Synopses & Reviews
A century-old classic of British letters that charmed and fascinated generations of readers with its witty satire of Victorian society and its unique insights, by analogy, into the fourth dimension.
"The best introduction one can find into the manner of perceiving dimensions."
Isaac Asimov, from the Foreword
"One of the most imaginative, delightful and, yes, touching works of mathematics, this slender 1884 book purports to be the memoir of A. Square, a citizen of an entirely two-dimensional world." The Washington Post Book World
A perennial science-fiction classic and fascinating experiment in expanding our ways of thinking and experiencing the world.
Over a hundred years ago, Edwin Abbott Abbott wrote a mathematical adventure set in a world on one plane, populated by a hierarchical society of regular geometrical figures -- who think and speak and have all too human emotions. Since then Flatland has fascinated generations of readers, becoming a perennial science-fiction favorite. By imagining the contact of beings from different dimensions, the author fully exploited the power of the analogy between the limitations of humans and those of his two-dimensional characters. A first-rate fictional guide to the concepts of relativity and multiple dimensions of space, the book also will appeal to those who are interested in computer graphics. This field, which literally makes higher dimensions seeable, has aroused a new interest in visualization. We can now manipulate objects in four dimensions and observe their three-dimensional slices tumbling on the computer screen....[T]here is no better start on the problem of understanding higher-dimensional slicing phenomena than reading this classic novel of the Victorian era.
About the Author
EDWIN ABBOTT ABBOTT (1838-1926) has been ranked as one of the leading scholars and theologians of the Victorian era. He received highest honors in mathematics, classics, and theology at St. John's College, Cambridge, and in 1862 began a brilliant career, during which he served as schoolmaster of some of England's outstanding schools. At the same time he distinguished himself as a scholar, and in 1889 he retired to his studies. Although Flatland, a literary jeu d'esprit, has given pleasure to thousands of readers over many generations, Abbott is best known for his scholarly works, especially his Shakespearian Grammar and his life of Francis Bacon, and for a number of theological discussions.