Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions (Dover Thrift Editions)
Edwin A. Abbott
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
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. "Instructive, entertaining, and stimulating to the imagination." — Mathematics Teacher.
Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions (London: Seeley, 1884). —— Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions, new and rev. edn. (London: Seeley, 1884). —— Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions, 3rd edn. rev., with an introduction by William Garnett (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1926). Of the many modern editions of Flatland, Ian Stewart’s provides the most extensive background information, particularly on mathematical concepts: Stewart, Ian, The Annotated Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions
breakfast-bell recalling me to the realities of Flatland. 15 Concerning a Stranger from Spaceland F rom dreams I proceed to facts. It was the last day of the 1999th year of our era. The pattering of the rain had long ago announced nightfall; and I was sitting1 in the company of my wife, musing on the events of the past and the prospects of the coming year, the coming century, the coming Millennium. My four Sons and two orphan Grandchildren had retired to their several apartments; and my Wife
proper name in my own country—if he manifest himself at all to an inhabitant of Flatland—must needs manifest himself as a Circle. Do you not remember—for I, who see all things, discerned last night the phantasmal vision of Lineland written upon your brain—do you not remember, I say, how, when you entered the realm of Lineland, you were compelled to manifest yourself to the King not as a Square, but as a Line, because that Linear Realm had not Dimensions enough to represent the whole of you, but
Professional Men and Gentlemen: these groups were higher in social distinction than the merely ‘middle-class’ merchants or Equilaterals. The three traditional professions were medicine, the Church, and the law (to which the Square belongs), although by Abbott’s era other types of white-collar work were included in this category. The definition of the gentleman was a focus of much Victorian debate. Traditionally identified by leisure, birth, and wealth, the gentleman was redefined over the course
revels now are ended. These our actors, As I foretold you, were all spirits and Are melted into air, into thin air; And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, The cloud-capped tow’rs, the gorgeous palaces, The solemn temples, the great globe itself, Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff As dreams are made on, and our little life Is rounded with a sleep.