Flatland

Flatland

Summary

A 'romance of many dimensions' that has fascinated generations of readers with its clever blend of social satire and mathematical theory, the Penguin Classics edition of Edwin A. Abbott's Flatland introduction by Alan Lightman.

A work that continues to pose provocative questions about perception and reality, Flatland is a brilliant parody of Victorian society where all existence is limited to length and breadth - its inhabitants unable even to imagine a third dimension. The amiable narrator, A Square, provides an overview of this fantastic world - its physics and metaphysics, its history, customs and religious beliefs. But when a strange visitor mysteriously appears and transports the incredulous Flatlander to the Land of Three Dimensions, his world view is forever shattered.

Written more than a century ago, Flatland conceals within its brilliant parody of Victorian society speculations about the universe that resonate in Einstein's theory of relativity as well as the current 'string-theory' of nature.

Edwin A. Abbott (1838-1926) was a leading scholar and theologian of the Victorian era.

If you enjoyed Flatland you may like H.G. Wells's The Sleeper Awakes, also available in Penguin Classics.

About the author

Edwin Abbott

Edwin A. Abbott (1838 - 1926) was a leading scholar of the Victorian period. A schoolmaster from the age of 26, Abbott oversaw the education of many luminaries of the Edwardian era and beyond, including Prime Minister H. H. Asquith. In his retirement, Abbott devoted himself to writing theological discussions and biographies. In 1884, he wrote Flatland, a highly original work of satirical science-fiction that is now considered a canonical example of the genre.
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