Lover of the Fancy

Early C20th American culture and dissent

Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions
Edwin A Abbott


This masterpiece of science (and mathematical) fiction is a delightfully unique and highly entertaining satire that charms readers. The work of English clergyman, educator and Shakespearean scholar Edwin A. Abbott (1838-1926), it describes the journeys of A. Square, a mathematician and resident of the two-dimensional Flatland, where women – thin, straight lines – are the lowliest of shapes, and where men may have any number of sides, depending on their social status. Through strange occurrences that bring him into contact with a host of geometric forms, Square has adventures in Spaceland (three dimensions), Lineland (one dimension) and Pointland (no dimensions) and ultimately entertains thoughts of visiting a land of four dimensions – a revolutionary idea for which he is returned to his two-dimensional world. Charmingly illustrated by the author, Flatland is not only fascinating reading, it is still a first-rate fictional introduction to the concept of the multiple dimensions of space.

Paperback, 96pp
Dover Publications, 1992 (1884)
ISBN 9780486272634