Flatland A Romance of Many Dimensions

ISBN-10: 019953750X

ISBN-13: 9780199537501

Edition: 2008

Authors: Edwin A. Abbott, Rosemary Jann

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Description:

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." 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. Flatlands 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.
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Book details

List price: $8.95
Copyright year: 2008
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 8/15/2008
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 176
Size: 5.00" wide x 7.75" long x 0.25" tall
Weight: 0.308
Language: English

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.

Rosemary Jann, Professor of English and Cultural Studies, George Mason University.

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