Flatland

Front Cover
Createspace Independent Pub, May 31, 2011 - Fiction - 78 pages
79 Reviews
This is one of the very few novels about math and philosophy that can appeal to almost any layperson. Published in 1880, this short fantasy takes us to a completely flat world of two physical dimensions where all the inhabitants are geometric shapes, and who think the planar world of length and width that they know is all there is. But one inhabitant discovers the existence of a third physical dimension, enabling him to finally grasp the concept of a fourth dimension. Watching our Flatland narrator, we begin to get an idea of the limitations of our own assumptions about reality, and we start to learn how to think about the confusing problem of higher dimensions. The book is also quite a funny satire on society and class distinctions of Victorian England.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - adam.currey - www.librarything.com

I suspect it's an effect of this book having been written in the 1880's with language having changed quite a bit in the intervening time, but I found this book completely impenetrable - I only made it ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Stevil2001 - LibraryThing

Flatland is a clever book. It may be about two dimensions, but it works on more than one. Like a lot of the best science fiction, it allows us to imagine a world unlike ours while telling us something ... Read full review

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About the author (2011)

Edwin A. Abbott was born December 20, 1838. He attended City of London School and Cambridge, where he was an honor student in the classics. Following the career path of his father, Abbott was ordained an Anglican minister. Later he rejected a career as a clergyman and at the age of twenty-six, he returned to City of London School as Headmaster, a position he held for twenty-five years. Always curious about views from varying perspectives, he promoted a liberal attitude toward people of differing backgrounds. As president of the Teachers Training Society, for example, he lobbied for access to university education for women. He resigned as Headmaster at age fifty-three in protest of proposed changes to the mission of the school. Abbott wrote more than fifty books on widely different topics. He had published two series of his sermons while at Cambridge, a book on Shakespearean grammar, and accounts of his efforts to admit women to higher education. His most notable work is Flatland, written in 1884. Flatland is still widely read by both mathematicians and science-fiction readers because of its portrayal of the idea of higher dimensions. The narrator, a two-dimensional square called A Square happens into a three-dimensional world where he gains a wider vision into objects in his two-dimensional home. The book was a favorite with C. S. Lewis. Abbott died on October 12, 1926.

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