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About the Author: Edwin A. Abbott

From Biography Base:

Edwin Abbott Abbott (December 20, 1838 - 1926), English schoolmaster and theologian, is best known as the author of the mathematical satire Flatland (1884).

He was educated at the City of London School and at St John's College, Cambridge, where he took the highest honours in classics, mathematics and theology, and became fellow of his college. In 1862 he took orders. After holding masterships at King Edward's School, Birmingham, and at Clifton College, he succeeded G. F. Mortimer as headmaster of the City of London School in 1865 at the early age of twenty-six. He was Hulsean lecturer in 1876.

He retired in 1889, and devoted himself to literary and theological pursuits. Dr. Abbott's liberal inclinations in theology were prominent both in his educational views and in his books. His Shakespearian Grammar (1870) is a permanent contribution to English philology. In 1885 he published a life of Francis Bacon. His theological writings include three anonymously published religious romances - Philochristus (1878), Onesimus (1882), and Sitanus (1906).

More weighty contributions are the anonymous theological discussion The Kernel and the Husk (1886), Philomythus (1891), his book The Anglican Career of Cardinal Newman (1892), and his article "The Gospels" in the ninth edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica, embodying a critical view which caused considerable stir in the English theological world. He also wrote St Thomas of Canterbury, his Death and Miracles (1898), Johannine Vocabulary (1905), Johannine Grammar (1906). Flatland was published in 1884.

His brother, Evelyn Abbott (1843 - 1901), was a well-known tutor of Balliol College, Oxford, and author of a scholarly history of Greece.


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Find the best price forFlatland

A Romance of Many Dimensions by

Goodreads rating: 3.81

Paperback, Published in Jun 2008 by Oxford University Press

ISBN10: 019953750X | ISBN13: 9780199537501

Page count: 124

Upward, and yet not Northward

How would a creature limited to two dimensions be able to grasp the possibility of a third? Edwin A. Abbott's droll and delightful romance of many dimensions explores this conundrum in the experiences of his protagonist, A Square, whose linear world is invaded by an emissary Sphere bringing the gospel of the third dimension. Part geometry lesson, part social satire, this classic work of science fiction brilliantly succeeds in enlarging all readers' imaginations beyond the limits of their respective dimensional prejudices. In a world where class is determined by how many sides you possessesand women are straight lines, the prospects for enlightenment are boundless, and Abbott's hypotheses about a fourth and higher dimensions seem startlingly relevant today.

This new edition begins with an introduction by Rosemary Jann that illuminates the social and intellectual context that produced the work and explains its relationship to the theological issues central to Abbott's career. It also provides the most extensive discussion to date of the class and gender issues raised by the text and of the debates over the limits of scientific and mathematical knowledge in which it participated.

Flatland's unique combination of astute social, philosophical, and mathematical observations with wit and humor can be read at many different levels, and will prove especially enjoyable to readers of Victorian literature and philosophy.

Cover illustration: detail of Views of the Tesseract, cubes for visualising the fourth dimension, from C. Howard Hinton, The Fourth Dimension, 1904.

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