal monologue by Lionel in place of action.
Lionel's lonely fate is a very affecting one, and so it should be, as Mary Shelley was writing from her own feelings of loss after losing her husband and child. Despite being a lesser known work of hers, it was still a very solid read. ( )
  weemanda | Nov 2, 2023 |
Overly florid and filigreed with no true engagement with any of the important issues embedded in her scenario. ( )
  lschiff | Sep 24, 2023 |
I can see why this never had the success Frankenstein did. Very slow and melodramatic. The first part has no mention of the coming plague. I found it very hard to keep my interest in the story. ( )
  nx74defiant | Aug 1, 2023 |
3.5 Stars. forget about the fact that this is supposedly taking place in the last part of the 21st Century. everything seems to be the same as it was in the time of the author's writing, which is the beginning of the 1800s. The only evidence of the setting being in the future is when Lionel was coming back from Greece after Raymond and Perdita died, and was going on a type of airplane that had a dome over the top of it. There's no evidence that there's any kind of gender equality. And Eton, the school in England, is still around. It's still only for boys. England still has colonies: New Holland, Van Diemen's land and the Cape of Good Hope. 🙄
If you can get to part 3 of this book, I hope you will love it as much as I did. The whole book is so beautifully written, but it's so wordy, and so tedious with every detail of the lives of the characters. Moreover, some of the characters are so dramatic that you just want to shake them and say "be happy for what you have, dammit!" But when you get to part 3, when there's a very small remnant left of mankind and the plague has taken nearly all of humans, you start to realize, even if you're a confirmed misanthropist like I am, that the end of man will have some sadness attached to it. This is weird to talk about, because Trump and his big boys are trying to finish us humans, our fellow fauna, and this Earth as fast as they can, by changing the climate, and I don't think it will be long before we will be Trumped by what we've done to unbalance the ecology. And I always say to myself, "humans don't deserve to live, especially on this beautiful planet, because we are capable of such vile deeds, such cruelty to creatures who depend on us for succour." And Yet, a few of us are also capable of incredible kindness, and caring, and reaching out to comfort our fellows when they are so downtrodden by this life. I found myself feeling a little sad, as the last man came to be by himself. The author put so much love and work into every page that it's just incredible to think of the amount of talent she had. This is my first book by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. ( )
  burritapal | Oct 23, 2022 |
Holy fucking fuck, I can't believe I finally read this whole fucking book. ( )
  J.Flux | Aug 13, 2022 |
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» Adicionar outros autores (48 possíveis)

Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraftautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Aldiss, BrianIntroduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Bickley, PamelaIntroduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Clair, NathanArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
De Zordo, OrnellaEditorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Fabian, StephenArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Friedrich, Caspar DavidIlustradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Hall, SarahIntroduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Mathias, RobertDesigner da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Matias, RobertDesigner da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
McWhir, AnneEditorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Melchiorri, Maria FelicitaTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Mellor, Anne KostelanetzIntroduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Paley, Morton D.Editorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Peterka, JohannIlustradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Philippi, IrinaTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Piercy, MargeIntroduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Tarr, JudithIntroduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Tegtmeier, RalphTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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Let no man seek
Henceforth to be foretold what shall befall
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-Milton
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Di mie tenere frondi altro lavoro
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Text from the author's introduction.
Notes from the Wordsworth Classics 2004 edition state that 'The choice of quotation at once laments the loss of Percy Bysshe Shelley and dedicates the text to him. And identifies it as sonnet 322, Petrarch's Lyric Poems translated and edited as follows by R. M. Durling, Harvard University Press, 1976

I thought to show you some other work of my young leaves;
and what cruel planet was displeased to see us together,
O my noble treasure?
TO THE ILLUSTRIOUS DEAD.
SHADOWS, ARISE, AND READ YOUR FALL!
BEHOLD THE HISTORY OF THE
LAST MAN

Lionel Verney
narrator / fictional author
From the last pages of the book.
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I visited Naples in the year 1818.
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Life is not the thing romance writers describe it; going through the measures of a dance, and after various evolutions arriving at a conclusion, when the dancers may sit down and repose. While there is life there is action and change. We go on, each thought linked to the one which was its parent, each act to a previous act. No joy or sorrow dies barren of progeny, which for ever generated and generating, weaves the chain that make our life.
One word, in truth, had alarmed her more than battles or sieges, during which she trusted Raymond's high command would exempt him from danger, that word, as yet it was not more o her, was "plague." This enemy to the human race had begun early in June to raise its serpent head on he shores of the Nile; parts of Asia, not usually subject to this evil, were infected. It was in Constantinople; but as each year that City experienced a like visitation, small attention was paid to those accounts which declared more people to have died there already, than usually made up the accustomed prey of the whole of the hotter months.
Let us live for each other and for happiness, let us seek peace in our dear home...let us leave"life" that we may "live."
Ye are all going to die, I thought, already your tomb is built up around you. Awhile because you are gifted with agility and strength, you fancy that you live: but frail is the "bower of flesh" that encaskets life; dissoluble the silver cord that binds you to it. The joyous soul charioted from pleasure to pleasure by the graceful mechanism of well-formed limbs, will suddenly feel the axle-tree give way and spring and wheel dissolve in dust. Not one of you, O fated crowd, can escape - not one!
Thousands die unlamented; for beside the yet warm corpses the mourner was stretched, made mute by death.
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Wikipédia em inglês (1)

Classic Literature. Fiction. Science Fiction. HTML:

Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein, wrote the apocalyptic novel The Last Man in 1826. Its first person narrative tells the story of our world standing at the end of the twenty-first century and - after the devastating effects of a plague - at the end of humanity. In the book Shelley writes of weaving this story from a discovery of prophetic writings uncovered in a cave near Naples. The Last Man was made into a 2008 film.

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