Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions

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CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, Jan 23, 2010 - 140 pages
This is a story about the fourth dimension. Its events occur in a fictional world called Flatland. This novel was written in 1884 by the English schoolmaster Edwin Abbott. Writing pseudonymously as "a square", Abbott used the fictional two-dimensional world of Flatland to offer pointed observations on the social hierarchy of Victorian culture. However, the novel's more enduring contribution is its examination of dimensions; in a foreword to one of the many publications of the novella, noted science writer Isaac Asimov described Flatland as "The best introduction one can find into the manner of perceiving dimensions". As such, the novel is still popular amongst mathematics, physics, and computer science students. The story is about a two-dimensional world referred to as Flatland which is occupied by geometric figures, line segments (females) and regular polygons with various numbers of sides. The narrator is a humble Square, a member of the social caste of gentlemen and professionals in a society of geometric figures, who guides us through some of the implications of life in two dimensions. Extensive speculations also abound about higher dimensions. It is a pleasure to publish this new, high quality, and affordable edition.

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About the author (2010)

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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