“Flatland could lead to very profound thought about our Universe and ourselves.”
“A very puzzling book and a very distressing one, and to be enjoyed by about six, or at the outside seven, persons in the whole of the United States and Canada.”
—The New York Times, February 3, 1885
“Flatland invites its readers to consider the outrageous possibility of four dimensions and more. It slyly accomplished this suggestion by portraying the highly limited life of a world of only two dimensions.”
—Alan Lightman, author of Einstein’s Dreams
In this mind-expanding satire, Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions describes a two-dimensional world organized by strict caste system of geometrical forms. The narrator, A. Square, introduces us to Flatland before recounting his revelatory explorations of Lineland, a one-dimensional world, and Pointland, a world of no dimensions, and the hitherto inconceivable three-dimensional world of Spaceland, through which he is ushered by his Virgil-like guide, Sphere. In Flatland, Square is regarded as a heretic and imprisoned for his belief in the existence of a third, and possibly even a fourth, dimension. Abbott’s hallucinatory tale has captivated readers for more than a hundred years—including contemporary scientists such as Carl Sagan and Stephen Hawking. Although it did not achieve popular success on its debut in 1884, it gained a broad audience after the publication of Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity, which focused attention on the concept of a fourth dimension. The book enjoyed another renaissance with the advent of modern science fiction in the late 1930s and is now widely acknowledged as a pioneering work of mathematical fiction.
Edwin A. Abbott was born on December 20, 1838 in Middlesex, England. He was an ordained priest, a theologian, and headmaster of The City of London School until his retirement in 1889. He was the author of twelve books on topics ranging from grammar to religious romance. Flatland, by far his most enduring work, has become a classic than resists categorization—a feat of imagination that remains ahead of its time.
Paperback: 119 pages
Publisher: Warbler Classics (August 10, 2019)
Product Dimensions: 5.25 x 0.3 x 8 inches