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Have you ever thought what it might be like to be the last man on earth?

Mary Shelley, best known for Frankenstein, wrote a masterpiece of a book often overlooked, which explores this concept, aptly entitled The Last Man. With gothic and apocalyptic influences, alongside Romantic caricatures, it is beautifully written and well worth the read.

Verney, the narrator, writes: “Time and experience have placed me on an height from which I can comprehend the past as a whole.”

There is a sense of completeness in that statement, a sense of renewed perspective.  Maybe that’s what the Romantics meant by the sublime… or maybe it was something else, something more.

It’s on the tip of the tongue of my keyboard.

(To find out about what Wordsworth had to say on the idea of viewing the past as a whole – of finding temporary fulfilment in memory – click here)

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