With an Introduction and Notes by Dr Pamela Bickley, The Godolphin andLatymer School, formerly of Royal Holloway, University of London The LastMan is Mary Shelley's apocalyptic fantasy of the end of humancivilisation. Set in the late twenty-first century, the novel unfolds asombre and pessimistic vision of mankind confronting inevitabledestruction. Interwoven with her futuristic theme, Mary Shelleyincorporates idealised portraits of Shelley and Byron, yet rejectsRomanticism and its faith in art and nature. Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley(1797-1851) was the only daughter of Mary Wollstonecraft, author ofVindication of the Rights of Woman, and the radical philosopher WilliamGodwin. Her mother died ten days after her birth and the young child waseducated through contact with her father's intellectual circle and her ownreading. She met Percy Bysshe Shelley in 1812; they eloped in July 1814. Inthe 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 wasdrowned. Mary returned to England with her surviving son and wrote novels,short stories and accounts of her travels; she was the first editor ofP.B.Shelley's poetry and verse.