A post-apocalyptic science fiction novel from the author of Frankenstein. The book tells of a future world that has been ravaged by a plague. In the novel we meet Lionel Verney, the orphan son of an impoverished nobleman. Lionel is originally lawless, self-willed, and resentful of the nobility for casting aside his father. When he is befriended by Adrian, however, he embraces civilization and particularly scholarship. Verney is largely an autobiographical figure for Mary Shelley.