The Last Man
The Last Man
From within the city neither shout nor cry, nor aught except the casual howling of a dog, broke the noonday stillness...
Back in 1826 a novel was written, The Last Man that tells the story of humanity’s downfall in the 21st century.
The author was none other than Mary Shelley, creator of the groundbreaking science-fiction/horror novel Frankenstein (1818).
A plague has spread throughout Asia and has finally reached Constantinople.
The novel revolves around six characters whose lives, over time and continents, are among the final generation of humans on earth, destroyed by an unstoppable plague.
Humanity’s undoing was the consequence of a disease that originates in the developing world and radiates outward in a pandemic, eventually spreading into North America, East Asia, and ultimately Europe.
Scenes of horror increase by the hour, including a number of events of haunting beauty, that seem topical to this day.
The disease proves unstoppable, causing the collapse of civilization. Our greatest cities become gravesites of ruin.
Not one human being survives the pandemic.
Somehow, in the 1800’s, Mary Shelley was able to imagine the unimaginable: of all the existential risks facing humanity in the 21st century, super-pandemics are the one with the shortest path between reality and nightmare.
MARY WOLLSTONECRAFT SHELLEY (1797-1851) wife of celebrated poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, was an English novelist, short story writer, dramatist, essayist, biographer, perhaps best known for her Gothic novel creation, Frankenstein, widely considered to be one of the top 100 books of all time. Her works remain among the most profound, and beautiful in the English language.